Vail Daily column: National Night Out is Aug. 1 | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: National Night Out is Aug. 1

Sheriff James Van Beek
Valley Voices
James van Beek

National Night Out events

All Eagle County events take place Tuesday, Aug. 1

Vail

• 5 to 7 p.m. — Stephens Park, West Vail

Hosted by: Vail Police Department

Avon

• 6 to 8 p.m. — The Aspens Community Park, 901 W. Beaver Creek Blvd.

• 6 to 8 p.m. — O’Neal Spur Park in Wildridge, 2799 Old Trail Road

• 6 to 8 p.m. — Eaglebend Apartments, 10 Stonebridge Drive

• 6 to 8 p.m. — Avon Elementary School soccer field, 850 W. Beaver Creek Blvd.

Hosted by: Avon Police Department and town of Avon communities

Eagle-Vail

• 5 to 8 p.m. — Eagle-Vail Pavilion, 538 Eagle Drive

Hosted by: Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and Eagle-Vail community

Eagle

• 5 to 8:30 p.m. — Brush Creek Pavilion, 909 Capitol St.

Hosted by: Eagle Police Department and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office

Basalt

• 5 to 8 p.m. — Triangle Park at Willits, 231 Robinson St.

Hosted by: Basalt Police Department and Basalt & Rural Fire Protection District

National Night Out is an annual event held on the first Tuesday in August (Florida and Texas schedule theirs in October, due to heat) to celebrate community, safety and service. Neighbors gather to enjoy an evening of good food, music and great conversation with friends old and new.

For 34-years, law-enforcement agencies have come together to create an evening under the stars that is filled with fun and games for the entire family. Joining us are Eagle County’s first responders, bringing with them fire trucks, ambulances and, in some areas, helicopters. There will be interesting discussions with the Vail Mountain Rescue team, as well as wildlife experts with the U.S. Forest Service.

This is a family picnic with free food and a chance to chat and laugh with people who may not be on your daily radar. You may see one another at the grocery store, school or place of worship, yet have not officially met. This is your chance.

In a park with children playing and dogs running around, families get an opportunity to freely discuss their hopes and dreams, along with their concerns, with those they have selected to protect them. Community-support programs are discussed, along with individual concerns, in an open and friendly atmosphere. Sometimes, it is simply an introduction to your fellow neighbors, whose career decision is to help others by placing themselves on the front line of danger. The uniform they wear represents the value they place upon creating a more caring place to live.

Every year, approximately 38 million people across the country gather in nearby parks and public venues to honor their commitment to one another — to be able to raise families with the inspiration of providing a safe environment and a promising future.

At a time of un-relinquishing political divide, we defy those limitations and reach across limiting beliefs to bond over our common strengths. Our diversity is our greatest asset, and in a community as multidimensional as ours, we define grassroots as a pledge to have one another’s backs, to grow in unity and to value the incredible life we share in Eagle County.

“National Night Out triumphs over a culture that isolates us from each other and allows us to rediscover our own communities,” said Kay Bailey Hutchison, NATO ambassador and former U.S. Senator, on the National Night Out website.

We cannot celebrate community without you. This year, Eagle County has several locations, with events running between 5 and 8:30 p.m.

In the spirit of camaraderie, we encourage those unable to attend their local event to turn on their porch lights as a symbol of welcome and step outside to celebrate with their neighbors. Officers on duty will gladly stop by to say hello.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office coordinates and proudly participates in sponsoring this amazing annual event. We join our local police departments in looking forward to partying with our neighbors and enjoying the incredible community of people we are so honored to protect. See you on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

James Van Beek is the Eagle County sheriff. You can reach him at james.vanbeek@eaglecounty.us.