Locals attend National Night Out in Livingston

Hayden Blackford
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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Forest service horse Leeroy is greeted by onlookers. Leeroy’s handler, Brad Bolte, a law enforcement officer, introduced the horse at the National Night Out event, on Tuesday afternoon. Enterprise photo by Hayden Blackford

The McNair Gravity Park was lit up by the lights of emergency vehicles that accompanied an ice-cream social Tuesday afternoon. National Night Out, an event sponsored by the Park County Health Department, allowed the public to meet and greet other members of their community.

The city has done National Night Out a few times, but there have been no events for the past few years. The event started in the 1970s and celebrates the police, Forest Service, firefighters, Highway Patrol, or other first responders. This is especially important with everything that has happened to Park County in recent years, according to Shannan Piccolo, event organizer. She also noted that there were several other events happening simultaneously in Emigrant, Clyde Park and Gardiner.

The event was attended by public figures, candidates, and ordinary citizens. Director of Public Works, Matt Whitman, came out to show his support for the county and first responders. He noted that the last few months have been “extremely busy.”

Whitman explained that after the flooding there was an initial emergency response, followed by a week of down time, and now people are beginning to work on permanent fixes.

The event brought another public servant into view, Leeroy, a forest service horse. Leeroy can be used for search and rescue, for access, or any number of tasks, explained Forest Service Public Affairs Specialist Morgan Demyer, who was also in attendance.

Abel Rios of Livingston Fire and Rescue explained that National Night Out started as a way for the police and the public to foster relations, and later they incorporated other first responders into the event. The event is a chance for the public to ask questions and gain knowledge, Rios said.

“Everyone’s just working together,” said Rios.