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Sun shines, crowds flock to the Party in the Park

More than 10,000 came out for Saturday's event at Tualatin Hills

COURTESY TUALATIN HILLS PARK & RECREATION DISTRICT - This youngster took his turn at the Bubble Ball Raceway during Saturdays Party in the Park at the Howard M. Terpenning Recreation Complex in Beaverton.Beaverton’s annual Party in the Park hit all the high notes on Saturday.

The Party in the Park, sponsored by Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District and held at the Howard M. Terpenning Recreation Complex, kicked off with the annual Family Triathlon, rolled on with opening ceremonies focused on Beaverton’s sister city of Trossingen, Germany, advanced with the Beaverton International Celebration and went on and on and on with games, activities, sports, food, music and more.

Oh yeah, it was also a beautiful day, which just ramped up the fun after the Party in the Park sloshed through a soggy event in 2015.

“We typically see our best event crowds when Mother Nature cooperates,” said Bill Evans, communications specialist for THPRD. “Saturday’s perfect weather contributed to record attendance at our 11th Party in the Park.”

This, the 11th year of the free event, brought a crowd estimated at more than 10,000 to the Terpenning Complex after last year’s rainy celebration saw only about 5,000 on hand. That crowd danced to music provided by a handful of diverse musical groups, and thrilled to the dancing of groups with roots in six different continents.

In addition to the usual offerings of drop-in tennis, pickleball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, disc golf and basketball, and open swims at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center, the 2016 event featured the addition of Field 5 activities (including giant Jenga and the Bubble Ball Raceway), demonstrations by Cabela’s, the Portland Stags ultimate Frisbee team, the Beaverton Police K-9 Unit, and appearances by the THPRD Rec Mobile and NatureMobile.

The Party in the Park also featured free class demonstrations from THPRD in fitness and dance, arts and crafts displays, and free face painting.

“Expanding the midway to Field 5 allowed us to introduce several new events, including disc golf, fly casting, and the event people couldn’t wait to try — bubble ball,” Evans said. “All day long, we had kids — and plenty of parents — climbing inside of 7-foot tall plastic bubbles to race on our obstacle course. It was an instant hit.”