Fun, food and information served at National Night Out

August 06, 2013|By DAVE MCMILLION |
  • Hunter Burker, 4, of Hagerstown checks out the cockpit of the Air Methods helicopter Tuesday during National Night Out at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — At the Healthy Smiles in Motion vehicle, parents and children could get information about a mobile dental clinic that offers services on a sliding scale for those with limited means.

At a Healthy Groove station, people could get advice on healthy living, including how to prepare nutritious meals.

The help came in the form of Ramsey’s Kitchen, where samples of grilled apple, pineapple and bananas sprinkled with cinnamon were being handed out.

The stations were featured in Hagerstown’s National Night Out, where residents could enjoy two hours of fun, food and helpful information Tuesday night at the city’s Fairgrounds Park.

National Night Out is held annually in communities. One of its central goals is to build partnerships between police and the public, and to show the criminal element that communities are fighting for their neighborhoods.

Crime-prevention tips are offered, and representatives from public safety agencies such as fire departments, police and rescue squads typically attend the events.

At the Hagerstown event, which was held from 6 to 8 p.m., children could also see a firetruck from Antietam Fire Co. A special treat was when a Life Net helicopter touched down on the park’s grounds.

Free food like hot dogs, chips and drinks were offered, and workers prepared enough food for 1,200 people, said Hagerstown police Officer Gerard T. Kendle, who is the department’s crime-free program manager.

About 1,100 people attended, which Kendle said was more than last year.

A DJ kept a steady flow of dance music going, and children enjoyed activities like face painting and inflatable attractions.

Maurissa Booth of Hagerstown said she mainly came to the event for the vendors. Booth said the helicopter was a big hit with her boys, and she came away with some coupons for Sweet Frog.

“We’ll be going over there,” Booth said.

The event was sponsored by Target, city government, Hospice of Washington County, Robert W. Johnson Community Center, We Care and North End Neighborhoods 1st.

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