Madisonville public safety officials hosted an annual festival for National Night Out at Lake Madison on Tuesday night.
“According to community feedback, it was a success,” said Madisonville Police Chief Herbert Gilbert, who helped encourage the city to incorporate the event in 2015. “I think people were able to mingle with their neighbors and see a different side of their first responders.”
As well as members of the community getting to know each other better, it allowed locals to interact with first responders in a non-traumatic setting.
Locals were also treated to free food and prizes provided by local businesses as well as entertainment from local artists. Performers included the First Baptist Church Choir, MCF Praise Team, Harry Davis Shiloh Baptist Church, Country Boys from Washington on the Brazos, Wade Phillips and the Sincere Steppers Dance Team from Joshua Refuge Apostolic Church.
The overall theme of the night was unity in spite of any differences amongst each other in the community or issues that are dividing the country. Before the performances, multiple community members made speeches stressing unity including Mayor Bill Parten and City Manager Camilla Viator.
Local churches set up tents at the event along with the Madisonville NAACP. Games and activities were provided for children in attendance.
This was the fourth year public safety officials hosted the event for National Night Out, with the exception of a cancelation due to weather last year.