The annual National Night Out in Wheeling will feature a variety of free entertainment for the entire family, organizers said.
This year's event is slated from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 7 at Wheeling Park's Ice Skating Rink. Organizer Carol Roset noted the Night Out, which offers free food and free chances to win prizes including bicycles and other toys, is under roof at the rink. One exception is the Wheeling Fire Department's new smoke house, which helps firefighters teach children how to safely exit a home if there is a fire. It will be parked outside of the rink.
"People definitely need to come - we're preparing for 800 to 900 people," Roset said, noting food offerings will include hot dogs, pizza, pop, water, chips and ice pops.
"There are 20 bicycles, gift certificates, skateboards and more," she added, in reference to prizes.
There also will be 19 tables set up by various organizations and businesses for people to visit. And demonstrations are planned by the Wheeling Police Department's K-9 units.
Wheeling police Cpl. Rick Roxby, whose police dog is Dux, said each year the children enjoy the K-9 demonstrations. It shows children and adults how the dogs are trained to latch on to a suspect's arm only and not let go until commanded to by their owner/officer.
"Everybody should come out - it's an awesome event," Roxby said. "People always say there's nothing to do in Wheeling. This is the perfect example of a family-oriented event and it's all free."
The Ohio County Sheriff's Department also will be there. The police department will also host ''beer goggle'' tricycle rides so people can see how the consumption of alcohol and driving do not mix. The goggles worn while driving the extra large tricycles are meant to mimic the impact alcohol can have on one's senses.
Organizer Emma Lou Carle said the Night Out is a good opportunity for people to have a good time.
"It's just a nice way for people in the city of Wheeling and Ohio County to get together and have an enjoyable evening," Carle said.