National Night Out is Aug. 2

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Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
Jefferson Township firefighter Matt Jackson helps Emma Maynard, 2, aim the fire hose at the fire house at West Jefferson’s 2021 National Night Out event. This year, National Night Out events are taking place on Aug. 2 in West Jefferson and London and at Choctaw Lake.

(Posted July 28, 2022)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

National Night Out (NNO) is a chance for residents and first responders to get to know each other in a family-friendly setting. On Aug. 2, three communities in Madison County are hosting NNO activities.

Choctaw Lake
The Choctaw Lake community and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office lake patrol are offering NNO festivities from 5 to 9 p.m. at the beach, 2875 Oneida Dr., London.

Three bands will perform, starting with Counterpoint, a band from the London area, followed by Tyler Smith performing classic rock tunes. Lake Effect will close the night playing classic rock and some country tunes.

A Medflight helicopter will make a landing. Central Townships Joint Fire District will lead a demonstration of the Jaws of Life in a mock car crash scene, as well as perform a boat rescue demonstration on the water. The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is bringing a horse. The West Jefferson post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol will be on site with a K-9 dog. Several other first responders will be on hand.

Visitors are invited to enjoy a traditional bounce house, a bounce house with a water feature, a dunk tank, and access to the beach for swimming. New this year, first responders will challenge children to water races.

Hamburgers, hotdogs, side dishes, and ice cream will be available on a donation basis, as will t-shirts. Organizers are raffling off a wine-themed gift basket, $100 Marathon gas card, $100 Speedway gas card, and other items. Proceeds from the food, shirts and raffle will go to the family of Matthew Mitchell, a South Vienna police officer who passed away last year due to COVID-19.

Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Rosales, organizer of Choctaw Lake’s NNO, worked with Mitchell when he, too, was a South Vienna police officer.

“It’s a very special thing to raise money for his family,” Rosales said.

London
London’s NNO event will take place at a new location this year. Instead of Cowling Park, the event will take place outside the London Police Department, 10 E. First St. First street will be blocked off from Main Street to Union Street. The event hours are 6 to 8 p.m.

Visitors will be treated to an up-close look at a wide array of first responder and city vehicles, from fire trucks and police cruisers to medics and tow trucks. The State Patrol Office’s Special Response Team unit will be on site, as will the Madison County Emergency Management Agency.

Several community organizations, such as Madison County Public Health, Madison County Children’s Services, and London Public Library, are taking part, as well. Police Chief Glenn Nicol said other agencies are welcome to set up, as well.

Visitors can enter the baseball throwing contest. The police department uses a radar gun to see who throws the fastest. Free hot dogs, drinks, and ice cream will be offered, and anyone who shows they have downloaded the London Police Department’s app on their phones will be entered into a door prize giveaway.

West Jefferson
West Jefferson’s NNO activities are scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Community Center, 230 Cemetery Rd.

Several first responders, including the West Jefferson Police Department, Jefferson Township Fire Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and others, will have vehicles on display.

“Come and meet your neighbors and your first responders,” said West Jefferson Police Chief Chris Floyd.

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