Teen councils host Palopalooza

Anna Feng, Senior Staff Writer

After a cancellation last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are responding positively to Palopalooza, a teen-focused event, organized by local Palo Alto teen councils Friday evening at the Mitchell Park Community Center. 

The Teen Advisory Board, Teen Arts Council and Palo Alto Youth Council collaborated to organize Palopalooza, a localized version of Lollapalooza, a four-day music festival hosted annually in Chicago. The event attracted students from high schools around the Bay Area and included live music and activities including scrapbooking, a dunk tank and tie-dying T-shirts. 

According to TAB Vice President Ashley Hung, the planning for this event began in February in conjunction with TLAB and PAYC, with the goal of bringing together the teen community of the Bay Area over food, games and live music.

“We’re reaching the end of the school year, so we wanted a fun event where a bunch of the groups came together and brought their friends to make it a big community effort,” Hung said. “A lot of parents here were watching their kids play in the band, and I think it’s exciting to see a lot of food, a lot of music, and people coming together over things that they like.”

Fremont High School senior Kaitlin Wong performed an original song at Palopalooza and heard about the event after performing at previous TAB Open Mic Nights.

“There’s no judgment and it is full of people who really enjoy what they do,” Wong said. “They’re doing it just because it’s their passion and what they are really fond of doing, and you can definitely see that.” 

According to TAB and PAYC advisor Chris Penaranda, the teen councils organized the event to encourage students to engage with their community, especially after the pandemic. 

“We wanted kids to get outside more after the pandemic,” Penaranda said. “We just wanted to provide a space for them to relax before finals and bring teens together and meet new people.”

Gunn freshman Jazzy Alam echoed Penaranda’s sentiments by saying she enjoyed getting to take part in an event where she could hang out with friends over shared interests. 

“I like how everyone gathers around and there are a lot of fun events and yummy food,” Alam said. “You can make new friends and new connections and try stuff that you might really like doing.”