FAIRFIELD, NJ — Despite the evening thunderstorm that hit Fairfield on Tuesday, many people came out to enjoy the activities and the free food at the township’s fourth annual National Night Out (NNO) was not a wash out even though nature provided a torrential rainstorm including lightning and thunder.

Some ran to the new recreation facility to wait out the storm and many returned to the event once the rain pass, including resident Carol Leraris, who said, “Too bad it rained while the event was going on, but I came to support our local police department.”

Another Fairfield resident, Mike Barbosa, said he attends every year with his family and never fails to have a good time.

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“We check out the vendors, and the kids enjoy playing the games and doing the activities,” he said. “It is a nice family and fun night.”

In the spirit of the night, Fairfield Chief of Police Anthony Manna was the first to volunteer for the Dunk Tank.

Fairfield students, John Winslow, Jordan Simeone and Nick Pavlikivskii said, “We are having a lot of fun. It is exciting, and the food is great.”

Fairfield Township Council President John LaForgia came with his wife and grandchildren. His granddaughter, Brie, said,

“It is fun to be with my grandparents, and the food is good, especially the ice cream,” his granddaughter, Brie, said.

“The police department does a phenomenal job every year, and I would like to thank all our sponsors,” said LaForgia.

Fairfield Police Officer Stacy Chiarolanza said that she was thankful for the event being such a success, adding that she enjoyed the community spirit and the delicious food.

The event included free hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage and peppers, pizza, popcorn, ice cream and beverages.

Essex Fells Police Officer Jonathan Berger stood by an all-purpose vehicle and explained the importance of the police department having such equipment. He said it is especially useful in snow storms when trees are down and in the woods when people need quick medical care.

“NNO is a great event,” said Berger, who was impressed that so many people came out despite the weather.

Students Ellie and Mikayla were enjoying themselves participating in all the activities. They said that all the merchants were really nice, the prizes were good, and that they enjoyed the food and snacks as well as being sprayed by the fire truck.

In a press release issued by the police department, Manna said the event “was another great success in allowing members of the community to interact with the police officers that protect and serve them.”

“Once again, the police department provided this event to the community free of charge due to the generous support and donations from our sponsors,” he said. “While the event involves the entire department’s participation, it could not take place without the dedicated efforts of Sgt. Christopher Niemiec, Officer Stacy Chiarolanza, Officer R.J. Casendino, all of the department’s Community Policing Unit and Sharon McNamara, the administrative assistant to the chief of police.”

As a means to gain some perspective of the event’s success, Manna announced that the department served approximately 1100 hot dogs, 200 pizzas, 500 hamburgers and 75 pounds of Italian sausage.

The Fairfield Police Department extended its gratitude to the following sponsors and supporters for their contributions to NNO:

  • Fairfield Mayor & Council
  • Fairfield Recreation Department

  • Fairfield Fire Department

  • Fairfield Department of Public Works

  • Fairfield Municipal Alliance Committee

  • Fairfield Public Library

  • AAA of Florham Park

  • A.D.A.P.T.

  • Any Excuse for a Party

  • Artistic Signs

  • Associa

  • Atlantic Ambulance

  • Baurista Espresso

  • Bayonne Community Bank

  • Boardwalk Pizza

  • The Calandra Family

  • Collision Restoration

  • Dapper Dans of Harmony

  • Dietz & Watson

  • Essex County Sheriff’s Department

  • Essex Fells Police Department

  • Fairfield Rotary Club

  • Fairfield UNICO

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • First Commerce Bank

  • Fun Services

  • Gallagher Risk Management Services

  • Il Panino Deli

  • Il Panino Pizza

  • IMAC Insurance

  • Ippolito Stellato Funeral Home

  • JAG Physical Therapy

  • Lyndhurst Pastry Shop

  • Mecca Integrated Medical

  • Moms Demand Action

  • Montville Police Department

  • Montville Police Department Explorers

  • Patchworks Embroidery

  • Pomptonian/Grove Foods

  • Premio Sausage

  • Ring

  • Shop Rite of Lincoln Park

  • Shop Rite of West Caldwell

  • Stop & Shop of West Caldwell

  • Target Store of Fairfield

  • Walgreens

  • West Caldwell Police Department

  • West Essex Citizens Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.)

  • West Essex First Aid Squad

  • X-Static Entertainment DJ Service

According to the NNO website, the event “is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer.” It also “enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August.”

The night gave residents an opportunity to become better acquainted with the Fairfield Police Department, Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department, West Essex First Aid Squad, the Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) and others.

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