The Onalaska Police Department's 8th Annual National Night Out is in the books. At the end of the evening those involved with the event were simply amazed at the show of support we received. Every year we wonder if it will continue to have more people attend and see what we have to offer. 2016 was a busy year for us, but nothing compared to this year. There were a few hiccups during the evening, the overwhelming number of attendees had lines fairly long, but overall, we received countless accolades along the way.
Many thanks go out to those that assisted the Onalaska Police Department in making this the best year yet. For starters, it cannot be done without our volunteers. There were many police officers that spent their evening serving the community as well as our police reserves who cooked well over 1,000 hot dogs and 400 brats and all was sold out by the end of the evening.
The Blue Moon put on another stellar car show. This was our biggest year yet with over 50 entries. WOW! Thank you Blue Moon! Cody the Buffalo was a huge hit as well were his furry friends that accompanied as part of the petting zoo. A huge shout out goes to the Big E who adjusted their inflatable count on short notice (this weekend). Adjustments were made leading up to the evening just based on the amount of attention our Facebook post from last Friday was receiving. Overall that Facebook post reached over 46,000 people, received 189 comments, 323 likes, and 399 shares. Another huge WOW! We knew tonight was going to be huge based on what was happening on Facebook, we just did not know just how large it was going to be. Also, thank you to the Onalaska Fire Department for bringing the water games to the event. The kids always enjoy what you bring. One last shout out to our two face painters, Nicole and Kelsie, who painted who knows how many faces. You did not get one break and the lines were insanely long. You two ROCK!
Every year we make adjustments for the next year based on the previous year’s results. Some of those adjustments are not easily achieved because we rely on many volunteers throughout our community. This year we increased our inflatable count, doubled our face painters, made modifications to the food line, and added additional things for attendees to see and do. There will definitely be modifications in 2018 as well. We have already had one person come up and volunteer their face painting skills, so we very well may double our face painters again.
The biggest thanks go out to the citizens of Onalaska and surrounding communities who showed up to support us and had gracious comments upon gracious comments to share. Thank you for the patience that is took to wait through the long lines and for waiting out the bit of rain that mother nature threw our way. Although our 9th Annual National Night Out seems so far away (August 7th, 2018), we hope you enjoyed your evening enough to come back out next year. Pictures from this year's event will be forthcoming in the next couple of days.