Magnolia Park’s Holiday in the Park event was a night of community and fun, but for one Burbank resident, it was a night she will not forget for the rest of her life. On Friday, November 18th, while running an exhibitor booth at Holiday in the Park, Rose Peterkin, got the marriage proposal of a lifetime.
Rose Peterkin is the Editor and Publisher of the Burbank Macaroni KID website. The site offers local family events through their newsletter, calendar, and website postings. Just under five years ago Peterkin took on this project to be able to connect families to community resources in an effort to find free or low cost things to do nearby.
This 32nd annual Holiday in the Park event which brought record numbers of people out, was Peterkin’s third time participating as an exhibitor. This year she offered air brush tattoos and had lines of kids all night waiting for colorful characters to be sprayed onto their arms. Little did she know, her boyfriend, James Brian Azagra, had a different plan for her booth this year.
Holiday in the Park is an annual event put on by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, and after two years of being closed down due to the pandemic, the event was back and better than ever. Nine blocks of Magnolia blvd and the side streets are closed down for walking access. The event held a classic car show, live bands, dance performances, an art walk, food trucks, over 100 exhibitors, police and fire vehicles on display, photo ops with Santa and princesses, a ferris wheel, aerial artist, and so much more!
Peterkin and Azagra have a 14 year old son together, Isley, and while November 8th is their dating anniversary, the ring Azagra ordered didn’t arrive on time and he had to think of another time to propose to Peterkin. Peterkin’s brother who she hadn’t seen in four years and lives in Alaska happened to be taking a work trip to California the week of Holiday in the Park, and made a plan with Azagra to surprise Peterkin at the event.
Azagra started shutting down Peterkin’s airbrush line about halfway into the night, telling customers she needed a 20 minute break. “He brought me maybe 10ft in front of the booth and told me he had a special guest for me to see. I jokingly said ‘Keanu Reeves?’ When I turned around it was my brother who I hadn’t seen in 4 years,” said Peterkin. “It was a wonderful surprise.”
Suddenly Peterkin and Azagra’s favorite song, “Slow Dance” by John Legend, started playing loudly from their booth and when she turned around, silver MARRY ME balloons were hanging from the tent awning of her booth, along with flowers. “I saw the balloons and James took a deep breath and told me he didn’t want me to be his girlfriend anymore but his wife,” said Peterkin. “When he knelt down, he opened a glowing box with a beautiful ring and asked if I would marry him.”
Through tears, Peterkin said “yes” and attendees of the event that had witnessed the proposal began to clap and cheer at the happy moment. Friends and family captured the entire process on video: from putting up the balloons, sneaking behind her, and the proposal. “I’m so grateful for them,” added Peterkin. “It was a night to remember!”
In 32 years, this is the first marriage proposal to happen at Holiday in the Park, making it one of the most magical and successful event put on by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association to date.