Live music, free hot dogs, balloon animals, a dunk tank, a car show and kids’ games marked National Night Out Tuesday at Paul’s Patio in Akeley.

Nevis and Akeley firefighters and local law enforcement personnel handed out shiny, badge-shaped stickers and lined up their apparatus along the curb during the event, designed to build connections between their departments and the community.

“The festivities are exactly what was hoping for,” said Akeley Police Chief Jimmy Hansen. “People are getting out here in the fresh air and sunshine and enjoying (time) with their families.”

Asked for a comment about officers’ support for the community, Hansen stressed that it’s the community that has supported officers by making donations, and voiced “lots and lots and lots of appreciation” for people attending the event.

Dwayne Mattson, a firefighter with Nevis Fire and Rescue, said the event was going well, considering that “it wasn’t really advertised well, with the COVID stuff going on. I don’t think a lot of people knew about it.”

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The number of people who did turn up, he said, showed that “the community’s coming together and trying to have a good time, even with what’s going on.”