By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Aug. 2, 2018) The Berlin Police Department is inviting community members out for an evening of free family activities, food and live entertainment during the annual National Night celebration, Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 4-7 p.m. at Dr. William Henry Park on Flower Street.
Special Officer Claude Holland, who helped organize the event this year, said about 30 national and local agencies were contributing to the event, including Home Depot, Pepsi and Herr’s potato chips.
“It seems to grow by a couple participants each year, and we always have something different and something for everybody,” Holland said.
He said National Night Out would include giveaways from locals business and nonprofit organizations, health screenings, crafts and games for children, live music, and free hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and soda. Holland estimated annual attendance to be around 500 to 600 people.
This year, for the first time, attendees can sign up at no charge to win one of four children’s bicycles donated by Maryland Coastal Bays.
“Each child or parent that comes up to the Berlin Police tent will get one ticket, and about every 45 minutes we’ll make an announcement and somebody will take home a new bicycle,” Holland said.
One of the nonprofit groups planning to attend is the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee.
Robin Tomaselli said the group would raffle off local artwork and offer a craft project for children. She said they would also hang a piece of public art made by children during National Night Out last year.
“All of us at Arts and Entertainment agree the National Night Out is one of the best events that Berlin puts on,” Tomaselli said. “We wish that more people came out to it, because it really is just a fun evening that is completely community driven.
“There are so many vendors set up with free services that are doing nothing but reaching out into the community to provide information, school supplies to kids, and food and entertainment,” she continued. “It’s just a chance for people to come together and celebrate the community at its finest.”
Holland said Berlin Police had been involved in the event, part of a national campaign, for at least 20 years.
“It builds a much better relationship between the police and the town – it tends to show people that we’re not just out there to write tickets and arrest people,” Holland said. “We’re part of the community … and it’s just a good community event where everybody comes together and has fun, and there’s something for everybody to do.”