The 2nd Annual Night to Unite (formerly National Night Out) celebration will be invading West Fargo's Elmwood Park on Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 5 to 9 p.m., filled with a variety of fun activities, especially for the younger children, including a host of educational learning experiences, demonstrations, entertainment, food vendors, and information booths.
Sponsored annually by the West Fargo Police Department, the event continues to carry the same theme and focus, that of neighborhoods joining together in an effort to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for participation in local anticrime programs, strengthen community spirit, and most importantly, send a message to criminals that local citizens are organized and fighting back.
West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen praised the activity, saying Night to Unite has evolved into one of West Fargo's biggest major events, adding the staff at the police department couldn't be happier.
"Night to Unite provides an excellent opportunity for everyone to actually join as a neighborhood and/or a community, and grants the many people that provide various services to our community a chance to inform the public about those services," Rasmussen said.
"It also provides the opportunity for people to visit with police, fire, ambulance personnel and others about their work, our community and learn that emergency providers are truly real people, (just like them) but have an extremely varied and sometimes exciting job! Night to Unite provides an opportunity to see and learn about the specialized equipment utilized by emergency responders, meet in person those that serve, and hopefully simply enjoy a wonderful night as a neighborhood."
The annual event is indeed an extremely popular one, anticipated by hundreds of families.
On that note, attendance figures continue to make their way upward each year, with last year's total estimated at 3,000 people.
Members of the West Fargo Police Department staff are working hard to ensure that those attending have a great time again this year. Participating entities will also include members of other law enforcement agencies, civic groups, and businesses.
The schedule of activities will include: a flag raising ceremony at 6 p.m. presented by the West Fargo AMVET Post and the West Fargo VFW color guard and 119th Civic Air Patrol/Happy Hooligan's Cadet Squadron; Clowns from the Entertainment Company, sponsored by the Silver Dollar Bar from 6 to 8 p.m.; Halftime by Sheri at 6:15 p.m.; Dog Obedience demonstration by Doug Spieker and Fargo Harley-Davidson rides, both starting at 6:30 p.m.; West Fargo Tae Kwon Do demonstration at 6:45 p.m.; West Fargo Varsity and Junior Varsity Packatahnas at 7 p.m. Red River Valley Show Team featuring their radio-controlled miniature aircraft show at 7:15 p.m.; and a demonstration by the West Fargo Fire Department at 7:45 p.m.
Bounce and Slide Inflatable Rides donated by Games to Go will also be featured the entire evening from 5 to 9 p.m., as will the free "m.i.l.k" Child ID from Farmer's Insurance.
A variety of other activities will also be featured by a variety of local groups including: FM Ambulance, a fire safety house, military demonstrations, roll over simulator demo, free helicopter rides, local mascots, plus food vendors and over 50 community service booths on display.
There will also be free ice cream floats, cotton candy, caricatures by Xcel Energy and face painting by the West Fargo cheerleading team.
Youngsters will also be able to acquire a West Fargo city bike license for $1 by supplying the make, model, size and serial number of their bicycle.
Sponsors for the event include: Brokerage Printing, Cargill, Cass Clay Creamery, Cass County Electric Cooperative, Cheney Motor Sports, City of West Fargo, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Farmers Insurance, Monsanto, Silver Dollar Bar and Choppers Grill, Valley Sporting Goods, West Fargo VFW Post 7564, West Fargo Pioneer, West Fargo Police Association, West Fargo Police Department, West Fargo AMVETS Post 8, West Fargo Park District, West Fargo Fire Department, West Fargo Exchange Club, West Fargo VFW Color Guard, West Fargo VFW Ladies Auxiliary, and the West Fargo Visitor's Committee.
There is no admission charge to the event and there will be plenty of free parking. Elmwood Park is located at 500 13th Ave. W. For additional information contact the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500 or visit their website at www.westfargopolice.com.