Community unity: Dagsboro’s Night Out a smash-hit debut

DAGSBORO – If t-shirts, hotdogs and ice-cold water are a gauge for success, then  Dagsboro’s first-ever National Night Out was a smash hit.

A new early August tradition may have been born Tuesday evening with the highly-successful staging of Night Out – a community-oriented block party sponsored by businesses and the newly-formed Dagsboro Business Alliance in partnership with the town of Dagsboro, Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department and Dagsboro Police Department.

The two-hour, family-friendly event brought hundreds of people to the Dagsboro Fire Station 73 on Clayton Street for free food and give-a-ways, a boatload of door prizes, fun games with prizes, business and educational displays, first-aid demonstration/instruction and other assorted activities and attractions.

Within the first hour, 250 commemorative event t-shirts provided by the DBA were given away – and there was an “emergency” food-fun by organizers for more hotdogs, buns and cases of bottled water.

“Three hundred hotdogs, 15 cases of water in the first 45 minutes,” said Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department President Al Townsend. “So, I believe it was a great success. And it was the whole town, all of the businesses and stuff. And that’s what it needs to be.”

Attendance/turnout far exceeded expectations, according to Audrey Miller and Lisa Blanchette, among the event facilitators.

“I think I can speak for most of us to say we are pretty blown away,” said Ms. Miller, co-owner of the family-operated Dagsboro Days coffee shop on Main Street. “We definitely were planning for around 200 or so people, tops. It is way more than that, which is wonderful, and it just means that it is something to do in the future.”

“We had no idea the first year like how many to expect,” said Ms. Blanchette, of A-LERT Motivations. “Now that we saw that it is was successful we can plan differently. We can market differently. But I think what we did worked, so we are very pleased with the turnout.”

Inside DVFD’s engine bay area, there was plenty to do, see and experience.

Sussex County EMS paramedics staged their ongoing education/instruction campaign on life-saving Take 10 CPR for folks young, old and in between.

“And we’ve had quite a few kids come through,” said Sussex EMS paramedic Amy Shively.

Cadets in the Operation GEM (Gain Effective Members), which has branched out from Roxana to include Dagsboro, Frankford, Selbyville and other southeastern Sussex fire companies, manned a table in hopes of recruiting more potential future firefighters.

On hand outside was Eddie the Eagle, the mascot for the National Rifle Association’s GunSafe gun accident prevention program.

Free gun locks (which have other versatile uses), bicycle safety booklets and other related items/information were given out at the Dagsboro Police Department table.

Parsons Farms Produce, among the event sponsors, brought several inhabitants of Parsons’ popular Goat Mountain along with Nutmeg, a young Shetland pony.

Officials with Delaware Botanic Garden at Pepper Creek, which is set to open in September 2019, offered information on their sneak-peek dinner party fundraiser this Sept. 6 in the Piet Oudolf Meadow.

Throughout the evening, dozens of door prizes were given away, including donated merchandise and gift certificates.

Dagsboro’s event was staged in conjunction with the National Night Out, traditionally held the first Tuesday in August in the United States and Canada. The program dates to 1984.

Initial indications are that Dagsboro’s second National Night Out will be held in 2019.

“I certainly hope so,” said Ms. Miller. “And I think it is good to see the relationships between the businesses, and also the fire hall. We couldn’t have done any of this without the fire hall and the police department, which is what Night Out is all about. They were so hands-on and so excited to be here and get as many people involved as we can. And the churches and the businesses, I think it is really cool to see how all of our relationships are growing and building upon each other to do this.”

“We’re extremely pleased with how everything went,” said Ms. Blanchette. “I think we’re going to do it again next year, too. I think that is guaranteed.”


Dagsboro Night Out was made possible with the support of the following business sponsors: Dagsboro Days, A-LERT Motivations, Jayne’s Reliable, Dagsboro Paint & Wallpaper, Parson Farms Produce, Porto Pizza & Grill, Bethany Dagsboro Florist, Serendipity Quilt Shop, Atlantic Physical Therapy, JS Strategies, Clayton Theatre, Xtream powered by Mediacom, First Choice Services, Myriads Toys & Gifts, Reflections Beauty Salon, Savannah Discount Liquor, Mary Ann Hoffman, State Farm/Juan E. Johnson, The Bank of Delmarva, Delaware Lodge 37 A.F. & A.M., and G & E/Hocker’s Supermarkets.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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