Law Enforcers, Musicians, Fireworks and Weather All Shine for National Night Out
By Julie Perine on August 08, 2012
After enjoying complimentary food, novelties, live music and swimming, many attendees of Tuesday’s National Night Out stuck around for the show.
Some remained around Bridgeport Pool or in lawn chairs on the Civic Center grounds. Others gathered around the fountains nearer Main Street or watched through the windshields of their cars.
It was a good night to be a Bridgeport resident – or a resident of a nearby town enjoying the festivities.
Lisa and Bob McKitrick said their family has attended for the last few years. After each got free “take out” from the booth of his choice – Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, BW3s*, Wendy’s or McDonalds – they came together to take it all in.
Emcee Ryan Nicewarner encouraged attendees to get a ticket, making them eligible for prize drawings for 32-inch flat-screen TVs, Kindles, gift cards to local restaurants and much more.
Target, Sheetz and other local retailers passed out miniature backpacks, Frisbees, water bottles and other trinkets. Hometown locally-owned companies had all found their niche in the event. Some simply informed residents of the nature of their businesses; others passed out novelties, candy and coupons.
Pam Piatt was enjoying all of the above, but particularly focused on the socialization aspect of the event. She chatted with friends, neighbors and even a police officer or two. It’s a nice opportunity to get face-to-face with local law enforcers, she said.
All the while, kids splashed in the pool and jumped off diving boards, taking a break now and then to get some DippinDots ice cream, pizza or barbeque wings.
Bridgeport Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) members Lois Jenkins and Marvin Shelton mingled with the crowd and enjoyed every minute. They said they are privileged and proud to assist the Bridgeport Police Department and that was evident to those in attendance.
The FBI CJIS Division and Citizens Academy Alumni hosted a booth featuring the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Folks were lined up to learn about it.
Bridgeport Police Sgt. Robert Goodrich said he was glad to shake some hands and say hello to local kids.
Chief John Walker said he was quite overwhelmed with tonight’s turnout. The event’s overall growth is evident year to year, he said.
That year-to-year experience has enabled participating vendors to do some successful strategic planning, said Bridgeport Fire Chief Chuck Feathers.
“Some of the vendors have learned not to show up with 2,000 wings or sandwiches, then run out,” he said. “They bring them in 500 or so at a time and the food is more likely to last throughout the evening, accommodating people who come through later.”
People were happy, families united and residents rocked to live music. Those in uniform and bathing suits alike were sporting smiles.
The event was sponsored by Bridgeport Police Department, Bridgeport Parks & Recreation and the City of Bridgeport.