Families react to National Night Out at Diehl Elementary and Gridley Park

Local News

National Night Out returned this year after being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were crowds of people at the events on Tuesday night and an added purpose.

Diehl Elementary and Gridley Park were among 16 locations that hosted events in Erie County.

People could enjoy free food and activities, and they also had a chance to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Scenes like this were not possible in 2020 as National Night Out was among so many other events that were canceled.

Now the Delta variant is renewing concern over COVID. That is why this year’s National Night Out included vaccination clinics at Gridley Park and Diehl Elementary School.

“To do a vaccine clinic just to let the community know that Diehl is here for them as a community school and try to meet the needs that our families have,” said Karen Donnelly, Community School Director for Diehl Elementary.

On Tuesday night, people enjoyed live music, free food, free balloons, and arts and crafts tables for kids, not to mention other vendor tables for adults.

“I like the activities and I like how they are giving out food,” said Ben Musone, Attendee.

“It’s been great so far we just kind of got here and started the activities, but it’s just a really great thing that the city has these things for the neighborhood and communities,” said Janelle Newman, Attendee.

Seeing people face to face at Diehl Elementary gave students the chance to reconnect with classmates.

“Maybe kids haven’t seen each other in the previous school year because of virtual learning and in person learning. So I think it will help that relationship going into this school year,” said Madison Bruno, Teacher at Diehl Elementary School.

Kids said that their favorite part of the night might have been the obstacle course or the bouncy slide.

“It’s amazing having so much fun going through the obstacle course,” said Zahraa Aldhumeen, Attendee.

Events like these give neighbors the chance to meet new people and know whose sharing their neighborhood.

“I think it’s great to see your neighbors, to see who lives around you, and also just to make friends with the people that are around you,” said Newman.

“My favorite thing here was being able to hangout with friends and family and getting to have a good time,” said Chloee Mills, Attendee.

Both events ended at 8 p.m. There was a total of 16 National Night Out events from Erie to Greene Township and Girard.

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