Hundreds of beams of light illuminate the falling darkness, bobbing up and down, up and down, to the strides of exuberant children and the parents keeping watch over them.
In a steady stream, they pour through the city of Brookfield. It's good exercise, great social time.
But more than that, the Brookfield National Night Out flashlight walk is an annual tradition that puts the fundamentals of personal safety - the main thrust of the entire event - to practice.
The flashlights make you visible to drivers, and help you see bumps, holes and other obstructions that might trip you up and cause injury. Walking with friends and family, well, there's always safety in numbers.
Brookfield residents are gearing up for National Night Out 2011, which will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 3 in the Brookfield Civic Plaza and at the Safety Building, 2100 N. Calhoun Road.
National Night Out is an educational crime prevention and safety event held in thousands of communities across the country so residents can learn about their local police and fire departments. During the celebration, awareness is built through educating and informing residents about what they can do in order to keep their neighborhoods safe, officials said.
There will be activities for all ages at Brookfield's National Night Out, said Denise Carroll, Community Services Officer with the city of Brookfield Police Department.
At the event residents can learn safety and crime prevention tips and many informational handouts will be available. Information booths will be set up in the Fire Department's apparatus bay to provide tips on Neighborhood Watch, Homeland Security, Identity Theft Protection, Internet safety, personal safety, crime prevention for seniors, 9-1-1 emergency phone calls, drug abuse prevention, fire prevention, bicycle and traffic safety, child fingerprinting, Children's Digital ID, and child safety programs including the "Yell and Tell" Program, Hunter and Boater Safety and the Civil Air Patrol.
In the Civic Plaza, guests will be able to visit with the Waukesha County Canine Unit and watch self-defense educational demonstrations and airbag safety and child car seat safety check demonstrations. Children's games, C.P. Rail Rides for kids, volleyball and a dunk tank also will be featured.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Crossfire.
Food, refreshments and free T-shirts will be available.
The night wraps up with the Flashlight Walk Against Crime, which will take place from 8:30 to 9 p.m.
The city of Brookfield started its National Night Out celebration in 1999, and the event usually draws about 2,000 to 3,000 people a year, Carroll said.
"We are very happy to have this opportunity to get the crime prevention and safety information out to the community, and we are pleased that so many citizens participate in this worthwhile event," she said.
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