PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 16, 2013

Nederland celebrates National Night Out

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

NEDERLAND — The turnout at Nederland’s National Night Out exceeded the expectations of some residents.

“It’s not too bad for the second try,” joked Police Chief Darrell Bush as he surveyed the crowd trickling into Doornbos Park Tuesday evening.

Initially scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 1, to coincide with the national event, the City of Nederland was forced to postpone their National Night Out Event for two weeks due to inclement weather.

“This is more than I expected, because we promoted it so much for Oct. 1,” said Kacie Brown, a recreation attendant for Nederland Parks and Recreation. “I was worried we didn’t promote it enough for today.”

Brown needn’t have worried. Under slightly overcast skies — still a significant improvement from the torrential rains of Oct. 1 — a group of giggling young girls tried their hand at the limbo placed at Brown’s station, struggling to move under the layers of costumes they were required to put on before they could participate. Still others chased the ducks that reside at the park’s pond, and more queued to watch students from Mid County TaeKwonDo Academy show off their moves. Even Batman was in attendance — the caped crusader stood by the Medical Center of Southeast Texas table, passing out bicycle helmets to young admirers.

“I like the idea of everyone getting to know each other and getting friendly,” said Sylvia Root, owner of Sports Connection in Nederland, as she painted various designs onto the faces of eager youngsters. “We always support community events.”

In 1984, 2.5 million Americans across 400 communities in 23 states took part in the first National Night Out, in an effort to promote camaraderie between the community and its law enforcement officials. The event is still fairly new to Nederland, which held its first National Night Out last year after noticing that neighboring communities were doing the same.

“We decided to get on board,” Bush said. “It’s a chance to mingle with the public and let kids see the other side of police and firefighters.”

Although a Port Neches native and resident, Brown is happy to be employed by the city of Nederland. The reason, she said, is because of events like National Night Out.

“I like working for the City of Nederland, because we get to do events like this,” she said.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA