Middletown's first responders are hoping to meet the community next week, while also helping to raise money for children in need.
Hero's Night Out will return to West Main Street on Tuesday with dozens of local police officers and firefighters greeting residents and showing off their equipment.
"Most of the time, when people meet the police or firefighters it's during an emergency," Middletown Police Chief Henry Tobin said. "Hero's Night Out, on the other hand, is a great way for us to build relationships and get to know the people we serve in a relaxed and fun environment."
During the event from 6 to 8 p.m., the police department will be showing off its patrol cars, while the Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown will have its ladder trucks on display at the Forest Church parking lot, where they will be joined by a K-9 unit and the Delaware State Police Bagpipers.
Officers and firefighters also will be available for a meet-and-greet event at Cochran Square.
"It's a laid back event and a lot of fun," Volunteer Hose President Kevin Reinike said. "We really enjoy meeting the community, and it also gives us a chance to interact with the police officers, which we don't often get a chance to do outside of being on the scene of an emergency."
Sponsored by Middletown Main Street and downtown merchants, Hero's Night Out also helps raise money for charity.
This year, 10 local businesses have agreed to split 10 percent of their proceeds from the evening between the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children on behalf of Middletown Police and the Burn Foundation on behalf of Volunteer Hose.
Participating businesses include:
- Décor by Moore at 500 N. Broad St.
- Dogtown Hot Dogs at 2 E. Main St.
- Elana's Broad Street Florist at 500 N. Broad St.
- Femme Fatale at 25 W. Main St.
- First & Little at 49 W. Main St.
- Fromage Cheese Boutique at 10 W. Main St.
- Immediato's Bistro at 39 W. Main St.
- Purple Sage Gifts at 41 W. Main St.
- Saving Grace Christian Bookstore at 109 W. Main St.
- Sully's Irish Pub at 12 W. Main St.
Customers who visit any of the participating businesses also can enter a drawing for a gift basket and community members who visit the Hero's Night Out event will receive free photo frame magnets, while supplies last.
Hero's Night Out T-shirts also will be on sale for $20.