By Per Peterson
The National Night Out Committee doesn’t do anything over-the-top for the annual late-summer event, they just do it right, and the outcome has been nothing but positive as crowds continue to grow year after year.
“We kind of keep it basic; people in the community seem to like that,” said Tracy Police Officer Adam Hansen. “It’s not too much to take in in those three hours.”
This year’s event is at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, once again on the south end of Central Park. Hansen said the event is so popular because many people work to make sure it’s a family-friendly event.
“We started five years ago with the idea that we were going to provide a free meal,” he said. “We got a very nice donation from Tom Morin at Subway at that point to kind of get us off the ground. We’ve kept it that way with the sponsors that we get. And it’s not just Tracy — we get help from Balaton and Walnut Grove.”
The free meal that is served to all indeed is a big draw for attendees. Last year, more than 700 meals were served, and organizers expect to serve even more this year. The committee works with Tracy Food Pride for the meal. There will also be other fare at the event served by various organizations as fundraisers. The other big attraction is the live music.
“I’ve not heard one complaint about the music — hands down, people just love the music,” Hansen said.
Besides the fun and food, Hansen said National Night Out is a chance for the Tracy community to gather with friends and meet new people. Residents can also get a glimpse of all the vehicles used by various departments and the equipment in them.
“With police it’s kind of having people come out and see that we’re human, we’re not just a bunch of robots driving around in squad cars,” Hansen said.
The City will once again donate picnic tables, equal to $1,000, for the event.