Night Out event rescheduled for Friday

FARRELL — Rain washed out the city’s National Night Out observance last week, but the downpour couldn’t wash the event away.

Farrell officials have rescheduled the gathering for 5 p.m. Friday at Veterans Square, Spearman Avenue at Federal Street. Mercer County Coroner John Libonati will be guest speaker.

National Night Out is part of a program to promote drug and crime prevention and to foster relationships between the police and the community.

Traditionally, the event is held on the first Tuesday in August. On that night, participating residents are encouraged to leave their front porch lights on after dark to signify a commitment to keep a watch for crime.

Farrell’s event was originally scheduled for Aug. 6, but was postponed due to rain.

This year, the local National Night Out will include a cookout with the Farrell fire and police departments, with hotdogs and refreshments. Community agencies will set up informational booths to promote community services dealing with community safety.

Farrell Mayor Olive McKeithan said the city began holding an annual National Night Out event to combat drug use in the city.

“We used to march in the highly populated drug areas,” she said.

The observance morphed from a march to a community rallying point. Emily Jackson of the Mercer County Juvenile Probation Department had been scheduled to speak on Aug. 6, but was unavailable for Friday’s session.

However, McKeithan said she expects a powerful message from Libonati, who has been using his position as coroner to speak out against drug abuse.

“I think it’ll be a good message for the youth,” the mayor said.

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