DOBSON — A historically well attended event is back for its third consecutive year.
On Tuesday, the town of Dobson and the Dobson Police Department will host a National Night Out event. Though the town quit holding the event more than a decade ago, it has been a hit with locals since it was revived three years ago.
National Night Out events take place across the country on the first Tuesday in August. The town of Pilot Mountain also hosts such an event.
It is a “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community,” according to a website dedicated to such events.
Though Dobson hadn’t held a Night Out event in a number of years, Police Chief Shawn Meyers sought to hold a Night Out a few years ago for those reasons.
“This event gives our officers the opportunity to foster positive relationships with the community we serve,” said Meyers at last year’s event. “It’s a good event to bring the general public together with police officers and emergency personnel, to give them an opportunity to speak to one another and establish a rapport.”
Huge crowds have packed Dobson Square Park and the surrounding streets for the annual celebration in both of the past two years. Town Manager Josh Smith estimated 2016 attendance to be in excess of 1,500 people.
Smith based his estimate on the number of free hot dogs handed out at the event, and free hot dogs are on the menu again in 2017, said town Municipal Services Manager Misty Marion.
Once again, police officers and town staff will be grilling hot dogs, according to Marion, and free chips and drinks will also be served.
Other entities also have taken part in past Night Out events. Those include the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, the Dobson Rescue Squad, the Dobson Fire Department and area volunteer fire departments.
At the past two events, a rescue demonstration has headlined the evening. In staged training exercises, firefighters and members of the rescue squad worked to extricate crash victims from a car in 2015 and a crashed airplane in 2016.
“Unfortunately, we won’t have a rescue demonstration this year,” said Marion.
However, she said plenty of fun and activities will be available to those who drop by the park on Tuesday. Children will have the opportunity to play on inflatables, and folks can dunk Smith in a dunking a booth. Police officers will have DWI goggles. People can put them on and see how alcohol affects their ability to perform simple tasks such as walking.
Dobson’s Night Out event begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and should conclude around 8 p.m., according to Marion.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.