Party rocks the blocks

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Four-year-old Kaylee Berry made an official proclamation as the first of the fireworks flew during the Littleton Block Party June 8: “It’s summer!”

The weather played along, as did a cast of characters rounding out the evening’s circus theme — aerial acrobats, fire-eaters, stilt-walkers, contortionists, jugglers, magicians and Sam Adams, the sports journalist-turned-comedian-turned-ringmaster for the evening. A tightrope walker trod lightly above Ancient Arts Healing Center, and aerial acrobats dangled over the intersection of Prince and Main streets.

Perhaps most stunning was the size of the crowd, which organizers estimate at 18,000 to 20,000 people.

“I’m just tickled pink about the whole thing,” said Greg Reinke, president of the Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants, which hosts the event. “To get that many people on Main Street is awesome.”

There were noticeably more young people this year, of both the young-and-single and young-family varieties. Perhaps they were drawn to the local bands playing five separate stages, including Flash Mob, Dave Frisk Band, Ken K and Larry O’Connor, but Reinke says he’s noticing an overall trend.

“Littleton is starting to have a turnover as far as age groups,” he said. “They’re coming here to some of the cool new venues, and they realize it’s a great little place to be.”

Reinke said he hadn’t counted the money yet, but he thought the event did well.

“It’s not about the profit,” he said. “My job is to get people down here. Even if we lose money, as long as we don’t lose all of it, it’s a good investment.”