National Night Out Strengthens Community Ties

Photo | Mac Kennedy Visiting with firefighters on National Night Out is a positive, personal experience for youth.

Photo | Mac Kennedy
Visiting with firefighters on National Night Out is a positive, personal experience for youth.

In its 35th year, the Kentlands & Lakelands National Night Out is a well-established, popular neighborhood event. Local neighborhoods join 16,000 communities across the country on the first Tuesday evening in August to focus on crime and safety issues like drug prevention, anti-crime programs and community involvement. The annual night also sends the message that residents, businesses and law enforcement are determined to fight back against crime.

It’s also a great opportunity to visit with your neighbors. “Not only is National Night Out an opportunity for the residents to get to know those who protect and serve them, but it’s also a great chance for people to get to know their own neighbors,” said Jud Ashman, mayor of Gaithersburg. “At one of the NNO events last week, the residents were telling me that this is the biggest neighborhood event they have all year. I’m hopeful that NNO will inspire our residents to get together and enjoy each other’s company more often, making us safer and also adding more ties to the fabric of our community.” Ashman attended the Kentlands & Lakelands National Night Out with Gaithersburg City Council members.

Visits by the local fire department and the Gaithersburg Police are the highlight of each year’s National Night Out. Kids took turns climbing aboard the fire truck and asking questions. McGruff the Crime Dog and Scout the Associa Supports Kids Dog made appearances. Kids also enjoyed moon bounces and other activities, including face painting and spray-on tattoos. After hours of fun and music, the night ended with the popular dive-in movie at the Kentlands pool.

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