Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
CHP Officer Javier Ruvalcaba gives Selena Deleija a taste of what it is like to sit in the back of a squad car during National Night Out at the fairgrounds.
More than a thousand people flowed into and out of Madera District Fairgrounds last week at National Night Out Connect, the second of two gatherings for the annual community-building campaign.
The gathering included motorcycle riding displays, watery inflatables, a dunk tank, fire engines, armored vehicles, face painting, free prizes, sack racing and other contests, and much more. Most tables and tents were manned by local public agencies. Madera police officers and Explorers served free hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks for hours.
“I think it’s pretty awesome for all the law enforcement to get together and come out here with the youth, so the youth won’t be scared of them. They had so many fun things for them to do,” said Angela Andella, who came for the sake of her grandson and nephew.
“They’ve seen too much of the bad side in their lives,” she said. “So I wanted them to see that they’re people.”
Her nephew Michael Williams, 9, found out where to make blue slime thanks to a Madera police officer, who answered his request for directions. “It’s really fun. I like everyone and everything,” said Michael, who was able to explore an armored vehicle “and hit my head twice.”
Fire Captain Vance Killion, of Cal Fire Madera County, thinks National Night Out and similar events offers a welcome chance to sit down with, chat and answer questions from the community.
“Most of the time they just see the fire station as they drive by or … when we show up at…
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