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National Night Out comes to Chicopee Aug. 5


Aug. 2, 2013
By G. Michael Dobbs

news@thereminder.com

CHICOPEE – One of the longest-running National Night Out (NNO) programs in the area will be celebrating its 19th annual event from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Aug. 5 and 6 at Sarah Jane Sherman Park on Stedman Street.

Jean Fitzgerald, the organizer for the Chicopee NNO, explained the purpose of the event is to allow residents to meet their first responders.

“It gives the people the chance to meet police officers and fire department representatives, she told Reminder Publications. “You can talk one on one in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Family activities are also a focus of the evening. Fitzgerald said new this would be a tractor ride courtesy of McKinstry Farms and representatives from Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA of Greater Springfield.

She has asked for a State Police helicopter to do a fly over during the event, but is never sure if they can accommodate the request due to what may be happening that night.

“It’s a nice surprise,” Fitzgerald said.

There will also be a deejay playing music, face painting, carnival games, and a bounce house. The activities are made possible thought sponsors and this year Chicopee Village Town Homes is the lead sponsor. She said hot dogs are being donated by the Chicopee Patrolman’s Union and members of the City Council will be grilling them.

School Committee member Michael Pise is donating flashlights, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, for the conclusion of the event, a flashlight parade through the neighborhood.

Fitzgerald said the number of people who attend NNO varies from year to year. Some years attract hundreds of people, but last year 4,000 people came to it, she said.

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