Magnolia Park Night Out had a lively return to Burbank following a 16-month hiatus on Friday, July 30.
The Magnolia Park Merchants Association put on the event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. along Magnolia Blvd., stretching from Catalina St. to Hollywood Way. Food trucks and merchants lined down Magnolia Blvd., musicians played live sets, and select Magnolia Park stores opened their doors for visitors eager to engage in the unique shopping, dining, and entertainment experience. As this was the first Magnolia Park celebration since COVID-19 emerged, the association secured a permit from the City of Burbank under L.A. County guidelines to operate while adhering to all regional and state standards.
Whereas the gathering was previously referred to as Ladies and Gents Night Out, the title was updated for this highly anticipated occasion. After a voting process by the association, the new name of Magnolia Park Night Out was selected to create a more comprehensive designation. This inclusive title was reflected in the celebration’s visiting audience, as a strong turnout of attendees of all ages offered their support by showing up to the event.
“Everybody is just excited to be back out,” Magnolia Park Merchants Association President Kathy Ross said of the event’s return. “It’s families of people enjoying themselves. We’re happy to have everybody back.”
Patrons assembled to enjoy the festivities while supporting local mom-and-pop businesses that are pivotal to the Magnolia Park experience, including Blast to the Past, Bell Cottage, and Mindfulnest along with several others. Shop owners noted the camaraderie surrounding the event and the encouragement felt from returning to in-person festivities.
“The energy’s good and everybody’s been awesome [and] respectful,” Mindfulnest store owner Amanda Vernon said. “It’s just great to see the community out and about…I think it gives people a hopeful feeling to get together and it’s great for business.”
Mindfulnest supplies a variety of accessories, cards, self-care items, and jewelry to customers in a peaceful atmosphere which drew in a steady flow of visitors at Magnolia Park Night Out. Vernon says that, as Magnolia Park has developed a reputation as a sought-out shopping and dining spot for locals and travelers to Burbank, business has increased since pre-COVID standards.
“Magnolia Park has become more of a destination because you can do so much on one street,” Vernon said. “So you’re not just shopping anymore, you want to have an experience.”
Normally the MPMA collaborates with 30 food trucks and merchants who park along the boulevard as passersby look for a place to stop for food in between visiting various shopping destinations. This year, about 15 trucks partnered with the celebration in order to limit the size of crowds gathering along the boulevard. Among these were Kona Ice, Triple Threat Truck, and CVT Softserve.
Throughout the remainder of the year, the MPMA plans to maintain Magnolia Park Night Out monthly. Along with this celebration, another well-loved event in the area is Holiday in the Park, a winter street festival that takes place in November. Due to a lack of fundraising opportunities during the pandemic, this has been canceled for 2021, although planning and fundraising are tentatively lined up for early 2022. The association remains ready to adapt to evolving L.A. County regulations while preparing for events that the Burbank community has proven to be enthusiastic to participate in.
“The wheels are turning and we’re hoping with the numbers rising we can keep doing outdoor events,” Ross said. “But we’re really happy…that we still have all these people coming out.”