The dunk tank is always a popular event at Saco’s National Night Out, as evidenced by this 2019 event. Biddeford hosts its NNO event, called the Family Fun Festival noon to 4 Aug. 1 at 39 Sullivan St., while Saco’s hosts National Night Out 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3  at Memorial Field,  74 Summer St. City of Saco Photo

Biddeford will hold a National Night Out event on Sunday, Aug. 1. while National Night Out returns to Saco on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

In Biddeford, there will be music and chalk art and yard games, food and a scavenger hunt.

In Saco there’s a dunk tank, a touch a truck demo and other activities — along with a chance to chat with a police officer or other first responders – and food.

“In 2019, we saw a record turnout at our local National Night Out event,” said Saco Police Chief Jack Clements. “Throughout the pandemic, we sorely missed these opportunities to strengthen our relationships with Saco residents who might need to call on the Fire Department or us for help one day.”

National Night Out is an event that takes place in thousands of communities annually, meant to promote police-community partnerships and foster a sense of camaraderie.

“The goal of the National Night Out campaign is to promote police-community relationships to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live,” said Biddeford Communications Coordinator Danica Lamontagne. “During the first week of August each year, 16,000 participating cities, military bases, and universities nationwide host events that bring law enforcement officers and community members together.”

In Saco, it will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3 at Memorial Field, 74 Summer St.  Those who drop by will be able to chat with police officers and those from other city departments including Saco Fire Department, Saco Parks & Recreation, and the Saco Water Resource Recovery Department. Local businesses and organizations will be present, too, said Saco Communications Director Emily Roy.

“Come down and grab a free dinner and some family fun,” said Roy.

As well as the Dunk Tank and Touch a Truck, there will be games and activities, inflatables, a story walk, and an impaired driving simulation.

And there is more.

“Don’t miss signing up for the prize raffle at the Saco Police Department informational table,” said Roy. “Prizes include a bike and helmet, Aquaboggan tickets, gift certificates to local businesses, and gift cards.”

In Biddeford, the 13th annual Family Fun Festival  — the city’s National Night Out event —  will be an afternoon festival, from  noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 1 at the 39 Sullivan St. parking lot.

Initially known as the  Bacon Street Festival when it began more than a decade ago to help celebrate improvements made in one of Biddeford’s more troubled neighborhoods, the Family Fun Festival has now transformed into a celebration for the whole city.

Originally hosted mainly by the city, this year’s free festival is being co-hosted by Apex Youth Connection, Biddeford Housing, Biddeford Community Gardens and the Heart of Biddeford.

“The coordination is more collaborative this year, though, which is a very exciting development!” Apex Executive Director Melissa Cilley said.

In Biddeford, there will music by the Alumni Band, Billy Billy, and DJ Zakaria Allaf; the Biddeford Police and Fire Departments will participate and  Jim LaBelle from Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce will emcee. There will be  barbeque (including Halal), watermelon provided by Biddeford Community Gardens, fruit provided by Youth Full Maine, and bicycle smoothies by Apex, Activities and participants include: Engine chalk art area, City of Biddeford scavenger hunt, Heart of Biddeford with yard games, KindKids Music with free CDs and handmade musical instruments to play with, Apex Youth Connection and Community Hub, Biddeford Adult Ed, Service Works, McArthur Library, Kids Free to Grow, Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition, Biddeford Ready!, Maine Behavioral Health, My Place Teen Center, a Basketball free throw contest; and more. As well, the organizing committee will be awarding Neighborhood Hero awards to two people, in recognition of their contributions.

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