August 1, 2023 – On Saturday, September 30th, the Clovis Police Department will be hosting their 12th Annual Clovis Night Out.
To learn more about this year’s Clovis Night Out, we sat down with Clovis Police Department’s Captain Katy Benham along with Public Information Officer, Ty Wood.
The original idea for Clovis Night Out was based on National Night Out, which is an annual event held throughout the nation every August. The goal of National Night Out is to “enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community.”
Inspired by National Night Out, Clovis PD took their own spin on it, and thus Clovis Night Out was created.
The first annual Clovis Night Out took place at Clovis High School on August 27th, 2011. There were 16 food vendors, some of which still participate in the event to this day. In addition to the food vendors, there were about 45 other vendors, including static displays, bounce houses, fire trucks, a dunk tank, the Fresno County Library bus, and even pony rides.
“So, we have obviously grown since then,” stated Captain Benham. “And it’s only ever been at three locations in our entire city.” Clovis High School, Dry Creek Park, and Sierra Meadows Park, now known as David McDonald Park.
“As Captain Benham mentioned, National Night Out, nationwide, is always in August but that doesn’t work in the Central Valley,” said Public Information Officer Ty Wood “but like she mentioned, this was a really good way to promote community, neighborhood safety, [and] get the police department with the members of the community.”
Wood said that most of the other city departments participate in Clovis Night Out as well. Public works, the fire trucks, the garbage trucks—and then every division from the police department. “Every division steps up, we have everything from canine to our bomb unit, our crime scene, all the specialty vehicles.”
“The live band is actually one of the big draws. People bring out lawn chairs and blankets and they get food,” said Wood. “And we only have local food and boutique vendors — 95% of our vendors are mom-and-pop local vendors.”
Just a few of the many vendors include: woodworking, florists, jewelry, therapy dogs, model airplanes and much more.
“We’ve gone up to 100 vendors, not just including food,” said Captain Benham. “And then [there’s] our static displays, like Ty had mentioned, we do have every division within the city. But we have also included California Highway Patrol [who] comes in and does recruitment.”
“Over the years, I’ve had the Fresno Sheriff’s Department’s Eagle 1 helicopter land, I’ve had CHP’s H-40 land, we’ve always had Fresno County Engine 85. It’s not just focused on our city,” said the Captain.
“And it’s a really good free family event,” added Wood. “We have bounce houses for the kids. Fireworks in the past and the drone show; that’s always a nice finale,”
“It’s really cool. Seeing the little kids sit on the police motorcycle or climbing up into the garbage truck, or watching the drone show—all of it’s really neat.”
“And that’s kind of just over the course of how it’s all developed every year,” Captain Benham said, “I always wanted to do bigger, better.”
Come celebrate with the community on Saturday, September 30th at David McDonald Park near Temperance & Sierra, next to the Miss Winkles Pet Adoption Center, starting at 4PM until dark!