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Several Changes Planned For National Night Out

No fireworks will be held this year due to the city's burn ban and the football field will not be used because of construction. However, several new programs will be part of the event.

Changes are afoot for this year's National Night Out, the safety-themed event that will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7 at the , 8580 S. Howell Ave.

Perhaps most notably, drought-conditions and the city's burn ban have forced organizers to cancel the fireworks that are traditionally shot off at the end of the event.

The National Night Out committee made that decision last week after consulting with the and , committee chairwoman Kim Bogadi said.

A grass fire brought the , and conditions haven't improved much since. The city's burn ban, which prohibits all types of outdoor fires except for grills, went into effect the next day and remains in place.

The committee is working on a different finale for National Night Out, which is annually one of Oak Creek's biggest events.

The finale will also be in a different location. Traditionally, attendees participate in a flashlight walk to the high school football field to watch the fireworks. But that area is now closed off with , meaning all activities will stay on the community center grounds.

The finale will likely be held on a stage set up outside the community center, Bogadi said.

Additions, too

But it's not just the subtractions that are different about this year's National Night Out — new programs have been added as well.

The children's theater group Yell and Tell will put on a safety presentation designed for children age 4 and up and their parents. The program teaches children what to do when they see a dangerous situation.

Sky Warn will hold a presentation on severe weather safety. There, attendees can also sign up for weather spotter classes.

The committee is also hoping to bring in a television meteorologist for a third program. All of the presentations will be held inside the community center, where numerous local businesses and organizations will be set up.

Meanwhile, many of the familiar activities are still in place: a children's bounce house, police and fire equipment (including the ), a police K-9 demonstration, raffles and more.

The obstacle course is back as well, but with a different focus. Instead of showing the difficulties of driving drunk, the course is designed to show the dangers of texting while driving.

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