The Borough of Moscow recently joined thousands of communities in celebrating National Night Out in August.

The event took place from 6 to 9 p.m. on August 2 at the Borough Building, in Centennial Park, at Rotary Park, and in businesses throughout the borough. An estimated 500 people attended the event, according to Moscow’s Chief of Police, Ivy Brenzel.

According to the National Night Out website, this annual community-building campaign promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer and more caring places to live.

In addition, National Night Out enhances the relationship between the general public and law enforcement officers while bringing back a true sense of community and provides an opportunity to bring police and community members together under positive circumstances.

National Night Out occurs in thousands of communities in all fifty states, in U.S. territories, and on U.S. military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts, and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and more.

Chief Brenzel related that Moscow has been celebrating National Night Out since she became police chief 15 years ago. This year’s event began at the Borough Building with a proclamation from Mayor Rose Marie Warner, followed by an opening flag ceremony featuring members of Boy Scout Troop 132 and Cub Scout Pack 126.

The 2018 theme for the event was “Make a Call, Make a Difference.” After the flag was raised, winners of the children’s poster and essays contests addressing that theme were announced. This was followed by a balloon release accompanied by music from the Moscow Borough Police Bagpiper.

New this year was “Coffee with a Cop,” a change from the usual fingerprinting of children that has taken place at previous events. People were invited to participate in car seat safety checks, to learn about the RAD/r.a.d. KIDS self-defense and safety program, to try their luck with a piñata, to experience the DUI goggles, and more.

A basket raffle with prizes donated by local businesses was held in the Borough Building, and all National Night Out participants received ten free raffle tickets. Additional tickets were available for purchase, with all proceeds from ticket sales donated to Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.

Face painting by JoJo the Clown, tables with displays and activities sponsored by area businesses, a bounce house, light refreshments, an antique concrete truck, a lemonade stand, a juggler, music, and horse-drawn carriage rides were among the other activities offered. Many businesses hosted open house during the event to connect with community members.

A brief ecumenical prayer service was held at St. Catherine’s Church, followed by a candlelight walk with area clergy. The walk was escorted from the church to the Borough Building by the Moscow Borough Police Department and Moscow Volunteer Fire/EMS personnel.

The event concluded with closing remarks from Chief Brenzel. She thanked folks for participating in National Night Out, noting that the borough has won an award with the National Association of Town Watch every year.

Chief Brenzel thanked event organizers, sponsors, business participants, and volunteers, stating, “Through National Night Out, Moscow Borough has been able to showcase our community pride and spirit.”