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Night to Unite returns to Elmwood Park

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After a year's absence due to a rainout in 2011, Night to Unite is back hosted by the West Fargo Police Department, on Tuesday, August 7, from 5 6to 9 p.m. at Elmwood Park in West Fargo, 500 13th Ave. W.

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And not to worry. West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen said "we've ordered great weather for the first Tuesday evening of August, which this year is Aug. 7, so please join us in Elmwood Park for a fun evening with family, neighbors and friends "

Rasmussen added he's "amazed how Night to Unite has evolved into such an anticipated West Fargo event.  This past year I have been reminded by many people that they missed not being able to attend last year."

Pulling off the annual event is no small task and one police department personnel take very seriously. Hosting Night to Unite is about a seven month project.  Several staff members start calling to reserve space and commodities in January and as the time draws closer additional staff assist and all staff are involved at the actual event except for those actually taking calls for service during that time.

With its popularity, Rasmussen said Night to Unite has become the second largest event hosted in and by the City of West Fargo with West Fest being the largest. "The evening remains a true family event, fun for all ages. We try hard to limit the vendors to organizations that provide a wide variety of services to our community.  We have a limited number of food vendors, so the only cost to attend this event is if you elect to eat something."

Citizens from West Fargo and the surrounding communities are encouraged to attend and enjoy an evening filled with entertainment, food vendors, demonstrations, and information booths.

The annual theme of "Neighbors Joining Together" remains the same offering up an evening of fun for the whole family in the form of a variety of activities, most suited for the younger children, including educational learning experiences, demonstrations, entertainment, food vendors, and information booths.

The goal of the event is to bring neighborhoods together to promote 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 will not tolerate crime and are prepared to fight back.

On that note, West Fargo Police Department members will be concentrating their efforts on ensuring that everyone attending has a great time. Working toward that goal will also be members of other law enforcement agencies, civic groups, and a variety of businesses and civic organizations.

The schedule 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 performance at 6:15 p.m.; Fargo Harley-Davidson motorcycle rides starting at 6:30 p.m.; West Fargo Tae Kwon Do demonstration at 6:45 p.m.; West Fargo Packatahnas Varsity and Junior Varsity at 7 p.m. Police K-9 demo with Officer Pete Neilsen and Disco at 7:15 p.m.; and West Fargo Fire Department demonstration 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 number 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, Cass Clay Creamery, Cass County Electric, Cheney Motor Sports, City of West Fargo, Coco-Cola Bottling Company, IdeaOne, Impact Adz, Newman Signs, RentAll Store, Silver Dollar Bar, Target, Valley Sporting Goods, West Fargo Exchange Club, West Fargo Fire Department, West Fargo Parks and Recreation, West Fargo Pioneer, West Fargo Police Association, West Fargo Police Department, and the West Fargo Visitor's Committee.

There is no admission charge to Night to Unite and there will be plenty of free parking. For additional information contact the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500 or visit their website at www.westfargopolice.com.

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