From left, Eli Rutter, 7, and Sofia Belvedere, 10, race against each other in a pie-eating contest at the Old Firehouse Teen Center Saturday, Aug. 25.
Photo by Alex McVeigh.
McLean The Old Firehouse Teen Center in downtown McLean hosted their annual block party on Saturday, Aug. 25, opening up their center for a variety of activities. The event featured the second annual McLean Teens Got Talent variety show, contests between acts and other arts and crafts opportunities.
The weather forced the acts indoors for the day, but that didn’t stop local teens with many talents from taking the stage. Acts ranged from bands to singers to multi-instrumentalists and more. One act, performed by Tara McLaughlin, 11, and Elise Flick, 13, was unlike anything the judges had ever seen before.
"We originally started a club at school, where we would choreograph dances for songs and perform them," McLaughlin said. "It was very different performing here, we were more nervous, because at school there are a lot of friends around."
The duo performed a dance to Christina Perri’s "Jar of Hearts," working the area in front of the stage with moves resembling those of a pair of figure skaters.
"I saw the flyer for the McLean Teens Got Talent contest while I was at a summer camp here, and thought it would be a good chance to perform in front of a new audience," Flick said. "Hopefully this will give us a good start going into this school year."
Between acts, children could participate in various events such as a hula hoop or pie-eating contest.
"It was fun because something was always going on," said Nikki Omi, 11, of McLean. "The robot dancer was my favorite, he could stop and start so fast."
The "robot dancer" was Bang Yan Pham, 13, who performed a "pop and lock" style routine. Judges Darrick Speller, Jimmy Reed and Sarah Schallern praised his unique presentation, but also gave him some pointers.
"You had great movements, but you really need to work on locking them down when you’re trying to stay still," Schallern said. "It’s all about isolating one movement."
This was a move for the block party, which was moved from the fall, and took place earlier in the day.
"We wanted to make it a more inclusive event, for our regular users, but also to expose it to some new people," said Ryan Brookes of the OFTC. "We want people to be aware of what we can offer here."