National Night Out returns, expands to Sky Island

After a very successful first-time hosting last August, National Night Out is returning to Lake Debra Jane Park this week as well as branching out to another new location.

“We’re going to Sky Island this year. It’s the first time we’ve been there,” said Community Service Officer Kris Yanez.

Yanez said the residents of Sky Island invited the police after last year’s event at Lake Debra Jane went so well. The event last year was the first time a homeowner’s association park hosted.

So well, in fact, that the folks at Lake Debra Jane park invited the police back for this year’s event before last year’s was even over.

“They’re really excited about having it out there as well,” Yanez said.

National Night Out is an annual event designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

“It gives us a chance to get out in the community and listen to concerns; good, bad or indifferent,” Yanez said.

Yanez said the “bigger picture” is to create a community that is pro-active in crime prevention, by introducing neighbors and the police in a safe, fun setting.

This year’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Sky Island Park, where a caravan of police and fire vehicles, led by motorcycle cop Vince Sainati, will lead the way to an hour-long ice cream social.

Then, the caravan will makes its way to Lake Debra Jane Park for a 6:45 p.m. hot dog barbecue.

All food was donated by Target.

Both events will also feature face painting, courtesy of the Bonney Lake High School cheerleaders, clowns and crafts. Lowe’s is sponsoring the crafts at Sky Island while Home Depot is hosting a crafts table.

Beginning next year, the plan is to consolidate the event at a single location, most likely Allan Yorke Park, and then begin a rotation of city parks for the subsequent years.

“This is an event we look forward to all year,” Yanez said.