National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is being celebrated in thousands of neighborhoods throughout the country this month. The 35th annual crime prevention event, typically held the second Tuesday of August, promotes police and community partnerships aimed at making "our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live," according to its website.
In Dane County, several communities are planning their own National Night Out events, many featuring free food, games, safety demonstrations, visits from emergency personnel and tours of their vehicles, and information booths by local businesses. People of all ages are invited to get to know their local police, fire, and EMS departments and learn about crime and drug prevention awareness in a positive environment.
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 1
Where: Lakeview Park, 6300 Mendota Ave., Middleton
Activities: Face painting, food, prizes, bike checks, meet local law enforcement agencies and first responders, learn safety tips from local businesses and organizations including UW Burn Center, Safe Kids, Dementia Friendly Communities, and Reach A Child.
When: 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, August 7
Where: Kiser Fireman's Park, 245 Brook St., Oregon
Activities: Food, games, demonstrations, meet local police, fire, EMS personnel and see emergency vehicles, booths for area organizations and businesses, free shredding services until 7 p.m.
When: 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 7
Where: Hometown Festival Grounds, 111 Lincoln St., Verona
Activities: Med Flight helicopter tour, horse patrol, K-9 demonstration, police officer dunk tank, Kid Care ID program, public safety-related informational booths, bouncy houses, DJ music, raffle, food featuring free pork roast, hot dogs, corn on the cob.
When: 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, August 8
Where: Village Park, 410 E. Main St., Waunakee
Activities: Games, prizes, free brats and hot dogs, numerous displays by various law enforcement agencies.
When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, August 9
Where: C.J. Bird Elementary School, 1170 N. Bird St., Sun Prairie
Activities: According to the police department, several firetrucks will also be present at the annual event. High attendance is expected as the community has rallied around the department following the Sun Prairie explosion in July, which killed a firefighter, injured other people, and damaged downtown.
When: 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 14
Where: Winnequah Park, Nichols Road near Healy Lane, Monona
Activities: Games, bouncy houses, fire trucks, meet police officers, firefighters, parks and recreation departments, and K-9, Let's Eat Out food carts.