Rock the Block returns this Saturday for the first time since 2019


Huswat Olajide

Rock the Block is back after its long hiatus, so grab a friend and come have fun.

After a three-year gap due to the pandemic, Rock the Block finally resurfaces, making its long-awaited return this Saturday, June 3 from 3 pm to 6 pm in the Watkins Mill High School parking lot.

Initially started by social studies resource teacher Lauren Squier and former WMHS teacher Matt Johnson in 2016, Rock the Block is a party, similar to a mini carnival, aimed at promoting the spirit of the Watkins Mill community and showcasing the positive aspects of Watkins Mill High School.

Rock the Block brings together various organizations and clusters, promoting a sense of interconnectivity within the community. Participants span from clubs within WMHS such as the school’s Korean pop club NOVA, to outside organizations, including other schools and vendors. Each group offers a diverse range of activities for families to enjoy, be it engaging in face painting, having your teachers take the plunge in a dunk booth, or running through an inflatable obstacle course.

“We’re really excited, we remember [the NOVA alumni] performed at Rock the Block before, so we’d like to live up to the name,” Nova co-captain Diego Ortiz said.

Health teacher Kristina Smyrk organized the rebooted Rock the Block with the help of school business manager Julia Broyles and Squier. “I think it’s good for the community, [the community] needs things like this to bring us together,” Smyrk said. “There’s so much negativity in the world and in social media that we also need to be doing things that are positive so that people can see the good and not just the bad.”

For many in the community, Rock the Block will be a throwback, to when times were simpler before the lockdown, before the masks, before Zoom.

“I’m so excited to bring Rock the Block back to WMHS,”  Broyles said. “Rock the Block was the brainchild of one of our former teachers Matt Johnson and together we named it. We did everything we’re doing now, and it was a wonderful time.”

Visit the Rock the Block website for a full list of vendors and activities as well as a map of where each will be located.

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