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National Night Out set for Elmwood Park

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Plans are being finalized for West Fargo Fargo's 13th annual National Night Out observance which will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7, at Elmwood Park, 500 13th Ave. W.

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Hosted by the West Fargo Police Department, National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for participation in local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit, and most importantly, send a message to criminals that local neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

The event involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhoods, and local officials from West Fargo and surrounding areas.

Each National Night Out is packed with fun and excitement, especially for the younger children always eager to participate, as well as a variety of educational learning experiences that hopefully will leave a marked and lasting impression.

This year's event promises to be no exception, with a full slate of activities featuring exhibits, demonstrations, food vendors, entertainment, free kid care ID kits, information booths - everything adding up to great family fun.

Police Chief Arland Rasmussen reaffirms the family connection, saying that National Night Out provides the perfect opportunity for families to come together to learn more about specific areas including military, law enforcement, etc. "There's a wide variety of things to keep peoples' interest and it's interesting in that it unites a lot of groups that provide services that people might like to learn more about."

He's also hoping for good weather, with the event only rained out one time. "We've really been fortunate in the past to have excellent weather and we are hoping for that again."

Special activities include: police and fire displays and demonstrations; bike licenses sold for $1 (bring bike); the West Fargo Exchange club assisting families with free ChoicePrint ID kits; a flag raising ceremony presented by the West Fargo VFW Color Guard, West Fargo AMVETS Post 8, and the 119th Civil Air Patrol/Happy Hooligans Cadet Squadron; and the West Fargo VFW Post and Ladies Auxiliary serving free ice cream floats, donated by Cass Clay Creamery and Coca-Cola, and cotton candy.

Target, this year's national sponsor for National Night Out, will also have team members at the information booths at each of the park entrances to greet, provide information and address safety to those who attend.

Other events include clowns from the Entertainment Company sponsored by the Silver Dollar Bar, Earle "Bud" Myers Search and Rescue Dog "Barnaby," Harley Davidson motorcycle rides sponsored by the Fargo Harley Owners Group, Tae Kwon Do demonstrations, Hawkeye from the FM Red Hawks, MeritCare LifeFlight helicopter, North Dakota Army National Guard Drug Intelligence Helicopter, Military Humvees from the North Dakota Army National Guard and the 119th Wing Security Forces Squadron, a Quick Buckle-Up Challenge, sponsored by SADD, the Red River Zoo, Climbing Wall, sponsored by the West Fargo Boy Scout Troops 232 and 213, Dog Obedience demonstrations, Red River Show Team-Miniature Aircraft Show, Games Galore, sponsored by the West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce, free face painting by the West Fargo Cheer Team, sponsored by Michael's Arts and Crafts, performances by the West Fargo Varsity Packatahnas and Halftime by Sheri, and caricatures, sponsored by Xcel Energy.

A number of local sponsors always pitch in to help make the National Night Out a huge success.

For additional information contact the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500 or visit the Web site at www.NationalNightOut.net.

khuber@westfargopioneer.com

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