National Night Out events planned

PARKERSBURG — Law enforcement officers around the region and the country will join community members for food, fun and fellowship on Tuesday, Aug. 6 as part of the annual National Night Out celebration.

“The goal is to bring law enforcement and the community together to build relationships, positive relationships,” said Debbie Jeffrey, coordinator for Parkersburg’s event.

It’s the fourth year Parkersburg will be participating, but the event was established in 1984 as a way to promote cooperation between police and the people and neighborhoods they serve and protect.

“Each year it gets bigger and bigger,” Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said. “It gives us an opportunity to connect with the local children.”

This year’s event will be held at the City Park pool and adjacent new splash pad. Off-duty police officers and firefighters will attend, and representatives of the West Virginia Army National Guard and Peoples Bank will be on hand to lead games with the children, Jeffrey said.

There will be free food and drinks served out of the pool concession stand and free T-shirts provided to children under 12.

Martin said multiple businesses sponsor the event so the city doesn’t have to use public funds.

“If it wasn’t for our sponsors who donated to make this happen, we would never be able to have shirts and food,” Jeffrey said.

Jeffrey said the event also sends a message to criminals that the community will work together with law enforcement. It’s being organized by city officials and citizens, including Neighborhood Watch leaders.

The Boys & Girls Club of Pleasants County is holding a National Night Out event from 6-9 p.m. Aug. 6 at Pleasants County Park in St. Marys. Activities will include a three-on-three basketball tournament, hot dog-eating contest, a dunk tank, free food and free admission to the Pleasants County Aquatic Center.

“The officers from the police department and the (Pleasants County) sheriff’s department are going to be there to hang out with the kids,” St. Marys Police Chief Bill Stull said.

The City of Glenville will bring together city, county and state law enforcement officials, along with firefighters, at its seventh annual National Night Out event, slated for 5-8 p.m. in the city square.

“It’s trying to get the community, especially the younger community (members), familiar with law enforcement,” Glenville Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick said.

Attendees will be able to take a ride on a fire truck and check out other first responder vehicles. There will be food and children’s activities as well.

Fitzpatrick said the 2018 event drew more than 200 people.

“It grows in numbers very well in the six years I’ve been involved with it,” he said.

The Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department will join in the activities this year as well, planning its own night out from 6-9 p.m. at the department on Harris Highway.

It’s a “time for the community to come down and hang out and see what we do and have fun,” Lubeck Fire Chief Mark Stewart said.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Department will bring a K9 unit and more. There will be fire trucks on display, a bounce house, a waterslide and free hot dogs, chips and drinks, Stewart said. In addition, Kona Ice will give away 500 free frozen treats.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com