Before last Tuesday's Faribault City Council meeting, Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen told Mayor Kevin Voracek his department hoped there would be an increase in neighborhood block parties.

His hopes were reality with 24 parties across the community. Last year, the chief noted there were 16.

I stopped by the Buckham Center complex where Faribault Diversity Coalition Director Sam Ouk was grilling some marinated Cambodian meat sticks that were very delicious. Ouk told me coconut milk and lemongrass were two of the items used to make the meat delicious. He noted the recipe was from his wife and said it's the best recipe he's tasted of the Cambodian food.

Sambusa was a hit again this year.

Faribault Marketing Director and Main Street Coordinator Nort Johnson had a local Somalian restaurant make dozens of the deep fried, triangle shaped, hamburger filled pastries. They also contained potatoes, onions, red and green peppers. They are so good and I indulged by eating four of them.

I have to admit I also had a hot dog while watching kids play in a mud puddle and refreshingly did not see a lot of people on their cell phones.

Faribault Senior Center Director Mona Kaiser told KDHL this is one of the events she looks forward to each year.

The music was very good again, and those in attendance were treated to a ukulele solo by Dr. Mike Hildebrandt. Hildebrandt is widely known for his fiddle play and told KDHL he just recently bought a ukelele while vacationing in Hawaii.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections brought down a K9 officer to provide some demonstrations and have a number of people have the pleasure of petting the dog.

There was face painting for the kids.

The numbers were down from the previous couple of years attributed in part to the rain that hit just before the event and the fact there were more neighborhood parties around town.

I did take a few pictures and admittedly should have clicked one of the Cambodian meat item before devouring it.

Sambusa in a pan at Buckham Center. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Arriving at Buckham Center Block Party. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Buckham Center Block Party crowd comes out after rain. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld