It keeps growing each year.
I can remember when National Night Out first began 15 years ago, you could pick your place to park at Elmwood and have plenty of room walking the grounds visiting the vendors and taking in the fledgling activities related to the educational experience.
Not the case anymore, but the extra congestion only adds to the excitement.
The event just continues to grow a little stronger each year, last year hosting approximately 3,000 guests, and if all goes well this year, organizers hope to topple those numbers. The only change this year will be the name, recently dubbed Night to Unite to correlate with the name change affiliation endorsement by the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association Board.
For the most part, the weather each year has been a godsend, with Mother Nature typically cooperating and if there is any negative at all, it might be conditions are a little too hot temperature wise. The mosquito threat this summer in West Fargo has also been minimal, so no bother in that regard either.
A great deal of planning and cooperation goes into pulling off an event of this magnitude, made possible annually by the commitment of West Fargo Police department staff as well as the huge slate of co-sponsors who are always more than eager to be associated with this wholesome family event with its far-reaching effect of reinforcing awareness about crime and drug prevention, generating support for participation in local anticrime programs, and strengthening neighborhood spirit in its resolve to deter and fight crime.
The event is geared for the entire family and it's no wonder the little kids especially love the evening with the ever growing number of hands-on demonstrations they can individually be a part of, including the motorcycle rides conducted by the Harley Owners Group members, always a strong draw with long lines not the exception but the rule; the free treats, i.e. ice cream and cotton candy; the fire department demonstrations, the list goes on and on.
So if you have little children, grandchildren or friends looking for something exciting and varied to do Tuesday evening, head on over to Elmwood Park on west 13th Avenue and take in what the four-hour session has to offer. You'll be amazed by the demonstrations, displays and the camaraderie that prevails.
All in all, as an evening filled with interacting activity, it just doesn't get any better. The educational information co-mingled with the excitement and fun is priceless, conveying loud and clear the importance of community togetherness and the role everyone plays in ensuring the quality, sanctity and strengthening the safety of small town life and quiet neighborhoods.