THUMBS UP to all those who participated in National Night Out, a national community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships.

Muskogee police were there with an MRAP (a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle. This is a vehicle police use in various crisis situations. Children love checking out the police cars, testing the sirens, flashing the lights, and asking questions about both vehicles.

By interacting with police, children learn a lot more than they think. They may be learning how things work in vehicles, but they also are learning that police officers can be friendly, encouraging, and eager to interact with them in a positive manner.

The Muskogee Fire Department, Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service, Lake Area United Way, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) also were on hand.

Jamie Powell said he feels National Night Out is a good way to share family time.

“You get to know different organizations,” he said. “It also lets the community know there are some nice people in the world.”

And Muskogee is filled with some really great people.

• • •

THUMBS UP to community leaders for coming up the idea of an annual fall festival at Muskogee’s Depot Green.

LocalMotion Arts Festival, a daylong event, will kick off at 10 a.m. Sept. 18 and continue until 10 p.m. Arts and music venues will be open on and around Depot Green.

Wren Stratton of the Muskogee Arts Guild said LocalMotion will be a collaborative effort, much like Depot Green. The public green space in the Depot District is the product of private-public partnerships forged over a period of years.

The event will include arts, crafts, music, food and fun. And plenty of local organizations will take part in the event.

Vendors and artists are being solicited for the event. “We want to get people to come out and give us a try,” said Mark Wilkerson, Muskogee Parks and Recreation director. “. . .so we want to encourage them to bring their art — jewelry, photography, painting, pottery, and the arts and crafts — and help us grow this event.”

The event will wrap up with induction festivities at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

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