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.
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.
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.
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.
To stay up to date with the Berlin Police Department, visit https://www.facebook.com/berlinpd/.