PALMDALE — Residents are invited to come out to meet first responders, learn about services available in their community and talk to neighbors during Palmdale’s National Night Out event on July 27.

The gathering will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Domenic Massari Park, 37716 55th St. East.

Admission and all activities are free, food will be for sale from a variety of food trucks. Pets are not allowed.

The event is part of a nationwide crime and drug prevention awareness campaign designed to generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts. It strengthens neighborhood spirit and law enforcement-community partnerships and sends a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting crime.

“We’ve made it more than that,” Palmdale Public Safety Supervisor Kery German said. “We want it to be a whole community effort,”

In addition to the traditional first responders, the event features all manner of community organizations and agencies, providing an opportunity for residents to learn what they provide.

“People might not even know they need the service that’s available to them, or they didn’t know where to find it,” she said. “It’s introducing them to all those community partners as well.”

Among those participating will be the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Fire departments, the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Los Angeles County Probation Department, Waste Management, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Palmdale Water District, Edwards Air Force Base, Antelope Valley Hospital, A.V. Partners for Health, Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control and many other community organizations, “any entity that serves the city of Palmdale or the communities of the Antelope Valley,” German said.

The Hester Foundation will have a distracted driving simulator for teens and adults to experience the effects of driving while distracted.

The evening is an opportunity to meet with first responders, maybe for the first time, “and we’re going to have them all in one place, so that people can talk to them, get to know them, learn about what they do,” German said.

Visitors will be able to get up-close and personal with equipment such as a fire truck or a Sheriff’s Department armored vehicle.

Additionally, there will be music, a gaming trailer will be on hand with video games for children to play and Little League will organize a wiffle ball tournament with first responders. At dusk, Mayor Steve Hofbauer will lead a walk around the park.

“There will be tons of activities and things for kids and adults to be able to participate in,” German said.

Palmdale’s Public Safety Department will hold a scavenger hunt, requiring participants to visit different groups with displays in the park. Those who complete it are entered into a drawing for a chance to win two free Ring video doorbells.

This year, the annual event also marks the first big public event for the city since the COVID-19 pandemic closed many regular activities or, like last year’s National Night Out, shifted them to a virtual event.

“I think everybody just wants to get out of the house,” German said.

The main display area will be in the parking lot on the park’s west side, along 55th Street East. Those attending are advised to park in the adjacent lot or legally on the street.

The displays and activities will extend to the nearby grass areas.

Because of the heat and the harm on animals’ paws from the hot pavement, residents are asked to leave their pets at home.

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