LIVINGSTON, NJ — The rain stopped minutes before Livingston’s 11th annual National Night Out festivities began Tuesday as residents began arriving at the Memorial Oval. By the end of the evening, about 2,000 residents had attended.
Members of Livingston’s Police Department, including Police Chief Gary Marshuetz and captains John Drum and Thomas Smith, police officers Kevin Mullaney and Joy Klapal of the Community Policing Unit, Mayor Al Anthony and Town Council members Shawn Klein and Michael Vieira and other residents gathered in the middle of the Oval for the opening ceremonies.
Marshuetz thanked everyone for coming to the event and said, “National Night Out’s purpose is to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the town residents. We want to have a strong bond with the community throughout the year.”
Mayor Anthony then took the microphone and praised and thanked Marshuetz, Drumm and Smith, for “doing a great job.” He added, “We always say that Livingston has the best Police Department.”
The mayor also thanked the Department of Public Works, the Fire Department and the many sponsors of the event.
“Tonight is about relationships,” the mayor said. “Have fun.”
Next, Prosecutor Ted Stephens spoke to the crowd. He said, “National Night Out is great for the bond between law enforcement and the community. We need to partner all year round.” Stephens said that Livingston was the second of 20 town National Night Out celebrations that he would be attending that evening.
Attendees were treated to free hot dogs, pizza and drinks. The Fire Department cooked and served the hot dogs.
Children enjoyed face-painting, a bouncy house, rides, games, a slide, being sprayed with a mist of water by a fire truck, balloon sculptures, meeting dogs from K9 Units and music provided by a live DJ.
Law enforcement and safety displays were set up around the Oval so people could learn about equipment.
A couple of highlights of the evening were helicopter landings and hot-air balloon rides.
This is the 11th year that Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) and Regal Bank have made donations to support the event.
Karig’s Livingston Hardware, Livingston Car Wash, Bee Bee Designs and others donated prizes for a free raffle.
National Night Out celebrations are held nationwide to increase awareness about police anti-crime programs, to promote police-community partnerships and to increase neighborhood camaraderie.
National Night Outs began in 1984. Many towns in New Jersey and the country participate in this fun, bonding community event.
The Livingston Police Department placed third nationwide for the 2018 National Night Out out of the 217 communities with populations of 15,000 to 49,999 that applied.
Some of this year’s booths included:
Gold Fish Swim School
Livingston Senior Youth & Leisure Services
Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee
Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter
Livingston Health Department Division of Nursing
Edward Jones Investments
Gina’s Face Tag (Face painting)
Drew Family Chiropractic
Livingston Dental Periodontics & Implants
Essex County Opioid Task Force
Livingston Historic Society
Livingston High School Ecolancers
Wresting Club of Livingston High School
Little Angels Christian Montessori School
Huntington Learning Center
Livingston High School National Honor Society
West Essex YMCA
SMART Gun Safety
Pack 12 Boy Scouts
PBA Local 105
Girls on the Run
American Red Cross
Saint Barnabas Medical Center/RWJ Barnabas
Riverside Oral Surgery
Livingston Committee for Diversity
League of Women Voters
NJ Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs
Jefferson Lake Camp
World Chun Kuhn Taekwondo
28th South Mountain Scout Group
WDHA 105.5 FM Radio
WMTR 1250 AM Radio
Livingston Lions Club
ADAPT – Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Team
ShopRite of Livingston
Eye Level Learning Center
Boy Scout Troop 16
Full Gospel Church of Livingston
Vietnam Veterans Chapter 510
Neil H. Greco
Keller Williams Suburban Realty
Crossfit West Livingston
Haven Savings Bank
Allan Feid Jr. LLC
Jay’s Shoe Box
Tropical Smoothie Café
Schumacher Chevrolet Auto Group
Joseph A. Magotch, DDS, PA.