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Debut of Kids' Night Out Packs Cerrito Theater

El Cerrito's first National Night Out celebration just for kids Monday night was a big hit. Tonight, Tuesday, everyone gets a chance to join in celebrations at various locations throughout El Cerrito and Kensington.

It may have been the free showing of Cars 2 or the free popcorn. Or it could have been the chance to hang out with police officers and McGruff the Crime Dog. Whatever the draw, young patrons and their accompanying adults packed the Cerrito Theater Monday night for El Cerrito’s first National Night Out event designed exclusively for kids.

The line stretched down the block as families waited to get in. Next was a stop for free popcorn provided by Rialto Cerrito Cinema, then a goodie bag containing items such as a coloring book, balloon, bookmark and safety information. Joining McGruff to greet those attending were City Councilwoman Janet Abelson and Police Chief Sylvia Moir.

The goal of the evening was to educate kids about traffic safety.

The rest of us will have a chance to participate this evening, as El Cerrito and Kensington join other communities across the country and beyond in celebrating National Night Out. Celebrations will be held at locations scattered across both communities.

National Night Out is an annual safety event highlighting crime, drug and violence prevention.

Residents who want to hold a block party or similar gathering plan details themselves – such as hours, location, food, and activities – and spread the word in their neighborhood through means such as signs, fliers and emails.  Some parties may include only a few nearby neighbors while others draw a much larger crowd, like those held at Tassajara and Huber parks in El Cerrito and Arlington Community Church in Kensington.

For more information on activities in El Cerrito contact Detective Sgt. Scott Cliatt at 510-215-4418 or scliatt@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us. For Kensingtonm, contact Officer Doug Wilson at dwilson@kensingtoncalifornia.org or 510-526-4141.

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