Arts and Entertainment

North Bend Block Party | Ready, Set, Banana Boogie

   - Allison Espiritu / Snoqualmie Valley Record
— image credit: Allison Espiritu / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Kids of all ages are invited to come play with their food at the children’s area of the North Bend Block Party Saturday, where the Banana Boogie is back for its third year.

The event is an exercise in creativity, and a lot of fun, says Boogie coordinator Cindy Walker. “It’s something that clearly doesn’t happen every day, making your own car with a banana.”

From 2 p.m. to about 8 p.m., participants can pay their $2 admission, pick a banana, trick it out with toy wheels, stickers, feathers, pipe cleaners and their own original marker art, then race it down a 16-foot ramp.

“Some of the kids are in there completely on their own, and some are with their parents, who are saying ‘put this here, move that,’” said Walker.

There is a science to making the fastest banana car, but it doesn’t seem to have much to do with the curve. Walker has seen children build cars curve-up and curve-down. “Some of them work, some of them don’t.”

Once the creations are ready to roll, children can run them down the ramp all day, if they want to, “or until they get tired of it,” says Walker.

Her business, Emerald City Smoothie, has been sponsoring the Boogie every year of the block party. Walker said she got the idea from a similar concept she saw at Pike’s Place Market, the Zucchini 500.

“We thought, gosh it would be really fun to do something like that!” Walker said.

Deciding what to make the cars out of was easy. Bananas beat zucchini on price, fun, availability and marketability—just try to imagine a zucchini smoothie. Bananas, Walker said, were “a much better tie-in to our product!”

Every Banana Boogie participant will receive a $1 coupon at Emerald City Smoothie, and their very own souvenir banana cars.

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