Thousands attend beach party in Downtown Fresno

September 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
That one block section of Van Ness near Fresno Street has re-opened to traffic early Tuesday morning after it transformed into a holiday destination for thousands this over the holiday weekend.

Six pools, nearly two million pounds of sand, and a four and a half story water slide. This year's summer splash had a little something for people of all ages.

"Everybody's having a lot of fun. We played volleyball, had my granddaughter's swimming. We just had a lot of fun. I'm glad we came," said Bruce Sanchez of Fresno.

For the second year, Club One Casino hosted the Labor Day Weekend Block Party. After getting the city to agree to close off Van Ness Avenue, they trucked in palm trees, cabanas, and sand.

"It's weird to have sand on the street. You don't think its street no more after the sand is on the street," said Kiundre McDowell of Fresno.

Organizers estimate 10 to 12 thousand people attended over the three day weekend -- about double last year's turnout. "Saturday we had a great turnout. Sunday was better than Saturday, and today was better than Sunday. So we're just happy with it," said Kyle Kirkland with Club One Casino.

Kids seemed satisfied, too. Especially when it came to "Slidezilla" -- a water slide more than 40 feet tall.

The idea was to bring the beach to Downtown Fresno, but after the party was over -- they had to take it away.

Crews used backhoes to remove the sand and then street sweepers to take care of the rest. Organizers said by Tuesday morning the section of Van Ness was back to normal.

And while organizers say they are happy with this year's turnout, it's still unknown if they made any money. Still, they're planning on doing it again.

A portion of the proceeds from Summer Splash two will go to non-profit organizations Fresno First Steps Home and Fresno Police Activities League.


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