Summer block party!

In a small, rural community, Right Path for Washington County board member Karen Waller said many teens and young people feel there are few fun and safe entertainment options available in the area that can keep them away from drugs and alcohol.

“We want them to help understand how to be safe,” she said. “Sometimes they don’t think the community gives them those opportunities, but we want to show them there are fun things to do that are drug and alcohol free.”

Friday, the Right Path for Washington County will close the summer with its 10th annual Summer Block Party at the Marietta Aquatic Center, beginning in the evening and open to the county’s young people and families.

“This is really the big end of the summer activities,” said Right Path President Dee Standish. “We want to send them off with the right attitude for school.”

Beginning at 6 p.m. at the aquatic center, live entertainment by classic rock and blues musician Billy Reiter, inflatables and swimming await party-goers, along with giveaways all night from local agencies like the Washington County Behavioral Health Board, Washington County Suicide Prevention, Eve, Inc. and Wendy’s.

“It’s giving them a healthy environment that is an alternative to drug use,” said Standish.

Food venues like Little Caesars and Sno Biz will also be on-site to provide pizza and snow cones.

The event caps off a summer that included weekly teen dances at The Gathering Place at Marietta College and family pool parties at the aquatic center.

“A lot of kids might not have seen each other all summer and it gets them back together before school starts,” Waller said. “Kids from all over the county are welcome.”

From 8 to 11 p.m., the parking lot of the MAC will fill up with suds for partiers to enjoy six feet of foam in what has become a tradition for the block party.

“There’s usually a couple hundred or more that show up every year,” Standish said.

The event is open to all Washington County residents for just $5 a person, with proceeds going toward the funding of the Right Path event.