Block party draws hundreds downtown
By PAMELA GRANT
The Copperas Cove Police Department hosted a kickoff party for the 40th annual National Night Out.
Cove’s National Night Out kicked off Saturday evening with a variety of fun activities, booths, and entertainment. The kickoff party was downtown and began at 6 p.m.
Lieutenant Krystal Baker of the Copperas Cove Police Department coordinated the event for her second year. Lt. Baker said that they had 32 vendors and some other booths such as the Citizen’s Police Academy and the Copperas Cove Citizens Fire and Public Safety Volunteers. Texas Home Pro was the title sponsor for the event.
“This is our largest event of the year. It’s a really good opportunity for the community to get together—not just the businesses, but the citizens as well. It’s just a relaxed environment for them to get out and have a good time,” said Lt. Baker. “I love to see everything come together. I like to watch everyone coming and having a good time.”
Lt. Baker said that National Night Out helps the community to be able to start dialogue with police officers in a relaxed environment. It also allows them to get to know their neighbors as well as others in their community.
“I love Copperas Cove and I love the police,” said Josh Beal, a Texas Home Pro owner, about why he wanted to sponsor the event. He brought out a fire truck that he bought so the kids could freely climb on it and enjoy watching the activities from above.
“We brought it for the kids,” said Beal. “We thought it would be nice to let the kids climb on it. We just want to share it.”
Beal said that he also liked giving out free candy to those who stopped by his table. It’s his way of giving back to the community.
Tiani Borja attended the event with her four younger siblings, cousin, and niece. All of them are part of a Polynesian dance group that performed Saturday night.
“I absolutely love that Copperas Cove is giving us a sense of community out here. We’re able to come out here and build fellowship and celebrate the community as a whole. It highlights so many different organizations and clubs,” said Borja.
She said that she loves how getting the opportunity to perform at events like National Night Out helps motivate her younger family members to learn about and embrace their culture. She said that it also helps others to learn about their culture as well.
Josiah Yoncher (16) volunteered with the CCHS criminal justice booth which hosted a mini game where people practiced walking a line while wearing “drunk goggles”. Yoncher said that he enjoys volunteering and helping the community.
“I think that National Night Out is a great way to get engaged with the community and for the community to learn more about all these groups, for example, Bikers Against Child Abuse and the Copperas Cove Police Department. I think it’s’ a great way for the community to connect and for people who are interested in these things—or who want to join them—to learn more about it.”