Washington Township held their annual National Night Out event on Tuesday, Aug 3 and expected over 2,000 people to attend.
“Vendors are giving away water ice and things like that and there are other vendors here selling things,” said Washington Township Mayor Joann Gattinelli. “There are games and things for the kids to play and everything is free including the hamburgers.”
The event opened at 6 p.m. and officer of the Washington Township Police Department had to close the parking lots of Washington Lake Park soon after due to the overwhelming attendance. Patrons were parking in nearby neighborhoods and in parking lots on the opposite side of the park just to get as close as they could to the event. According to Gattinelli, over 2,000 food vouchers were distributed to residents and more people were expected to attend.
Residents from in and around the township came out to enjoy free food and take-aways from many different local venors and organizations. Many first responder organizations brought out their many different types of trucks including the Washington Township Fire Department, Police Department and Emergency Medical Services. Each organization had their vehicles open for young children to explore.
First responders were also lined up to take their turn in the dunk tank, courtesy of the WTPD. Those who received a dunking included Chief of WTPD, Patrick Gurcsik, Ofc. John Freitag, Fire Fighter Adam Seczech and Council President Sean Longfellow.
The tank was not the only form of entertainment available for children and parents. Residents were able to enjoy multiple bounce house activities along with small scale paint ball. They were also able to throw their name in bucket for a chance to win one of ten children’s bicycles being raffled off by the WTPD. The deprtment also put on a K9 demonstration which opened with K9 Dax jumping out from a Drug Enforcement Adminstration helicopter.
Gurcsik is hopeful that all of these activities and prizes are enough to name Washington Township as having the Best National Night Out event in the nation. The township applied for this award in the category of under 50,000 residents and will be sending in photos and a report of the night in September.
“We couldnt have asked for better weather,” Gattinelli said. “We really excited about the contest for best National Night Out.”