The annual National Night Out for Greene County organized and hosted by the Linton Police Department has grown every year but this year it’s taking a big leap forward in the number of organizations and businesses that will be participating.
Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell said the event has been building up every year but this year there’s been an overwhelming response by people and businesses who want to be a part of it.
As of last Friday, Jerrell said they were expecting at least 74 participants, with the old favorites returning, joined by several new organizations including local Union IBEW and Holtsclaw Tractor Supply in Switz City.
Some of the returning participants include the Bloomfield R.O.T.C., Linton Chamber of Commerce, Linton-Stockton Schools, Wabash Valley Corrections, Linton Elks Lodge, Greene County Shriners, Indiana Rail Road and many more.
Many of these organizations will be handing out free samples or something special. Others will be distributing information and answering questions about the services they offer.
As usual, there will be a bounce house for the kids and a bounce obstacle course plus a water slide.
Demonstrations of K-9 officers is always popular and most law enforcement agencies in the county and surrounding area will be setting up tents staffed by officers and other personnel to meet and greet children as well as adults.
There will be live music on the stage provided by the Matt Watson Band preceded by the National Anthem by Tera Orman and the presentation of the Colors by American Legion Post 22.
A big draw, especially for the youngsters, is the prizes which have gotten more impressive every year.
Jerrell said the local National Night Out organization spent $2,000 this year on the special prizes plus they received donations from individuals and businesses. There are at least 30 significant prizes worth approximately $50 up to $300-400, plus a number of lesser prizes.
Among the prizes this year: Bicycles, a PlayStation 4, an inflatable water slide, an X-Box, laptop computers, plus several bundles.
Two bundles, one for a girl and one for a boy, are camping kit bundles that include a tent, a sleeping bag, a camping chair, lantern, fishing pole and tackle box.
A baby bundle is a complete kit for a very young child that includes a stroller, a portable playpen, diapers, electronic thermometer, a baby monitor and other items.
Anyone who wants to win a prize must register at the red and white tent right behind the putt-putt golf area and in front of the stage, then travel around to various booths to get their tickets verified, then place their ticket into the hat for prize they want to win. There are prizes for children ages one through 17 and some adult prizes as well.
Jerrell said National Night Out in Greene County wanted to extend a special thank you to Bloomfield Town Marshal Ken Tharp and Holtsclaw Sales in Switz City – they will be providing a trolley service to shuttle visitors back and forth from the parking areas in the back of the park to the event areas in the front, and to the Bloomfield R.O.T.C. for going above and beyond to help with setup and take down.
As for refreshments, bottled water is free and National Night Out in Greene County will offer free hot dogs and chips to all youth who attend.
Everyone is invited and organizers are prepared for a big turn-out.
There are no plans for a rain date. Jerrell said if it rains, National Night Out will still be going on (unless the weather turns dangerous) so come on out and enjoy.