Crowds turn out for Night Out

Meal, activities, and ice cream highlight community event

— Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Anne Blankenship Children sift through the sawdust for nickels Tuesday night during the National Night Out celebration at West Twin Park. The Nickel Scramble was hosted by Hamilton County Crimestoppers.

What could be better on a warm summer night than a grilled meal, music, fun with neighbors and free ice cream?

That’s what Hamilton County residents found when they attended the second annual National Night Out Tuesday night at West Twin Park. And attendance seemed to be up from last year.

“I think we did better this year than last year,” said Sheriff Doug Timmons, one of the events organizers. “I think the free meal and ice cream from Sweet Treats helped bring people out. And Mother Nature gave us just a perfect night.”

From 5 to 7 p.m., Stratford Stride grilled brats and hot dogs and Boy Scout Troop 17 served up the meal with chips, a drink and a cookie. Webster City Custom Meats provided the brats, and Hy-Vee, Fareway and Casey’s all provided items for the meal. Southfield Wellness Community brought in cookies, according to Timmons. Sweet Treats Ice Cream from Jewell served up cups of homemade ice cream, sponsored by Availa Bank.

The bouncy house, sponsored by WCF Financial, was a popular spot for the children attending. Peter Amstalden entertained the crowd with musical selections. Hamilton County Crimestoppers sponsored a nickel scramble and the National Guard brought in a climbing tower.

 Law enforcement agencies set up informational booths like this one sponsored by Hamilton County Conservation.

Families had a chance to meet officers with the Sheriff’s Office, Ellsworth-Jewell-Stanhope Police Department, Conservation officers, Webster City Fire Department, Webster City Police Department, Van Diest Medical Center, Iowa State Patrol, The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Department of Natural Resources and Motor Vehicle Enforcement. Many of the organizations had vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances and other equipment on display. They also had booths set up with educational information. Many of the officers also posed for photos with the kids attending.

Additionally, there were several other agencies, like ISU Extension, Building Families, Community and Family Resources, Crisis Intervention, Special Olympics and others, who shared a variety of information.

National Night Out, held on the first Tuesday in August, is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community, according to Timmons.

The National Guard brought in their climbing wall Tuesday night at the National Night Out held in West Twin Park. Kids were able to test their skills as they climbed to the top of the tower.

An inflatable bounce house and slide was a hit with children attending the National Night Out Tuesday at West Twin park.