Tuesday night marks the 23rd year — maybe even longer than that — that Van Alstyne Police have gathered with the Van Alstyne community as part of the yearly program known as National Night Out. From 6-8 p.m. Tuesday night, the Community Center, its parking lot, and the Van Alstyne fire station will provide free food and giveaways, fun, and a chance for everyone to meet the city’s law enforcement officers, and many of its firefighters/paramedics at the same time.

Police Chief Tim Barnes said that Van Alstyne always has such a great turnout, “It is a great town for backing the police.”

National Night Out is a community-building program promoting police-community partnerships, which are known to make for a safer community, brought together under positive circumstances.

For the kids, there will be bounce houses, the ever-popular kids’ train, and games around the area. There will be vendors set up providing free items for children, youth and adults, some of which are informative, others fun to have. Other vendors will provide food.

A hit last year, and being repeated, is the landing of a first-responder helicopter at the NNO site.

Streets will be blocked off to make room for all the goings-on. Barnes said Preston Street, which fronts the Community Center and police and stations, will be blocked off from Van Alstyne Parkway to Cooper Street. Likewise, Cooper Street will be blocked off from Waco Street to Preston Street.

National Night Out in Van Alstyne is celebrated on the first Tuesday night of October each year.