PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A little rain couldn’t keep residents of Piscataway home as thousands of people flocked to Stelton Road for the police department’s 18th Annual National Night Out on Tuesday.

National Night Out 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. NNO is also a community-building event that brings camaraderie and enhances the relationship between officers and the residents through socializing and fun.

And Piscataway’s NNO block party was among the best in Middlesex County and Central Jersey.

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From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., those in attendance got to experience various forms of entertainment, food, and more. The event stretched six blocks from Summers Ave. to Hopkinson Ave.

Under a giant American Flag that hung high above the street and a rainbow courtesy of the early evening rain, speeches by various individuals including Mayor Brian Wahler and a fly-over by the New Jersey State Police took place to kick off the event.

Tons of vendors from different businesses, churches, associations, and clubs lined the sidewalks and kids got to enjoy time in a castle-like bounce house, on a carnival ride, and way up high toward the sky on a rock wall. Free giveaways were available at some of the booths as well.

Members of Evolution Dance Studio and Burn Fitness Studio also put on shows for the crowd and historic muscle and sports cars had their hoods open which attracted many eyeballs.

Popcorn, ice cream, and hot food were served up by nearby restaurants and numerous people were seen stuffing their mouths and holding up their cameras as BMX bike riders from Hells on Wheels took to the air. The always crowd-pleasing show saw the riders, which included a young 12-year old, perform numerous tricks including back flips.

But most importantly, fire trucks, EMS squads, police officers and detectives were in the middle of it all next to their cars and motorcycles mingling with residents and the youth, which is really what NNO is all about. Police, firefighters, and EMS members all interacted with the crowd giving demonstrations and sharing knowledge about their jobs.

Rain might have put a damper early on, but the rainbows that followed was a telling sign.

Check out some photos from Piscataway’s NNO celebration up top.

TAPintoPiscataway.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Piscataway.

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