In a move that brings the digital realm into real-world interaction, Blair Ballin, the founder of the online community Living North Phoenix, is launching the inaugural Valleypalooza festival. This community-focused event is set to unfold at Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N. 32nd St., in Phoenix, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 13.

Five years ago, Ballin set out to create a drama-free online platform where North Phoenix residents could share information and support one another. Today, Living North Phoenix boasts over 28,000 active members, which supports the community’s engagement and Ballin’s vision.

Attendees can expect a festive atmosphere with live music headlined by FAYUCA. The festival will also feature over 40 vendor booths, showcasing an array of crafts, arts, activities for kids and adults alike, and a selection of local food trucks including The Dog Father, Zenfully Simple Vegan Eats, Kingpin BBQ, and Churros 4 Loco. Tickets for the event are priced at $7, with free entry for children 12 and younger, making it an accessible celebration for families.

Adding to the uniqueness of Valleypalooza, the festival has teamed up with Kitsune Brewing, the state’s first African American-owned brewery. Kitsune Brewing is crafting a special beer just for the event, promising a unique taste experience.

Valleypalooza is also a festival with a cause. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Treasure House Phoenix, a nonprofit organization co-founded by Brenda Warner and her husband, retired NFL star Kurt Warner. The organization is dedicated to supporting young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

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