National Night Out, an annual event that brings citizens and law enforcement together for a night of merriment, will be
This year's event celebrates 16 years of community collaboration and fun in
"The purpose of National Night Out is to promote the partnership between law enforcement and the public," said
National Night Out aims to bolster community policing, a concept pivoting around police officers becoming familiar with the residents in the communities in which they serve, working with citizens to reduce crime.
This year's events begin at
"I think it has proven itself time and time again," he said of NNO. "It brings the community together. All walks of life show up to the event."
Not only does Woolfolk say NNO "puts a human face on the P.D." with the festival atmosphere, he said it also "exposes kids to law enforcement in a positive way that will hopefully pay dividends in the future."
Woolfolk, a police officer with the JPD for 10 years, said all of Freeways members are either retired or former Marines and have ties to the community. They enjoy playing in the family-friendly atmosphere, which he said is rare because the event caters to all members of the family. Woolfolk added that folks can expect a "musical journey" from the band at NNO, from old school funk to contemporary songs.
The night culminates with a fireworks show at
City, county and military law enforcement will be on-hand at National Night Out with displays and interactive booths, including those from
Members of the SHP will be on hand to answer questions about what the SHP does and other questions about the road.
"It gives us a chance to...show that we are part of the
Oglesby added that it's an important part of their job to make that connection with the community and let them know they are here for their safety.
"National Night Out is a unique opportunity for the public and law enforcement to get to know one another," said Captain
According to organizers, 200 vendors and displays will be available for the community's perusal, such as military, law enforcement and emergency services displays, along with non-profits and craft vendors. According to
Car clubs will also display their vehicles.
Along with interactive booths, such as a giant chess board and life-size cut outs of JPD officers for people to take photos with, there will be a host of children's activities, including face painting and games.
Festival fare will be available for purchase, with cool treats such as shaved ice and ice cream, as well as festive foods including funnel cakes, crab cakes, candy apples, kettle corn, hot dogs and hamburgers. Food and vendors will be located just past the main stage where the live music will be playing. The fireworks display will set off near the water.
The celebration will also include a bicycle giveaway, but organizers warn that participants must be present to take home their bikes.
Admission to the event is free as is parking. A free shuttle service will run from three parking locations to take people to the park: the
The Aquarium at
According to Aquarium Public Relations Coordinator
McGruff the Crime Dog, Sparky the Fire Dog and the Aquarium's toothy shark mascot, Friendly Finley, will also be in attendance to spend time with families and promote neighborhood safety. According to Powers, the mascots "get out there and dance it up," making it a great time for everyone.
Top female finishers:
Top male finishers:
Want to go?
Park at the
For more information, visit Jacksonvillenc.gov.
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