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Debut of Kids' Night Out Packs Cerrito Theater

El Cerrito's first National Night Out celebration just for kids Monday night was a big hit. Tonight, Tuesday, everyone gets a chance to join in celebrations at various locations throughout El Cerrito and Kensington.

It may have been the free showing of Cars 2 or the free popcorn. Or it could have been the chance to hang out with police officers and McGruff the Crime Dog. Whatever the draw, young patrons and their accompanying adults packed the Cerrito Theater Monday night for El Cerrito’s first National Night Out event designed exclusively for kids.

The line stretched down the block as families waited to get in. Next was a stop for free popcorn provided by Rialto Cerrito Cinema, then a goodie bag containing items such as a coloring book, balloon, bookmark and safety information. Joining McGruff to greet those attending were City Councilwoman Janet Abelson and Police Chief Sylvia Moir.

The goal of the evening was to educate kids about traffic safety.

The rest of us will have a chance to participate this evening, as El Cerrito and Kensington join other communities across the country and beyond in celebrating National Night Out. Celebrations will be held at locations scattered across both communities.

National Night Out is an annual safety event highlighting crime, drug and violence prevention.

Residents who want to hold a block party or similar gathering plan details themselves – such as hours, location, food, and activities – and spread the word in their neighborhood through means such as signs, fliers and emails.  Some parties may include only a few nearby neighbors while others draw a much larger crowd, like those held at Tassajara and Huber parks in El Cerrito and Arlington Community Church in Kensington.

For more information on activities in El Cerrito contact Detective Sgt. Scott Cliatt at 510-215-4418 or scliatt@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us. For Kensingtonm, contact Officer Doug Wilson at dwilson@kensingtoncalifornia.org or 510-526-4141.

Local Mom August 07, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I was thinking about taking my 3 yo, but was a little worried about the possibility of standing in a long line and then perhaps not getting a seat. Can any attendees report how it went for the little ones?
Cranberry August 07, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Is there a list of El Cerrito events for tonight's National Night Out? I was hoping to introduce my daughter to the police officers so that she's not afraid of them if we need them, but like Local Mom was afraid of the big crowds at the theater yesterday.
Betty Buginas August 09, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Mosh, sorry I didn't see this note in time. There is a tri-city safety day coming up Sept. 8 at the Plaza (noted here but details not up yet: http://el-cerrito.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=590 ). Maybe if you got there right at the beginning it wouldn't be too hectic yet. For future reference, they don't issue a list but there are some locations like Huber and Tassajara parks that seem to have them regularly and the police could probably direct you to one that works for you.
Local Mom August 09, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Tri City Safety Day is an excellent suggestion - most of the staff there are very friendly plus the kids get to go inside the vehicles.
Betty Buginas August 09, 2012 at 03:08 AM
It’s impressive to see the firefighters out talking with neighbors and letting kids climb all over the fire trucks on National Night out, knowing many of them were out the night before battling a particularly nasty, major fire; the police officers, too, go from being in the midst of some pretty grisly situations to taking the time to answer kids’ questions.

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