ISHPEMING - More than 500 people gathered Tuesday night at the Ishpeming Township Fire Hall to underscore the importance of community at a National Night Out event.
This once-a year activity has been taking place in Ishpeming for more than 10 years and has doubled in size each year, according to Michigan State Police trooper Stacey Rasanen of the Negaunee Township Regional post.
"This event is all about watching out for your neighbor and volunteerism. It's about showing you care about your community," Rasanen said.
Ishpeming firefighter Jim Maki shows Ishpeming youth Chandler Vial how to work a fire hose at the National Night Out in Ishpeming Township Tuesday. (Journal photo by Abbey Hauswirth)
Numerous organizations had booths, including the Ishpeming Township Fire Department, Ishpeming Township Police, Rescue Unit 131, the Marquette County Sheriff's Office Special Ops, Bell EMS and the U.S. Coast Guard from Station Marquette.
Youths were able to play in bounce houses, do face painting, tour an EMS truck, learn what to do in case of an emergency, take a ride in a fire truck or learn how to use a fire hose.
One such youngster was Chandler Vial of Ishpeming, who was able to work a fire hose with Ishpeming firefighter Jim Maki. His mom, Paula Vial, stood by cheering him on.
"We come to this event every year," Paula Vial said. "It's great to see so many people and the whole family learns new things."
The Ishpeming Township event was deemed a great success by Rasanen, who said they will strive to add more activities each year and more organizations.
National Night Out events are planned in various other Marquette County communities throughout the month.
Abbey Hauswirth can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.