SOMERVILLE, NJ - There were any number of diversions during the borough's annual Night Out celebration at Carol Pager Park, hosted by the Somerville Police Department.
For Police Officer Vito Spadea, it was handing out ice cream to the kids in the crowd.
For Mayor Dennis Sullivan, it was taking on challengers in a game of chess.
For Pastor Paul Janssen of the First Reformed Church, it was a chance to invite families to Craft Night at the church on Main Street Aug. 23 for shell painting, sand art, sidewalk chalk art and other activities.
For Police Chief Dennis Manning, it was about taking time to do an interview on 'Ville TV.
For Andrea and Art Adair, it was all about making sure the refreshment stand was stocked with ample supplies of beverages, water, ice cream and other snacks.
For state Assemblyman Roy Freiman, it was an opportunity to work the crowd and greet his constituents.
For Somerset County Freeholder and former mayor of Somerville Brian Gallagher, it was a night to be with his neighbors and friends.
For the Somerville High School Robotics team, it was a chance to show off their mechanical marvel.
For the kids, it was a rare opportunity to walk through the Somerset County SWATmobile, or to sit in a firetruck, to meet with friends.
For families, it was a night out to hobnob with neighbors and friends.
Hundreds of borough residents took advantage of a break in the weather following a torrential mid-afternoon rain to mix and mingle during the annual event, which began at 6 p.m.
National Night Out, which marked its 36th year Tuesday night, is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.