Business/community buzz: ‘Night Out’ start of something new in Dagsboro

It’s a meeting of the minds July 12 as town leaders and business sponsors meet to finalize plans for Dagsboro’s inaugural Night Out. The community-unity event is set for Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

DAGSBORO – A night out in early August looms as the start of something new in Dagsboro.

Tuesday, Aug. 7 is the date for Dagsboro’s first-ever National Night Out, a two-hour event designed to unite the community.

It is part of the National Night Out traditionally held the first Tuesday in August in the United States and Canada. The program dates back to 1984.

Billed as a “free block party,” Dagsboro’s event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will encompass Clayton Street from Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department Station 73 to Bethel United Methodist Church.

In addition to free food – hot dogs, chips and drinks – there will be disc jockey music and entertainment, a photo booth, face-painting, door prizes and giveaways, police, fire and EMS paramedic demonstrations, sponsor tables, cornhole boards for fun competition and other activities for the entire family.

It is sponsored by the business owners in coordination with the town of Dagsboro, the Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department and Dagsboro Police Department.

“This is an event to get people to come out and meet one another in the community, and to get to know your police department and your fire department,” said Lisa Blanchette of A-LERT Motivations business.

“It’s a free community event, because that’s how you really get the community to come out and mingle with each other and stay,” said Audrey Miller of family-owned and operated Dagsboro Days coffee shop.”

Night Out also stands as the first major initiative in efforts to establish the Dagsboro Business Alliance to encourage businesses to support one another.

“We wanted to have an event to launch this business alliance,” said Ms. Blanchette. “We just kind of pulled in the National Night Out because we are trying to work closely with the town and with the local first responders and things like that.”

Planning for Dagsboro Night Out began several months ago. Quickly, business sponsorship reached its max.

“We were really blown away,” said Ms. Miller. “Our goal was 10 (sponsors) and then we quickly made our goal 15, and it quickly became 18. It has been well received. The business owners have been really excited about it.”

Special event t-shirts will highlight the sponsors.

Among Night Out’s featured attractions: a special appearance by Eddie the Eagle, the mascot for the National Rifle Association’s GunSafe gun accident prevention program. His appearance is made possible through connections with the Dagsboro Police Department, which will be joined at Night Out by police departments from Selbyville and Ocean View.

“We will also have the Selbyville and Ocean View police department here, because neither one of them are having a Night Out,” Audrey Miller said. “So, our chief (Police Chief Floyd Toomey) reached out to surrounding areas.”

Parsons Farm, among the 18 sponsors, will showcase some of the goats from Parsons’ popular Goat Mountain.

The Delaware Army National Guard will have a recruitment vehicle, highlighting military police, and DNREC will have a trailer.

Event organizers are hoping to secure a K9 demonstration, from either DNREC or local/state police agency.

Ocean View PD is scheduled to bring its “unmanned aerial vehicle” commonly known as a drone.

In continuing public safety outreach, paramedics will offer hands-in Take 10 CPR and Stop the Bleed education, training and demonstrations.

Bethel UMC spokeswoman Myra Bare said the church plans to promote its upcoming Vacation Bible School and offer free water-related games with prizes.

Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department President Al Townsend said Station 73 plans to have brochures, highlighting the department’s 75-year history, as well as videos of members of Dagsboro’s fire service – firefighters, juniors and auxiliary – in action and going through drills.

Businesses and residents can sense the buzz and anticipation throughout town.

“We’ve had great excitement and sponsorship from the local businesses,” said Dana Miller, co-owner of Dagsboro Days.

“Even though we are all sponsoring it as businesses we still have been very mindful that this isn’t necessarily for you to sell your business,” Audrey Miller said. “It’s still about Night Out and what the meaning of Night Out is.”

Please, no pets

Dagsboro Mayor Brian Baull, noting Night Out is intended to be a family-friendly event, asks that pet owners please leave their pets home while attending the event.

“It’s just for family, not for your pet,” Mayor Baull said.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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