National Night Out returns to township on Aug. 3

Event noted with block party at the Berlin Farmers Market

EMILY LIU/The Sun On August 3, Berlin Police Department partnered with the Berlin Farmers Market to host National Night Out. Festivities include a petting zoo, complete with goats, a llama, chickens, ducks, and bunnies, pony rides, two bouncy houses, food trucks, and a vehicle extrication demonstration by EMS and the Berlin Fire Company.

The Berlin Police Department celebrated its fourth annual National Night Out on Aug. 3   with a large block party at the Berlin Farmers Market.

Last year’s outing was prohibited by COVID, but this year, the mart was bustling with people.

“This year, because of COVID and because of small businesses hurting, we decided that we wanted to do a singular, larger event that would really help support local businesses that suffered from COVID,” explained Berlin police officer Eric Wolf.

EMILY LIU/The Sun: At the Berlin Farmers Market on Aug. 3, the Berlin Police Department celebrate National Night Out with the Berlin community by making and handing out cotton candy.

In years past, National Night Out was celebrated with individual block parties organized by volunteers. This year, individual parties were replaced by one event at the farmers market that drew hundreds of people.

Wolf and other officers organized bouncy houses, pony rides and a petting zoo for kids, food trucks, live music from Gloucester Township residents Anthony Friedlander and the  DJ Ryan Saul. About 35 vendors were in attendance, along with eight food trucks, Ollie Gators Pub in Berlin sponsored a beer garden and other stands sold funnel cake, ice cream and apple cider donuts.

The mart also held a car show in its second parking lot, and the Berlin Fire Company and EMS demonstrated on how rescuers extricate people from their cars after an accident.

EMILY LIU/The Sun: On Aug. 3, for National Night Out, Berlin EMS and the fire department perform a vehicle extrication where they show people how they remove injured patients from cars after an accident.

Also at the event were local organizations that explained their resources to attendees,  including the Berlin Rotary Club and the Camden County Women’s Center. The latter posted a sign to encourage new volunteers who will be trained to work with domestic violence survivors. The Rotary club had a raffle and advertised its weekly meetings, held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the Palace Diner.

EMILY LIU/The Sun: The Berlin Rotary Club is one of local service groups attending National Night Out on August 3. Pictured here are several members from the rotary club including president Carol Chojnacki as well as Charles Watson, the governor of the New Jersey rotary club. The Berlin Rotary meet at Palace Diner on Monday Nights, and have members from both Berlin Township and Berlin Borough.
EMILY LIU/The Sun: A representative from Camden County Women’s Center comes out to Berlin Farmers Market on Aug. 3 for National Night Out to help spread awareness and recruit volunteers for the Domestic Violence Response Team. Volunteers are given a 40-hour training to prepare them for handling situations regarding domestic violence victims.

National Night Out seeks to bring people together so they can interact with local police and first responders in a positive environment. It was started in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch.

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