National Night Out Recap
Clifton’s National Night Out celebration on Tuesday, August 1st was textbook-perfect in every way, from the weather (warm, no humidity, light breeze) to an assortment of vendors there to educate and provide resources, to delicious food and a fun movie at twilight. The Clifton Times was there to observe and learn about some of the many resources Clifton and Passaic County have to offer. Children played in a bouncy house near the lake and then looked at the many exhibits and activities geared toward them. The Clifton Recreation Department had games set up such as Pin the Mustache on Mario (a perfect tie-in for that night’s movie), supervised by counselors from the summer camp. There was face-painting, temporary tattoos, visits with Clifton Police Officers, and so much more. An eclectic soundtrack of tunes new and old was never so loud that it detracted from conversation but was just enough that a few songs made attendees want to dance the night away.
Adults strolled through the park and collected small plants to attract butterflies from the Clifton Beautification Committee, and there were plenty of resource materials from groups such as the Clifton Health Department, various mental health and substance abuse organizations, giveaways like tote bags, magnets, flashlights, and stress balls, as well as pamphlets, QR codes, and fact sheets.
The scents from such delicious foods as empanadas, shish kebabs, and burgers wafted through the crowd all night (however, being on the job the staff of the Clifton Times was too busy to partake, thus no reviews!) and there were opportunities to sit on a police motorcycle, admire the Clifton Police K9 dog, and chat with friends old and new. As dusk settled, Recreation Director Debbie Oliver and CASA President Tom Whittles thanked everyone who participated, and the heavily anticipated film began, much to the many children’s delight.
The event relies on dozens of volunteers and logistics are coordinated by many, including Recreation Director Debbie Oliver, Health Officer John Biegel, and Community Policing Division Sergeant Gary Giardina. National Night Out was designed to unite law enforcement, community resource groups, and citizens to empower them to work together to achieve safer communities in an atmosphere of trust and respect...and fun!