The Spring Grove Fire Department was on hand at the National Night Out to demonstrate what it takes to use a fire hose as well as explain what a firefighter does. Firefighters Danny Neuzil, left, and Ken Waldenberger, right, helped these two children handle the hose while spraying water over the field just north of the Fest Building. PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD
The Spring Grove Fire Department was on hand at the National Night Out to demonstrate what it takes to use a fire hose as well as explain what a firefighter does. Firefighters Danny Neuzil, left, and Ken Waldenberger, right, helped these two children handle the hose while spraying water over the field just north of the Fest Building. PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Tuesday was a beautiful summer evening and Spring Grove area community members enjoyed the weather as they gathered together to enjoy a delicious meal and conversation during the Spring Grove Police Department’s 14th National Night Out.

The attendees were treated to a meal of hot dogs, pork burgers, baked beans, chips, and beverages. Children of all ages enjoyed the free icees and freshly-spun cotton candy as well as inflatables and activities provided by J&J Amusements.

“We are very thankful for the people who came to the event,” commented Spring Grove Police Chief Paul Folz. “If it weren’t for them, we would have no event. Our officers and the Reserve Unit and their significant others do a lot of work to help make the event possible. There would be no way that I could put on an event as big as this by myself; with their help, we try and make the event bigger and better each year.”

This year members of the Spring Grove Fire Department were on hand with their trucks and hoses set up for an interactive demonstration.

“Their demonstration was to give people an idea of the equipment that they use and I think that people also discovered the commitment that the fire department personnel has for learning how to use the equipment and what it takes to use it at an actual scene.”

About 400 people attended the event. At the close of the evening, door prizes were given out with assistance from the 2014 Syttende Mai Royalty. The prizes were donated by the Minnesota Twins, Wal-mart (La Crosse), A-1 Fire Protection (La Crosse), All Star Bowling Lanes (La Crosse), the La Crosse Visitors Bureau, and Kristy and Paul Folz.

"The goal of National Night Out is that if people know their neighbors personally, they are more apt to pay attention and call if something doesn't seem quite right at their neighbor's house," added Folz.

National Night Out was created in 1984 as an effort “to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back,” states their website, www.nationalnightout.org. The first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states. Now, more than 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide take part in the event.