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Night Out celebrations help build community bonds

Festivities help spread message of safety, crime prevention

July 30, 2012

The Oak Creek, Franklin and Hales Corners police departments are gearing up for the annual National Night Out celebrations that help neighbors socialize with each other while learning valuable tips for preventing crime and staying safe.

And there will be plenty of games, refreshments and other entertainment for the whole family as well.

Franklin offers plenty to do

Kids will have the chance to jump around in inflatable bouncy houses, watch the Flight for Life helicopter land and check out a BearCat armored response vehicle at Franklin's National Night Out, taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Franklin Public Library, 9151 W. Loomis Road.

But that's not all that's planned, Franklin Police officer Shawn Harrison said.

Also on tap: canine demonstrations, a disc jockey to provide music, face-painting, a Survive Alive house, a dunk tank, a variety of games and adult-sized tricycle races.

Cho Sen Karate will give a demonstration at 6:30 p.m.; the helicopter landing is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.

Among the vehicles on display will be the BearCat, making its first appearance, and a Fire Department ladder truck, police squad, Department of Public Works equipment and even a race car.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office mounted patrol will be on hand to visit with the families in attendance, allowing people a chance to see a police horse up close.

Franklin police officers will be available to answer questions about crime prevention and the many other community-oriented policing programs offered, Harrison said. Free crime prevention and other safety materials will be available.

Information booths manned by local groups and businesses will offer tips about all forms of health and safety, from fighting tobacco use to the Safe Place for Newborns program. Free handouts are expected.

Harrison estimated that the annual event, now in its eighth year, draws upward of 1,000 visitors.

"Every year it gets bigger and there are more and more businesses involved," he said.

There will be plenty of food available for purchase. Cousins Subs, Crossroads Pizza, Baker's Square and Knights Popcorn will be on site. Target and Menards have donated plenty of free water for guests to drink.

Oak Creek fireworks on tap

Recent rains allowed Oak Creek to lift its ban on burning, so the fireworks at city's National Night Out are back on the schedule.

The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7, starting at the Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Ave.

Information booths hosted by various safety and community groups will be present, with giveaway goodies likely, and a limited number of NOAA Weather Radios will be available for purchase for $10.

Guests can enter the Passport to Safety raffle for a chance to win a 51-inch Samsung high-definition plasma television from American TV, among other prizes.

The Re/Max balloon will be on display, and people can sign up for a chance to win a ride in it.

About 6 p.m., Sky Warn will present a program to teach people to become official weather spotters.

Children's Theater Group will present Yell and Tell, a program to help kids understand the best way to react when in a potentially dangerous situation, at 7 p.m.

About 8:30 p.m., families are invited to take part in the flashlight walk to the Oak Creek High School grounds, where the fireworks show will take place. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs for seating on the ball field. Due to stadium construction, there will not be any seating there, said Kim Bogadi of the Community Resources Department.

Live music in Hales Corners

"This is a night for the community and law enforcement to promote awareness toward crime prevention and public safety," Sgt. Paul Brantman said of Hales Corners' National Night Out celebration.

The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7 at Hales Corners Park.

Flashback is set to provide live musical entertainment for the roughly 500 expected visitors, and police, fire, Army National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard and other emergency response vehicles will be on display. Their highly trained operators will be available to answer questions.

Kids also can take a bounce in the inflatables, have their faces painted, get a temporary tattoo and take home a balloon, Brantman said.

"It's an evening for neighbors to get to know neighbors," he said.

Community groups and businesses will staff information booths there as well.

Food and drink will be available for purchase.

If you go

WHAT: Oak Creek National Night Out

WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7

WHERE: Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Ave. (fireworks at the high school)

If you go

WHAT: Franklin National Night Out

WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 6

WHERE: Franklin Public Library, 9151 W. Loomis Road

If you go

WHAT: Hales Corners National Night Out

WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 6

WHERE: Hales Corners Park, on New Berlin Road, just west of 116th Street

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