PISCATAWAY, NJ -- There’s nothing better than a big street party to kick off the month of August.
On Tuesday night, the township of Piscataway held their 35th annual National Night Out (NNO) celebration on Stelton Road near Westergard Library, and thousands of residents stopped by for a few hours of food, entertainment, socializing, and fun.
And TAPinto Piscataway was in attendance.
“I want everybody to enjoy themselves out here on Stelton Road because this is the only time of the year where you can play in the middle of the road,” Piscataway Mayor Brian Wahler jokingly said up on stage as the event began at 6:00 p.m.
The party, which ran until 10:00 p.m., featured performances by Melissa King’s Evolution Dance Center, Burn Fitness Studio, and the biggest hit of the night, the crowd-pleasing BMX stunt show by Hells on Wheels.
Five bike riders soared through the air off the ramp in the middle of the road putting on a display of risky maneuvers like backflips that left the crowd in awe.
On the other end of the street, a rock climbing wall and a kiddie carnival ride attracted attention as long lines formed. Everywhere in between, a balloon making station, ice cream, popcorn, and other food vendors as well as countless information booths lined both sides of the street near the sidewalks.
There were giveaways and prizes as well at some of the tents.
A juggler dressed like an American flag on stilts roamed the area tossing frisbees and bowling pins in circles in the air, and posing for photos with a big smile.
Historic, muscle, and sports cars were also lined up with their hoods open, attracting viewers. DJ Marvilous blasted music the entire evening to get the people pumped, and pony rides courtesy of Jersey Trail Blazers took place in the library parking lot.
But, NNO isn’t just a party.
The whole idea for NNO is to encourage more engagement with law enforcement and other community services.
NNO is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Therefore, members and representatives from the Piscataway Police Department, volunteer fire departments, EMS squads, and more walked up and down the street chatting with residents.
During the playing of “America the Beautiful”, a chopper from the New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit did a flyover.
After Wahler spoke at the beginning, New Jersey senator Robert Smith took the microphone and shared a story about a recent funeral he attended for someone who passed away due to a drug addiction.
He pointed out the whole real idea about NNO and how the community can help the police to keep the streets clean and make the town a better place.
“We are at war across this country with drugs,” Smith said. “And the frontline is our police departments and sheriff departments. One of the main reasons for National Night Out is so that we all get to know each other better and to establish some personal relationships. Let’s all work together as a team to help out children.
“This is a great town to live in. Let’s make it even better and greater by working with our local law enforcement to keep drugs out of our town.”
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