EHT’s National Night Out ends with a bang (Slideshow)

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Laura Stetser/Event organizers estimated that up to 5,000 people attended the event. Laura Stetser/Event organizers estimated that up to 5,000 people attended the event.

Largest-ever crowd fills Canale Park 

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The combination of great weather and a newly-added fireworks display allowed the thousands of people who came out for Egg Harbor Township’s National Night Out celebration to enjoy nearly four hours of free community education and entertainment on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

 The event is held locally on the first Tuesday at Tony Canale Park as part of a nationwide movement to prevent crime and substance abuse and to foster a sense of community among the residents.

  Laura Stetser/Erika Martyn, 18, an Egg Harbor Township High School Senior Ambassador volunteers with Kaila Von Ellingtton, 10. Laura Stetser/Erika Martyn, 18, an Egg Harbor Township High School Senior Ambassador volunteers with Kaila Von Ellingtton, 10. The attendance at this year’s event was much more than in previous years, according to Egg Harbor Township Police Chief Michael Morris.

“The attendance is exceeding our expectations,” he said only an hour into the evening’s festivities, noting they could have had up to 5,000 people at the park throughout the evening. The park’s parking lot was filled by 6:30 p.m. Overflow parking was redirected to the Egg Harbor Township High School, where a shuttle was provided to transport residents to the park.

Mayor James “Sonny” McCullough said the crowd was the largest to date. “And there are people still coming,” he said.

 The event allows the members from the township’s public safety departments to be visible and to spread safety messages as well as for the community to have fun at one of the township’s largest parks, McCullough said.

 “We hold a lot of events at this park. It’s why we have it – to bring people together,” he said.

 The crowds mingled as children got faces painted, tried out displays from the Jersey Shore Children’s Museum, bounced in inflatable attractions and played laser tag, all for free. Police created free child identification cards and first responders were available to show off their vehicles and equipment to any interested child or adult.

  Laura Stetser/Township youth soccer players sit together to watch the Harbor Township Police K9 demonstration. Laura Stetser/Township youth soccer players sit together to watch the Harbor Township Police K9 demonstration. The Egg Harbor Township Police Department hosted a K9 demonstration in front of a large crowd just before the fireworks were set up.

 Numerous vendors and community organizations hosted informational tables.   The second annual police versus fire departments “Guns and Hoses” softball game, sponsored by Admiral Auto and Action Uniform, was underway at the same time with the police department coming out as victors again.

  The evening was hosted by the Egg Harbor Township Police Department and the Egg Harbor Township Municipal Alliance. Event sponsors include Bennett Chevrolet, the Egg Harbor Township Municipal Alliance, the Egg Harbor Township Education Association, Egg Harbor Township Police Department and Municipal Equipment Enterprises, Primo Pizza, Atlantic County Rental and Municipal Equipment Enterprises. 


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