NEWBERRY — Police, fire and city departments will bring the community together for the city’s National Night Out event on Aug. 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Marion Davis Park.
National Night Out is a nationwide evening for neighborhoods across the country to get out and “give crime a going away party” through community awareness and involvement.
The City of Newberry Parks, Recreation, and Tourism office will provide free pizza and drinks to those in attendance. The evening will also feature a variety of field games between children and local officers and firefighters, as well as inflatables that officers and firemen will be running.
Mayor Foster Senn will start the evening at 6 p.m. by welcoming the community. He also will introduce Police Chief Dennis Brown.
Mary Alex Kopp, city tourism and events coordinator, said they have done much more advertising for the event this year.
“We really don’t know what to expect this year,” she said. “We’re hoping it will be bigger and better.”
Collin Shealy with PRT said he heard many of the apartment complexes showed a lot of interest in the event and contacted the police department for more information.
Following Senn’s introduction, Kopp said the rest of the evening will be unscheduled activity with games including a three-legged race, a balloon toss, cornhole games and an inflatable bounce house.
Kopp said residents will not have to pay to participate in the ping-pong ball drop. Instead, participants will visit the police and fire department setups where they will receive a sticker. Stickers from both departments must be presented to register for the ball drop which will occur at 7:15 p.m.
Whoever is closer to the center will win a City of Newberry prize package.
“This way, parents and kids have to go to the tables,” Shealy said.
Kopp said they were looking into ways to facilitate participation among the entire event.
“We want people to know that they (police and firefighters) are there and that they can trust them,” Kopp said.
Fire Chief Keith Minick said they want to provide information on smoke detectors and how to prevent fires.
“Some may ask about stoves, outside grills, or discuss recreational burning,” Minick said. “We get lots of calls about what people can do as far as burning within the city.”
Minick said the fire safety house will be out and the department will have its ladder truck and other equipment. They will also show residents how to operate a fire extinguisher.
“I hope people will talk with us about what they see in their areas and what we can help them with in their neighborhoods,” Minick said.
Kevin Goodman with the Newberry City Police Department said they will discuss gun safety issues, and how neighborhoods can start their own Neighborhood Watch programs throughout the city. Handouts will be given on various topics. The Newberry County Sheriff’s office also will have information on display.
Goodman said they were in contact with SLED to see if they would be participating in the event as well, but were not certain they would be attending.
The city also will have transportation to and from the event courtesy of the Newberry County Council on Aging. The shuttle service will begin at 5 p.m. and will make eight stops before reaching Marion Davis Park at Grant Homes, Nance Forest Apartments, Indian Hills Apartments, Greens Apartments, Pebblebrook Apartments, 564 Wise St. in Newberry, Tremont Apartments and Palmetto Pointe.
The shuttle will pick people up at the offices of the complexes. The route will begin again at 7:35 p.m. to take residents back to their locations.