A 'Night' for fun: Annual Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday
BEMIDJI -- Looking for a night out with the family? The Bemidji Boys and Girls Club has you covered.
On Tuesday, the club will host the eighth annual Bemidji National Night Out celebration.
The National Night Out event was first started 32 years ago by the National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of national crime prevention programs. Bemidji is just one of more than 16,124 communities in both the United States and Canada that take part in the event, billed as a "Night against Crime."
Becky Bergquist, the director of resource development at the Boys and Girls Club, said the night will consist of multiple family activities, including model rocket launching and a bounce house.
"There will be a dunk tank, lawn games, face painting, and club tours of the facility," she said.
Last year's event drew about 200 people and the club is expecting more this year.
During the night, children will have the opportunity to meet with local uniformed police officers and firefighters and will also be able to see vehicles and equipment the safety organizations use.
A special vehicle will may also be making an appearance. Bergquist said the club is trying to get the Life Flight helicopter from Sanford Health to show at the event.
Bergquist said the goal is to get children used to the sight of safety officials so that, in a time of need, they can approach law enforcement and firefighters.
"They get to make that connection, to see that these are our friends -- the kids get a sense of who they are --that they're here to keep us safe and to protect us," she said.
During the children's events, there will be a free cookout for families. A blood drive will also be held.
"We're all part of making a safe community and this event really showcases that," Bergquist said.
The National Night Out will be 6 to 8 p.m. with the blood drive running from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information on the National Night Out, visit www.natw.org.
Night Out participating organizations:
The local Night Out event will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at The Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area, 1600 Minnesota Ave. NW. Here are the participating organizations:
• Sanford Health — Ambulance,
• Bemidji Fire Dept. — Fire Truck
• Bemidji Police Dept. — Police Car
• Bemidji Public Library — activities for ages 8 to 14
• Accidentally Cool Games — Display and opportunities for kids to try board games
• Crossroads Church — Yard Games, Balloon Animals
• Lucachick Architecture — Rocket Launching
• Rentertainment — Bounce House
• American Red Cross — Blood Drive
• BGCBA — Yard Games, Dunk Tank, Face Painting, Club Tours
• Target — Providing, Grilling and Serving the free meal