National Night Out, the yearly crime-prevention program celebrated locally and nationally, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Van Alstyne.


Van Alstyne Police Chief Tim Barnes said that activities will run from 6-8 p.m. inside the Community Center and outside, utilizing its parking lot.


National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police/community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make the area a safer and more caring place to live. It is organized, nationally, by the National Association of Town Watch.


Locally, it’s organized by the Van Alstyne Police Department, and offers a chance for all residents and visitors to meet every police officer currently with the agency, as well as those others working with the department, including the dispatchers. Usually, too, the Fire Department personnel are on hand.


And, it’s done in a festive, friendly and educational atmosphere.


Barnes said that the Community Center will be filled with vendors supplying health and safety information to everyone, through demonstrations, hands-on activities or printed handouts.


Meanwhile, outside in the parking lot, there will be food given out, a DJ supplying music to make it all even more festive and a bounce house for the smaller set. Also, Barnes added, they will have the popular Kids Train ready for rides throughout the evening.


There’s one more surprise activity in the making, but not confirmed yet, so watch for next week’s announcement.


“That’s something in the making that will interest old and young,” Barnes said hinting at the surprise.


Van Alstyne has been celebrating National Night Out since at least 1996, and it’s always been at the shared Public Safety and Community Center building located at the corner of N. Preston and Van Alstyne Parkway.


Parking will be around the area, since the streets bordering the Community Center and parking lot will be blocked off for the safety of everyone. And, for those who want to watch it all from the sidelines, bringing lawn chairs are a good option.


“We’ve always had a great turnout here for National Night Out,” Barnes said. “It’s great for community support and a always good time.”