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APD to host Community Night Out

While they urged everyone to stay inside last weekend, the city of Albemarle is urging everyone to come outside this weekend.

On Saturday, the entire city is invited to Community Night Out. The event will take place 5-8 p.m. at the YMCA Park. Along with the regular food, this year’s event will feature familiar activities like face painting, inflatables and horse rides. And also something a new.

“Our theme this year is field day,” Albemarle police officer and event organizer Shanta Watkins said. “Three-legged races, egg tosses, sack races … all those fun competitions you did with friends in school.”

To add a little something to the games, the winners in each of the various events will receive prizes from local businesses, she added.

“We’re looking forward to a friendly competition,” Watkins said. “And enjoying our time with everyone.”

A highway patrolmen talks to residents during the 2016 Community Night Out.

Originally started as a way for the community to get to know their local emergency personnel, Community Night Out has been sponsored by Albemarle Police Department and Safe Kids of Stanly County for several years now.

Officers and other emergency responders often run the games, serve up food and help with activities. Some also bring their emergency vehicles for kids to walk around and see.

“It gives the community a chance to see us in a different light,” Watkins said.

Since most people only see a police officer or fire fighter when they are in bad circumstances, she explained, this opens up a chance for people to talk with them in other circumstances.

“So if you’ve been cooped up for several days, come out and join us,” said Mayor Ronnie Michael. “It should be a great time.”