Family fun at NNO

16_nno_7680HIT THE PINS  — Mandy Swan, a human bowling ball, takes down pins with a little guidance from Cindy Johnson during National Night Out at the Conrad Lions Swimming Pool Park on Tuesday evening.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Conrad does know how to throw a party!

Tuesday night was the second go-around for National Night Out (NNO) and well over 300 people came out to the Conrad Lions Swimming Pool Park for the event.

Building off of last year’s party, this one was even better and will be a spring board for future NNOs.

This is a national event put on by communities taking place on the first Tuesday in August from coast-to-coast.

While this has been happening in other places for up to 27 years, this was the second time for Conrad.

It affords local, state and federal law enforcement agencies the opportunity to raise awareness of the law enforcement mission and to try and develop the partnerships that are critical to keeping our communities safe.

On hand this year were the Conrad City Police Department, Pondera County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, Montana Highway Patrol, the Pondera County DUI Task Force, Search and Rescue, the Border Patrol, the 83rd Civic Support Group out of Helena and the Conrad Volunteer Fire Department.

Besides law enforcement this year featured some craft vendors, the Lions Club were grilling “hamburgers delight”. Paul Olson was cooking up pulled pork sandwiches and there was free popcorn, watermelon, cotton candy and snow cones being handed out and being scarfed by up a lot of kids.

There were more games this year including bunji jumping, human bowling balls, and human jousting to go along with the vastly popular dunk tank. And, Judy Sawyer had her horses out for rides and this was a big choice for small folks.

The DUI Task force had a small course set up for folks to try and navigate while wearing “the drunk”  goggles. I went through the course, well, more like imaginary ditches and coulees, which prompted Laura Erickson, RN, to comment, “I hope you like a lot of grass under your car.”

The CVFD put on a very popular demonstration of how a person was excavated from a crashed vehicle using the Jaws of Life.  It was a super demonstration!

Laura Linn opened up the evening singing the National Anthem and did a marvelous job. She has this song “down pat”, singing it at the opening of school events and last weekend at the state swim meet.

The mother-daughter duo of Melanie and Madison Hoggan of Shelby played some toe-tapping music with their violins.

George Tornga had the MC duty and moved from location-to-location in the park on his 4-wheeler with a bull horn announcing events and to keep things moving along.

As with any event, a glitch or two pops up, but you get past them, and move on to a good time.

This year NNO was better than last years’ and next years’, feeding off this year, will be bigger and better than this one.

That’s the way it goes.

With that in mind, we can all look forward, already, with anticipation and community spirit to a fun filled family event next August.