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Dancing, animals featured at Sheriff’s party

Eileen Hutchinson, 5, wearing a cow hat, visits a clown at the National Night Out celebration Tuesday night at Stafford Market Place. (Mary Davidson)

Stafford County, Va. – It was a night for residents to come outside and meet their neighbors.

More than 300 people Tuesday attended a National Night Out celebration at Stafford Marketplace, off Va. 610 in North Stafford, where they met animals, took pony rides, participated in raffle drawings and met members of the local sheriff’s and fire and rescue departments.

The free, annual event was held from 6 until 9 p.m., and was designed to strengthen relationships with local law enforcement and to have a good time.

Volunteer firefighter Brian Jensen lets 9-year-old Steven McClung try on a firefighters’ outfit, where the boots were almost as big as he was. (Mary Davidson)

“It’s not every day that we get to go out like this, so we wanted to come out tonight and have a good time,” said Sherree Setzer, of North Stafford.

Her two sons, Brian, 8, and Travis, 12, played many of the games that were set up in the festival area.

“I liked the ring toss,” said Travis.

Even Stafford County Sheriff Charles E. Jett got in on the fun, doing a line dance as soon as he arrived at the festival.

The celebration at Stafford Marketplace was one of 16 other National Night Out events held across the county, all with the combined theme “connected through communities.”

“It’s nice to have this, a place for the community to come out and get involved. It really makes the community feel like a unit,” said Amanda Bomar, of North Stafford.

Bowman, her husband and two children, Keely 2, and Ean, 6, all enjoyed the party on the plaza.

“Ean wanted the fireman’s hat and Keely liked the free hot dogs,” said Bowman.

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