By Yanira Ledezma
Delhi residents came out to celebrate their unified community last Friday, Aug. 16, during the town’s annual Block Party.
The big event at Delhi High School was sponsored by the local Fire Department.
A variety of community members — including business owners, employees, students, parents and first responders — mixed and mingled, and had a great time.
“It’s all about the community,” said Roger Swalley, a local resident and an 11-year volunteer firefighter. “Here, everyone is given a chance to meet with our first responders: firefighters, policemen, highway patrol, even our church supporters. It also gives people a chance to make friends and really get to see who’s out in the community.”
Delhi has a population of 10,000 and is still considered one of the smaller unincorporated communities inside Merced County. The only high school and middle school in town are conjoined, making the community that much more tightknit.
Everyone was encouraged to come out and enjoy an afternoon full of free food, information booths, raffles, swimming, and even a mobile video game truck. Residents were also treated to a free lunch: hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, water, and lemonade, served and prepared, while a DJ played a mixture of popular Spanish and English songs continuously throughout the event.
Kids were treated to an experience of virtual reality gaming as the mobile video game truck welcomed people in. Inside, gamers refreshed themselves with cool AC, and virtual reality googles that transplanted them into different fantasy realms.
First Responders were at the scene with their accompanying vehicles, giving viewers an inside look at their vehicles. A helicopter amazed onlookers as it set down in the middle of one of the high schools empty fields, and later in the afternoon took off once again.
Free swimming was the hot spot for those wanting to cool off with the temperature reaching 105 that Friday afternoon. The line to the pool entrance seemed never ending as kids who exited the pool (swimming was on a timed schedule) bounced back into line.
The Delhi Fire Department continued their annual bike raffle this year, raffling off a total of 14 bikes to children currently enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade, while other booths raffled out shirts and school supplies.