Natchitoches celebrated National Night Out in grand style Tuesday, October 5. There were two celebrations, one at the MLK Recreation Center and the other at Ross Williams Park. The two events were Natchitoches’ version of the Nationwide National Night Out in which citizens are encouraged to get to know one another better in a fun, neighborly atmosphere. The Night Out is also an opportunity for citizens, area children, elected officials, police and first responders to meet each other and get to know each other over delicious food.
The first event was held at the MLK Recreation Center with Councilwoman at large Betty Sawyer-Smith as mistress of ceremonies. Retired Natchitoches educator Gwendolyn Antee-Hardison Davis gave a moving tribute to the late Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow after which Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams and Police Chief Nikeo Collins spoke to the assembly. The superbly talented Tristen Jefferson sang for the crowd. The Rev. Tony Rainey gave the keynote address. After the program, the children and their families enjoyed pizza and drinks. Representatives of the Natchitoches Fire and Police Departments, Sheriff’s Office and City Marshal were joined by Sparky the Fire Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog.
The second of the evening’s events took place at the Ross Williams Park. Neighborhood children took on several police officers and firefighters on the park’s basketball court while the younger set enjoyed the playground equipment and adults got to know each other. A DJ kept the atmosphere upbeat with music. Carmella Parker, president of Crime Stoppers of Natchitoches, was at both events promoting this excellent anti-crime program.
In addition to being a great opportunity to meet our fellow citizens and neighbors and enjoy some wonderful food, these events are just plain fun! The Natchitoches Parish Journal is looking forward to next year’s National Night Out.
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