Hundreds of Ohio County residents ate free hot dogs and pizza, took giant tricycle rides and visited with their neighbors Tuesday during the National Night Out at Wheeling Park's ice skating rink.
Organized by members of the city's various neighborhood watch groups, the annual event allows families to socialize and get to know their local first responders and businesses.
''It's a fun night - especially for kids,'' said Jean Grandstaff of Wheeling.
Photos by Shelley Hanson
National Night Out committee member Emma Lou Carle stands in front of a large crowd attending the event Tuesday at Wheeling Park’s ice skating rink.
Kylah Cunningham, 3, of Wheeling sits on one of the Wheeling Police Department’s three-wheeled motorcycles during the National Night Out on Tuesday.
''And for grown-ups,'' added her husband, Bob Grandstaff.
The couple said they also planned to attend the Toe Tappin' Tuesdays free concert at the park's nearby amphitheater.
West Liberty resident Evelyn West came to the Night Out with her former neighbor and friend, Cathy Pierce, who was in town visiting from Virginia.
''I saw it in the paper and I'd thought we'd come check it out,'' Pierce said. ''We're on an adventure.''
Matthew Horr, 13, a Bridge Street Middle School student tried the ''beer goggle'' tricycle ride hosted by Wheeling police Sgt. Don Miller. The goggles are meant to mimic the impact alcohol has on one's senses. During his figure-eight ride, Horr ran into an orange traffic cone.
''It's definitely a lot harder driving than normal,'' Horr said of his experience. ''You can't see until you're real close.''
Miller asked Horr what he learned from the goggle ride.
''Don't drink and drive,'' he replied.
Night Out committee member Roy Cochran noted there were dozens of prizes to be given away during the event, including 23 bicycles.
''It's good to give, and this was all donated for a good cause,'' Cochran said. ''It's really for the kids. Last year, you could see one kid had a tear in his eye, and he got the best bike. ... It's all worth it.''
K-9 unit demonstrations also were planned by the Wheeling Police and Ohio County Sheriff's departments. The city's fire safety house also was available for tours.