Every August in Lake Stevens, the Lake Stevens Family Center sponsors the annual National Night Out for Safety event after hundreds of hours of preparation. Each year the event continues to attract more and more families to the downtown corridor where they can share experiences while learning tips on crime prevention and how to continue to be safe.
“We work really hard to get contributions, community involvement and to mobilize other organizations to be able to do this event for the community for free,” Director of the Lake Stevens Family Center Kathleen Friend said.
“This year was the biggest, best and most fun one yet. We had over 1,600 people.” Families were entertained with music and dance from several cultures including Mexican Folklore Dancing and Latin Zumba, Tae Kwon Do exhibitions and songs in both Spanish and English.
“The event opened with Isabelle Banks, 7, singing the National Anthem and closed with Ed Moda singing “The Lake Stevens Song,” a song he wrote about Lake Stevens,” Friend said.
Nine-year-old Emanuel Margarito entertained the crowd with his Spanish melodies.
The Kiwanis cooked and gave away 1,050 hot dogs, and the Lake Stevens Lions Club ran out of nachos. Other organizations included the Lake Stevens/Granite Falls Rotary Club, the Lake Stevens Police Department and Lake Stevens Fire District.
Over 50 booths were on hand with loads of information and giveaways.
“The diversity of the people and the entertainment was the best part of the evening,” Friend said. Not to be outdone by the outstanding talent, the Lake Stevens Police Department and Lake Stevens Fire District competed in the annual Guns and Hoses battle with the Lake Stevens Fire District taking home the coveted plaque to display in their offices for the next year.
Being a part of National Night Out is important to the Fire District, while the Turkey Trophy was taken home by Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori.
“National Night Out was originally a police effort to bring awareness of issues like crime to the community,” Deputy Chief Dave Lingenfelter said. “I look at it as a public safety issue too and that’s what we do. We want to let the community know who we are and what we do, that’s important to us as well. We had a good time.”
Residents had a great time while enjoying all of the free food and entertainment.
“It’s fun to sit in the truck (fire truck) and eat hot dogs,” Anthony Truong, 6, said.
“It’s just a good place to get out in the community and get the kids out of the house,” Shawna Turong added.
Prize drawings included an Xbox360, which was won by Patrick Wallace and a color printer which was taken home by Orlando Salter.
Creating a fun and free community event is really what makes National Night Out an amazing event. There were no fees or charges for anything that evening which made it possible for families of all backgrounds and income levels able to enjoy the evening.
“Every child had the same opportunities. Everybody was equal and that only happens because the staff and volunteers at Lake Stevens Family Center work so hard to make it happen,” Friend said.