Ripon’s National Out is expected to draw some 3,000 residents Tuesday to the Ripon Community Center for a celebration deviating from the neighborhood block parties being held across the country.
Community Service Office Christina Caro is organizing the event at the Fourth Street park facility where the theme is raising the awareness of area residents and highlighting crime prevention. Police and fire vehicles including a SWAT truck and a police motorcycle will be on display, but there is more.
“It’s going to be one major party rather party rather than block parties,” Caro said. “Everything is free. They will be serving hot dogs, water and watermelon.”
The event opens at 6 p.m. with a watermelon contest scheduled for 6:30. Shaefer’s Tae Kwon Do will present a demonstration in front of the Community Center building at 7. Next, a karaoke competition is set to begin at 7:15 with T-shirts for all the contestants reading, “I survived karaoke at the 2013 Ripon National Night Out.” The back of the shirts are listing the 45 businesses that have made donations in support of the annual event.
The red, white and blue shirts are being donated by Jason Barnett of Barnett Customs.
“We have had incredible donations from all these businesses,” Caro said. “Without them it wouldn’t be possible to do all these things that made National Night Out in our community.”
There is also going to be a car show organized by Dusty Hoekstra and a dunk tank where firefighters, police officers and possibly council members will face members of the public who will get their chance to put them under water.
Fire and police representatives are going at it in a watermelon eating contest of their own not unlike the earlier competition between members of the public. Bingo is also being set up in the Community Center with prizes for the winners. Players must be over 18, however.
Two water slides are being set up for children 12 and under on the baseball field and bounce houses for children four years old and under are to be found inside the east side center building.
Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) are offering ID kits for youngsters with their fingerprints included. Children’s crafts and face painting along with cotton candy can be found in another booth courtesy of the Ripon Ministerial Association.
Ripon Police Officer Trevor McGinnis will be manning a DUI booth to get out the current information on the dangers of drinking and driving as well as with texting.
There are also four raffle prizes on tap with no-cost tickets. The prizes include a $250 Bass Pro gift certificate courtesy of NuCal Foods. Second on the list is a package of six Oakland A’s tickets with a VIP parking permit provided by MTC Distributing. The third prize is an Amazon Kindle Fire HD compliments of the construction company working on the new ball diamonds at Mistlin Park – O.C. Jones & Sons, Inc.
The Barnwood Arms Gun Shop is making possible a one year gun range membership with a Glock bag. The Just Reward Trophy Shop has donated the trophies for the contestants in the various competitions.
Jeremiah North of Kid Red Entertainment and Dave Tillman of LMG Attractions will share the master of ceremony assignments during the evening.