It was a night of celebrating law enforcement, first responders and the City of Blair on Tuesday during National Night Out at Lions Park.
The annual community-building event that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie also served as an opportunity to celebrate Blair's 150th anniversary.
Dozens of people enjoyed hot dogs and cake, while visiting with Blair police officers, Washington County sheriff's deputies and Blair firefighters.
Kids also got an inside look at fire trucks, the sheriff's mobile command unit and some even climbed into the back seat of a Nebraska State Patrol car.
Others took aim at Sheriff Mike Robinson, Blair Fire Chief Joe Leonard as well as other officers and firefighters in a dunk tank.
Other organizations including the Blair Family YMCA, Camp Fontanelle and Three Rivers Health Department had tables set up in the park with games and other activities.
Sgt. Travis Lyon also gave a demonstration with his K9 Duke.
Blair Police Capt. Aaron Barrow said the event allows law enforcement an opportunity to interact with people they don't see regularly as a part of their duties.
“It's a much more informal setting and a chance to get to deal with people as people as opposed to an authority or in our official capacity,” he said. “It's also a chance for our families to show up here to see what Dad does and look at the car. That's a good thing, too.”
Sheriff Mike Robinson agreed.
“Sometimes they see us in a worse situation, whether it be a domestic or a theft or burglary or whatever call we get. It could just be a traffic stop,” he said. “This gives us an opportunity to show a different side.
Both Barrow and Robinson enjoyed watching their officers interact with the kids.
“I really appreciate the folks that we have working for us now,” Barrow said. “They all seem very motivated to be involved in these kinds of things — anything from sitting here and watching the cars and explaining things to the kids to volunteering to get in the dunk tank to serving hot dogs. These are things that these younger officers are very motivated to do and it's fun to watch them grow.”
In addition to National Night Out, Blair residents celebrated the city's 150th anniversary.
The Blair Historic Preservation Alliance provided some history, the barbershop quartet UnFourGettables and the Burt County Brass Quintet performed and Mayor Rich Hansen welcomed the crowd and cut the cake for the event.
“We are all so lucky to live in Blair, in this great town that I've lived in all my life and would not live anywhere else if I could,” Hansen said.