Greensburg celebrates National Night Out

By Courtney Blankenship
Pratt Tribune
Community members gathered at the swimming pool park in Greensburg on Aug. 3 to attend the inaugural event for “National Night Out.” The event, put on by the Greensburg Police Department and the Youth Explorer Program, included live music from the Cynthia Rausch Band, activities, and free hamburgers and hot dogs.

Hundreds of community members gathered at the swimming pool park in Greensburg on Aug. 3 to attend the inaugural event for “National Night Out.”

Planned and carried out by the Greensburg Police Department and its Youth Explorer Program, Chief of Police, Aaron Webb, said that there were many other community organizations that helped make the night possible by donating or hosting activities.

National Night Out has been happening for years in other locations around the country, but this year marks the first time that the event was held in Greensburg.

“The event was a success,” Webb said. “We had a great turnout and have heard a lot of positive feedback from our community. The purpose of National Night Out is to bring law enforcement agencies and the communities that they serve together.”

While it is unclear exactly how many people attended the event, Webb said he would estimate the number of people being close to 300.

Held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Webb said that National Night Out is always held in the evening of the first Tuesday of August.

“We had a dunk tank, inflatable obstacle course, face painting, live music from Cynthia Rausch, public safety equipment on display, free hamburgers and hot dogs-- along with chips and drinks,” Webb said. “We also had the pool open for a free night swim.”

Serving as entertainment for the evening, the Cynthia Rausch Band performed several original songs, including Cynthia’s current radio release, “Too Country For That,” which she said is sitting at #71 on the Texas Regional Radio Charts.

“I truly support law enforcement in our small-town communities that are doing their best to uphold the law and keep their citizens safe,” Rausch said.

While no additional COVID-19 restrictions were imposed for the event, Rausch said hand sanitizer was readily available and social distancing was easily established since it was an outdoor event.

“I think the event was an awesome success from my point of view,” Rausch said. “The community came out and were able to meet and greet their local law enforcement and establish the start of a relationship that will benefit the community as a whole in the future. And, it gave a chance for younger generations to see that police are there to serve and protect and that they can be an ally in times of need. I commend the police department for their commitment to their community.”

Originally from Sharon, Kansas -- hometown of Martina McBride -- Rausch travels all over Kansas and Oklahoma performing at shows in various venues as a solo artist. With her previous band, Rausch said she has performed at many Greensburg events.

Event attendee and Mullinville resident, Heather Coyne, said she felt that the National Night Out was a great experience.

“It was so awesome to get together with the community and share a meal while listening to great live music before the busyness of the school year takes over,” Coyne said.

Coyne said she went to the event, not only to have a good time, but also because she felt that it was important to support all of the volunteers who worked to put the event together.

“My favorite part was the live music and getting together with the community members. I had great conversations,” Coyne said. “It was awesome to see everyone, especially since you kind of get separated during the summer when everyone travels and goes to do their own thing. And, it was an absolutely gorgeous evening. The weather was perfect.”

Sponsors of the event included Kiowa County EMS, Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office, Greensburg Fire Department, Kiowa County Health Department, Kook’s Meat, Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, Hardinger Construction, Best Western Hotel, Complete Tow, Kiowa County Pharmacy, Homestead Insurance, People’s Insurance, Pueblo Concrete, Turquoise Ranch, and Cannonball Bar and Grill.

The Greensburg Police Department posted to their Facebook page saying that they look forward to making the event an annual tradition. They also thanked all participating agencies, volunteers, and sponsors for making the night a success.