Columbus plans National Night Out festivities

August 3, 2018

Columbus is planning a special event to bring the community and local law enforcement a little closer.

The city will participate in the 35th annual National Night Out event, Tuesday, Aug. 7 at Fireman’s Park, from 5 to 8 p.m. This year’s event will feature plenty of food, entertainment, games, prizes and fun for families. Acting Police Chief Dennis Weiner said Columbus has participated in National Night Out for several years.

“The sole purpose of this is citizens get to see us on a different level and we get to deal with them on a more fun, informal level,” Weiner said. “It’s intended to get our officers and the department closer to the community because in a small town that is important.”

The event is free and a great way to connect with local police, firefighters and emergency responders.

One of the highlights of the event will include a dunk tank featuring city employees, a Columbus police officer and principals from the Columbus School District.

“People will just be lining up to participate,” Weiner said with a laugh.

Food items will include brats, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, cotton candy, Culver’s ice cream, Sprecher’s root beer and more. The Columbus Police Department will be serving food from 5 p.m. until it’s gone.

“I would love to run out of food because that would be a good thing,” Weiner said. “We’ve marketed this a lot more this year so we’re hoping to bring in a lot of people. It’s always a heavily-attended event and a great way to meet the community at a different level.”

National Night Out will also feature demonstrations, including a person volunteering to get hit with a taser. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Department will also be on hand, offering a K-9 demonstration. The K-9 officer will be present from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

In addition, the sheriff department’s armored vehicle will be on display.

To demonstrate what it’s like driving impaired, Columbus police will allow adults to drive a golf cart through an obstacle course wearing blurred-vision goggles.

“They’re called Fatal Vision Goggles and they throw your vision and balance off to simulate what it’s like to be impaired,” Weiner said.

Columbus Fire Department plans to have an obstacle course for children to understand what it’s like responding to a fire. In addition the fire department and local EMS will have its vehicles available for tours.

Weiner said door prizes will include two bicycles, bike helmets and smaller items for adults. Participants must be present to win. A disc jockey, who will play tunes throughout the night, will announce the winners.

“We’re hoping for good weather and to have some fun and to interact with citizens on a level that’s not in the regular course of us doing business,” Weiner said. “It’s also an opportunity for the kids to have fun and play some games.”

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