STERLING – About 150 people turned out for the evening of fun, friends, and free hot dogs at Kilgour Park on Tuesday night for National Night Out.
National Night Out began on Aug. 7, 1984, and has since been held once a year by the National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit organization that works with local law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch organizations, businesses, and community groups to promote community awareness.
This is the third straight year Sterling has participated (though it’s been happening on and off since the ‘90s), and the second consecutive year for Rock Falls.
Kids and adults alike milled about the park at Kilgour talking, eating, and enjoying the sounds of a nine-woman group of musicians who call themselves The String-Alongs. They each play a string instrument, though the majority play mountain dulcimers – oblong instruments with three strings that look like something straight out of “The Sound of Music.”
Also represented in Tuesday evening’s group: a guitar, an autoharp, and a banjammer.
The group of women usually is 10 strong, but one of their members was unable to make it to Kilgour, said Peg Albert, one of the group’s leaders.
Roberta Dillon, 69, a Kiwanis Club member, sat beneath a white tent, painting faces for the evening.
As things were wrapping up around 7 p.m., it was the face her relative, 8-year-old Eva Dillon, she was painting.
“It’s so fun,” Roberta said. “The kids are so good, and they’re fun to see.”
There was a bounce house, too, but it met its demise not long after being set up, unfortunately, said John Novak, co-organizer of the Kilgour Park event.
“Electrical problems,” he said.
The tent was donated by Rick Cavazos of Fiesta! Tables, Chairs, & Tents.
“I care about law enforcement,” he said. “And the community.”
It’s his third year sponsoring a tent. This year, he actually sponsored three: at Kilgour, Wallace, and Propheter. He came out with his grandkids, Ava and Lucy.
Other parks participating in Sterling were Douglas, Wallace, Propheter, and Lincoln. In Rock Falls, the event was held at Veterans Park.