National Night Out began in 1984 to promote involvement in crime prevention activities through the efforts of the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). From Director Matt Peskin: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round. The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”
For many years, the City of Oronoco has hosted a National Night Out event at the Oronoco Park. This year’s event has come and gone – we hope you were able to make it – but if you couldn’t we’ve gathered a few interviews with people who did attend.
The City staff did an awesome job organizing the event, from the lovely park grounds to new games to an incredible list of door prizes. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Sandy, Rebecca, Cain and Travis for their efforts in assuring that the citizens had a great time. And it was! There were bouncy houses and great food, and plenty of things for the children to do, plus informational goody bags.
This post contains just a few interviews with people I talked to. Everyone was having a good time, but most of them didn’t want to be on camera…. (Nor am I the best cameraman out there so the clips are more than a bit wobbly).
Oronoco Fire Department and First Responders play an important part in Oronoco’s National Night Out! They have a very visible presence at the event, bringing several trucks plus other equipment to the event to help educate the public in their work within the community. Plus they put together water activities for the children, which is always fun to see.
Fire Department and First Responder volunteers were also involved in the bouncy houses, including being vigilant for safety and preventing overcrowded sliding situations. And in general just enjoying watching the children while catching up with friends. Everyone was having fun!
Taken well before the crowds showed up! This got really busy about ten minutes later.
We also had a visit from Romeo – a clown of extra-ordinary talent and humor! Teasing us with pizza and fish sticks… The park was alive with balloon animals and other creations! Romeo has been a member of the River City Rascals/Winona Clown Club since 1994. He typically does parades, charities, benefits with the Winona Clown Club.
This event would not have been the same, however, without the good food we were able to eat. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and cucumber salads were free to everyone who attended. And it was the hardworking members and volunteers of the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Committee who were manning the grills and serving people. They were glad to see people enjoying themselves! This committee sponsors part of the food and entertainment for Oronoco’s National Night Out through the funds raised during Gold Rush. They are also the most visible members of our community during the Gold Rush Weekend and work tirelessly to assure that visitors, vendors and citizens have a safe and interesting time.
Oronoco’s National Night Out and Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush are connected in more ways than this committee! Many members of the community attend and work at both, and it is important to celebrate our neighborhood camaraderie at these events and all year around. It is one of our strengths as a community.
Gold Rush is just days away! We hope to see you there!