National Night Out back at Charles City

By Kelly Terpstra,

National Night Out started out with humble beginnings.

Informed, interested and involved — that was the initial goal of the community–based awareness group founded by Matt Peskin in Philadelphia in 1984.

By 2018, his campaign to help strengthen the bond between law enforcement and the communities they serve and patrol in has grown substantially.

Now more than 38 million people in over 16,000 communities have taken part in National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

It’s back in Charles City from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Central Park, and there will be no shortage of things to do.

The annual event that helps build neighborhood camaraderie with police and all the fun activities up at the park will be free.

A Jaws of Life demonstration is planned to take place in the parking lot behind Dean Jewelers and TJ Service. Three cars will be cut up by the Charles City Fire Department, AMR and Floyd County Search and Rescue. They’ll perform extractions, display how people are saved from accidents and how authorities get them out of vehicles.

The Mercy Air Med medical helicopter will also make a landing and offer tours of the life-saving rotorcraft.

Hidden in Plain Sight is a chance for adults to test their knowledge about the signs of teen alcohol or drug use. A staged room allows adults to look for items such as drug paraphernalia, simulated narcotics and other things that parents need to be aware that may reside unseen in their children’s rooms. This opportunity has been made possible by Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare and Floyd County FOCUS.

A back to school shoe drive, organized by Mackenzie Wilson, will also be present at the park. Wilson and a team of Valero volunteers paired up 120 set of shoes for kids at last year’s Back to School Bash in Charles City. Volunteers will also hand out backpacks full of school supplies and CC Cares will have a bike swap during the festivities.

Carnival games, pedal cars, train rides, bouncy inflatable games and putt-putt golf are some more of the fun options for kids to partake in.

Kids can also get an ID kit and have their fingerprints taken.

The National Guard will also bring its climbing wall for anyone interested in taking on that challenge.

A display of Jordy, the Charles City Police Department’s new K-9 officer, will take donations for his training and all costs associated with bringing him back to Charles City. Jordy fundraiser T-shirts will also be on sale at the display.

Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, not to mention chips and a drink, will all be served for free. Sno-cones, cotton candy and popcorn are some other treats that anyone can snack on when making their rounds at the event.