Van Beek: Head out for National Night Out
National Night Out is an annual event, held on the first Tuesday in August, to celebrate community, safety and service. Across the nation, neighbors gather to enjoy an evening of good food, music, games, safety demonstrations, visits from various first responder organizations and simply great conversation with friends, old and new.
For 37 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. After a challenging year of limited social contact, this is an opportunity to reach out to those who, through it all, continued to serve and protect and did so with pride and a genuine desire to help their friends and neighbors. The uniform they wear represents the value they place upon creating a more caring place to live.
Community first is a theme that surrounds the celebration each year. 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 Group, as well as wildlife experts with the U.S. Forest Service. Children will enjoy the lights and sirens as well as climbing aboard big, fun trucks.
It’s a chance to visit with people who may not be on your daily radar, but who you see at the grocery store, school events, places of worship or even just mowing the lawn. This is your chance to say hello.
Some of it feels very old school, with children playing in the park, dogs running around, footballs being tossed and people of all ages sitting around picnic tables discussing everything from important national issues to the best deals at Costco.
Every year, around 38 million people across the country gather in nearby parks and other public venues to honor their commitment to one another, and the opportunity to raise their families in an inspiring and safe environment.
We cherish the diversity of our community, coming together as we share our common values of family, friendship, respect and a deep appreciation of one another and our environment. We recognize that living here is a privilege that few attain and it’s the bond that unifies us all.
This year Eagle County has several locations, with events running between 5-8 p.m.
A partial list of partnerships include:
Agencies: Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle Police Department and the Town of Gypsum:
Where: Lundgren Theater
Come out for: Free food from Ekahi Grill and El Bajon Churros, live music by Joe Hanley and members of the Renegade Sons, a “Dunk a Deputy” dunk tank, bounce houses, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Colorado State Patrol, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Build-a-Pet with Colorado Zoo Go, Vail Health, Mountain Youth, face painting and a Classic Air Medical flight team helicopter and more.
Agencies: The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the town of Minturn
Where: Little Beach Park and Amphitheater
Come out for: Free food from Rocky Mountain Tacos, Sundae ice cream, fun activities, live acoustic music by local artists, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Colorado State Patrol, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Build-a-Pet with Colorado Zoo Go, Mountain Youth, and more.
Agencies: The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and town of Basalt Police Department
Where: Willits Triangle Park
Come out for: Roaring Fork Fire Rescue and the Basalt Lions Club are planning a fun evening with a free BBQ and drinks from the Basalt Lions Club, music, bounce houses and activities.
Agencies: Avon Police Department
When: 6-8 p.m.
Locations: The Aspens (mobile home) community park, O’Neal Spur Park in Wildridge, Eaglebend Apartments, Avon Elementary soccer field
Come out for: Ambulance, fire and police will offer Inflatable jumpers, music, food, beverages and a raffle.
Agencies: Town of Vail Police Department and community partner
When: 5-7 p.m.
Where: Vail Fire Station 3, located at 2399 N. Frontage Rd.
Come out for: Free barbecue, bounce house for kids and activities with the town of Vail and first responder agencies.
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 to step outside to celebrate with their neighbors. Officers on duty will gladly stop by to say hello.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office works throughout the year on many community events, and proudly coordinates National Night Out with our local police departments in celebrating with our neighbors and enjoying the incredible community of people we are so honored to protect.
Anyone interested in volunteering or donating goods or services, please contact Amber Barrett at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at 970-328-8512 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you Aug. 3.
James van Beek is the Eagle County sheriff. You can reach him at email@example.com.