Local law enforcement officers and other community leaders plan to kick off the 20th annual National Night Out in Halifax County with a parade that will get underway at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Halifax County Fairgrounds, located on Highway 360 (James D. Hagood Highway) in South Boston.
The event, slated to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, will be the culmination of many hours of hard work by members of the National Night Out Committee including Sheriff Fred S. Clark, Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Q. Martin, E-911 Coordinator Wendy Jones, VSP Sgt. Jeremy Smith, SBPD Chief Jim Binner, Cpt. Ronnie Edmonds, Halifax Police Chief Stuart Comer, Sgt. Jamar Florence, ABC Agent Jimmy Clay, SBFD Chief Steve Phillips, Halifax County Game Warden Brandon Harris, Keith Wilson of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, BRRJA Captain Billy Enochs and the Rev. Ken Warfield.
Nationwide this will be the 36th annual National Night Out. In Halifax County, it will be the 20th year this event has been observed locally.
Tuesday evening’s event will include law enforcement, community fire departments, Halifax County Rescue and EMS personnel and other community organizations.
A free hot dog supper will kick off the event starting at 5 p.m. followed by a parade of police, emergency service and fire department vehicles at 5:30 p.m. Hot dogs will be served until 7:30 p.m. while supplies last.
Samantha Clark plans to sing the National Anthem at 5:40 p.m. followed by the Rev. Dustin Francis providing the invocation.
DJ Kirby Saunders will serve as emcee for Tuesday night’s event.
All children will be given a ticket when they enter the gate for a chance to win a bicycle, and several lucky children will take home bikes and safety gear from Tuesday night’s event.
Marlo the Magician will be on site presenting magic and balloon tricks. There also will be bounce houses and a dunking booth.
The South Boston Fire Department will have the smoke house and ladder truck on site, and the Virginia State Police motorcycle brigade will be at the event also.
The National Wildlife Turkey Federation is providing a gun safety range, and Sparky and McGruff the Crime Dog will be walking around the fairgrounds greeting everyone.
A Virginia State Police K9 patrol dog demonstration will be provided as well as K9 demonstrations provided by South Boston Police Department and Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.
There also will be a doughnut eating contest as well as a watermelon eating contest and numerous other games provided for children by Tri-County Community Action Agency.
Numerous informational booths from various community agencies will be set up around the perimeter of the fairgrounds for giveaways and informational handouts.
This entire event is free, except for one of the games, and it is open to the public with plenty of ice cold water on hand and free snow cones.
The Junior Women’s Club will be hosting a cakewalk starting at 6 p.m. that will cost $1 to participate. Proceeds will go towards their scholarship fund.
The ceremonial cutting of the cake will begin at 7:15 p.m.
Rounding out the evening will be the crowd’s favorite event, the law enforcement/fire/rescue tug of war, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“We really appreciate the help we have received from all our sponsors to put on this National Night Out event,” Clark said.
Special thanks is extended to Italian Delight, True Value, Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival, Fork Baptist Church, Gene’s Orange Market, Sheetz and Windmill Bakery.
“We look forward to seeing everyone there next Tuesday for an evening of fun,” Clark said, adding, “The collective goal of National Night Out is to give residents, local law enforcement and public safety organizations the opportunity to bond for common good, moral support and join together to fight crime in our community.