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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Third Avenue in downtown Chula Vista was packed with people of all ages Friday night for the inaugural block party to kick-off summer.

The block party was filed with live music, vendors, food and a front-row seat to the big screen to watch the San Diego Padres Game. Fans could purchase the team’s new City Connect jerseys, test their pitching skills and take photos with Padres gear to celebrate the first time the team wore the new look.

“I think this represents a hunger for the Chula Vista community to come back out, reclaim that night out and come to Third Avenue and support the local businesses,” Third Avenue Village Association District Manager Dominic Limandri told FOX 5.

Local businesses said this event is what the shopping and dining district needed.

“This is great it brings a lot of foot traffic to a street that has always been known to a lot of foot traffic,” Eric Villar, assistant general manager of El Cruce, a restaurant and club on Third Avenue, told FOX 5. “So with COVID the last few years, it has really dropped down the foot traffic and this feels like the first time Third Avenue feels alive again.”

“It’s good for the communities, it’s good for families, it’s good for everyone,” Robert Duarte, who attended the event, told FOX 5.

Angie Gonzalez, who owns an online store, For My Homegirls, said she thrives off being able to host pop-ups in her community.  

“Events like this, I love it because I get to engage with the community and that’s everything and seeing how they relate to the shirts and the messages on my shirts, means everything,” Gonzalez said.

The event was so well-attended, there’s already hopes for it to return next year.

“We’re excited to bring this event for the first time to downtown Chula Vista and we are hoping to bring this year after year to third avenue,” Limandri said.