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Residents Enjoy Live National Night Out
Folks of all ages were able to spin the wheel of fun to claim a prize at the Bridle Ridge National Night Out gathering. Prizes included food, coloring books, rubber wrist bands, footballs, Frisbees and more. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

Before smoke from the wildfires burning in Northern California settled in over the Central Valley, residents of Oakdale had the opportunity to get out and greet their neighbors and ‘take back the night’ from crime and drugs.

It was part of the National Night Out observance hosted locally and across the county, on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

In Oakdale, it was an in person gathering; the 2020 Night Out was hosted as a ‘drive-thru’ style dinner event as the region was effectively shut down due to the pandemic.

For this year’s festivities, many attendees gathered in the Bridle Ridge area, at the Eric Medlen Park, to meet city leaders, first responders and their neighbors.

The National Night Out event in Bridle Ridge was put together by local neighborhood coordinator Deborah Tussing and her crew of volunteers. The night was full of fun, activities and support for the local first responders. Food was prepared by the Lions Club of Oakdale.

Among those in attendance were Oakdale Mayor Cherilyn Bairos, newly appointed Chief of Police Jerry Ramar and members of the Oakdale Police Department and Modesto Fire Department, which staffs the two Oakdale fire stations under a contractual agreement with the city.

“This year’s National Night Out in Oakdale was special indeed. It’s our night to honor the men and women who protect Oakdale, every single day and night,” said Mayor Bairos. “Such a great opportunity to meet and greet our Oakdale Police Department, EMS, first responders and Modesto Fire Department trucks 27 and 28.”

Kids had the opportunity to enjoy some fun and games while the adults met with city officials and visited in the informal setting, while also enjoying some good food and just having the chance for connecting face to face.

“Thank you to the five neighborhood captains and all volunteers who coordinated for neighbors and community to gather for fun, food, smiles and connections,” added Bairos. “It’s nights like this that remind us of why we choose to live in our hometown. To all who came together to make this event happen, my grateful thanks.”

This youngster was enjoying the carnival games, including horseshoes. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER