Raffles, food, entertainment planned for National Night Out at Meriden

Meriden – National Night Out returns to Hubbard Park this Tuesday, featuring performances, food, and raffles in a family-oriented environment. The program will be held from 5 to 8 pm and its rain date is August 3.

Neighborhood Council President Holly Wills said the National Night Out is organized in partnership by the neighborhood council and the Meriden Police Department. The Neighborhood Council is the parent organization of neighborhood associations throughout Meriden.

This year is the 18th Annual National Night Out. Wills noted that the event has been celebrated on a smaller scale in the past two years because of the pandemic.

It is a nationwide event, usually held on the first Tuesday of August every year. Wills said the event is completely free, including disc jockeys, bike raffles, karate demonstrations, hamburgers, hot dogs and popcorn.

Branches of the Fire Department, Amtrak Police, FBI and Army will be present at the event. Local bookmobiles, dance performances and K-9 performances will also be on display. More than 40 non-profit organizations will be showcasing their services to the community. Wills said a variety of sponsors and grants make this event possible.

The event is generally well attended by a diverse group of residents.

“It’s amazing to walk through the group, the different ethnicities you see there,” Wills said. “I just love hanging out with seniors who are enjoying the night sitting on their lawn chairs and just enjoying the music.”

Meriden Police Lieutenant Hector Cardona Jr., the Neighborhood Initiative unit commander, collaborates with the neighborhood council to ensure that a variety of law enforcement and emergency personnel participate in the National Night Out.

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“It’s a lot of fun for the community and it’s a great night,” he said of the event. He said the National Night Out is an opportunity for the officers to interact with the community.

He said the event gives officers an opportunity to engage face-to-face with individuals and families in an environment different from an emergency or law enforcement situation. “It gives us the opportunity to really dedicate time to the kids and families,” Cardona said.

“We enjoy doing this for the community and coming out of the community and showing support for each other,” Cardona said.

There are about 30 neighborhood associations in Meriden under the umbrella of the neighborhood council. The Neighborhood Initiative Unit aims for neighborhood associations to work together for neighbors and police officers. Neighborhood Initiative Unit officials attend meetings organized by neighborhood associations to discuss issues, provide data, and inform the community about things happening in the city.

To learn more about the neighborhood council, visit meridencona.wordpress.com/associations.

[email protected]: @KarlaSantosNews