Block party brings residents to downtown Tracy
by Nikki Chase
Jul 19, 2013 | 3388 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Summer block party
The president of the Tracy City Center Association, Dino Margaros, served drinks to guests, including Tracy preschool teacher Sara Kille, at Friday’s downtown block party.  Nikki Chase/For the Tracy Press
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A new summertime tradition has Tracy residents excited about spending their Friday nights downtown.

The city of Tracy hosted its third Summer Block Party event of 2013 on Friday, July 12, at the Downtown Plaza on Sixth Street and Central Avenue, treating rock ’n’ roll lovers to dance-worthy rhythms.

Tom and Jonalyn Henle, owners of Bikram Yoga Tracy, have lived in Tracy for 20 years and said they were enjoying the music.

“We wish they had something like this every Friday night,” said Jonalyn Henle, 42.

Tracy recreation coordinator Jolene Jauregui knows first-hand how much Tracy residents need some excitement in their hometown. She was born and raised in Tracy.

“I think that’s one thing Tracy was lacking, is community events, downtown gatherings, and different diverse music,” she said.

The rock ’n’ roll event drew a crowd, like the previous two block parties.

“We’re averaging 700 to 800 people,” Jauregui said. “It’s really nice to see the community gather downtown.”

This is the third year the city has hosted a series of summertime block parties at the plaza.

Barbara Simpson, a Tracy realtor, took three friends along with her and said the parties are not only fun, but also great for business.

Simpson, 55, has lived in town for 17 years and worked as a realtor for 10 of those years. She said the block parties and events like it have helped her sell homes.

“I have buyers who come out here, and these are the things you tell them about,” she said.

A Tracy business owner, Oliver Norwood Jr., 66, attended with his wife and two longtime friends. The owner of Big Valley Painting has also lived in Tracy for 17 years and said spending summer nights downtown is a welcome new tradition.

“We think this is a terrific thing the city is doing,” he said. “This is the second one we’ve been to, and we hope they keep it up.”

Attractions included music by cover band Party Rumor and food by Por’ketta Etc.

Eugene Rosette, the head chef and owner, debuted Por’ketta Etc. at Friday’s block party.

The 24-year-old was born and raised in Tracy, and after spending six months in Italy, he decided to bring something special back to his hometown. Rosette served guests a traditional Italian slow-roasted pork sandwich.

“I wanted to get people in Tracy to experience one of the oldest sandwiches in Italy, real comfort food,” Rosette said.

Drinks were served by volunteers from the Tracy City Center Association and Tracy Friends for Parks, Recreation and Community Services Foundation.

The chairman of the Tracy Friends Foundation, Dan Schack, 62, said members of both groups were “sharing the proceeds” to put toward their nonprofit work.

The next block party is on Aug. 2, with a theme of Daisy Dukes and Cowboy Boots. Totally Awesome 80s is the theme for the final block party on Aug. 16. Both events are from 6 to 9 p.m. and are free.

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