Hundreds of families turned out under clear skies Saturday for the Redlands Police Department's 15th Annual Christmas Block Party.
Organizers handed out boxes of food and gifts for the needy, while folklorico dancers, musicians and volunteers in super hero costume entertained throngs inside and outside the Redlands Community Center on Lugonia Avenue.
Dancers in traditional Jalisco and Michoacán dress and mariachis drew applause from people of all ages. Volunteers dressed as Batman, Supergirl, Catwoman and Spiderman came from as far as Long Beach, said Valerie Perez, who was dressed as Wonder Woman.
Members of Sons of the American Legion Post 650 in Redlands lined up brand-new bicycles for children from low-income families. Volunteers showed other youngsters and teens how to build miniature houses with graham crackers.
Other volunteers gave away free books, hot dogs, sodas and bottled water.
"In light of the economic climate and the increasing need of families, the annual Christmas Party was created to assist families who are unable to enjoy the luxuries of a traditional Christmas celebration, particularly providing toys and presents for their children," Redlands spokesman Carl Baker said earlier this week.
"Considering the number of low-income families, those in need and those who are unemployed in Redlands, the Redlands Police Department, Quality of Life Department, local businesses and numerous volunteers have come together each year to assist local families," Baker said.
The event was 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at 111 W. Lugonia Ave.