National Night Out
Food trucks, vendors lined up for growing attendance
Whitehall will host its eighth annual National Night Out from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at John Bishop Park, 4920 Etna Road.
This year, the city of Whitehall has partnered with the Economic and Community Development Institute and DOMA International to arrange for a variety of food trucks to provide food and beverages.
Food trucks and vendors are new at this year's event but became necessary, organizers said, because of the growing number of people attending each year's event.
In the past, sponsors provided free hot dogs and other basic foods, but the sheer volume of people made such a practice unsustainable, and organizers wanted to provide a greater variety of food.
"We are excited to bring the growing food-truck movement to Whitehall and offer a variety of affordable, fresh food options at this year's event," said Lindsey Wright, community-affairs coordinator for the city of Whitehall.
Food vendors include Green Meanie Burgers, Ajumama Korean BBQ, Pitabilities and Freedom a la Cart.
Pepsi, Walmart and Target will provide free bottled water and Pepsi products, but all other food and beverages are for purchase.
National Night Out features a variety of entertainment and activities for adults and children. In conjunction with National Night Out, the YMCA of Central Ohio will host an interactive fitness demonstration.
At 6 p.m., Whitehall City Council will convene its regularly scheduled meeting, one hour earlier than usual, and away from Whitehall City Hall.
Council members will meet on stage at the John LaCorte Amphitheater at John Bishop Park.
Among the legislation scheduled for consideration at the Aug. 7 meeting is an ordinance allowing a special permit for Infiniti of Columbus to sell new and used vehicles at a site at 5250 E. Main St.
At 6:30 p.m., a wing-eating contest between the Whitehall Division of Police and the service department will be held, followed by a concert.
These Guys Live, comprising several graduates of Whitehall-Yearling High School, will perform classic rock covers.
Face painting, inflatable obstacle courses and bounce houses will be available entertainment for children.
The Whitehall Divisions of Fire and Police will showcase their vehicles and equipment.
"Whitehall's National Night Out is all about building relationships and strengthening partnerships in the community," Mayor Kim Maggard said.
Wright and Whitehall police officer Ed Rickels are event organizers and partnered with numerous agencies and civic organizations to present the event.
In addition to food and entertainment, numerous state, county and local agencies, support groups, civic organizations and public-assistance providers will be at the event to share information about their services.
Participating organizations include the Whitehall Community Celebration Association, the Whitehall Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, the Whitehall branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Defense Logistics Agency police and the state attorney general.
Premier sponsors of the event include Alliance Data, Huntington Bank, OhioHealth, and Walmart.
Supporting sponsors are Dick Masheter Ford, Target, Pepsi, Bill Swad Motor Sales, Ground Level Solutions, First Community Bank, Cal's Towing, Glazer's Distributors, the Whitehall Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, the International Association of Firefighters Local 1729 and the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge 9.
Founded by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States and Canada, National Night Out first was held in the United States and Canada in 1984. It is held on the first Tuesday of August, except in Texas, where it is held the first Tuesday in October.
Organizers estimated about 5,000 people have attended National Night Out in Whitehall in each of the past several years.