The community is invited to join the first annual Party in the Park, featuring family-friendly activities for children’s and adults, crime prevention presentations and information, free food, and more, from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17th, at A.K. Bissell Park near the Oak Ridge Civic Center.

The Oak Ridge Police Community Resource Office and the Oak Ridge Neighborhood Watch Program will host the 2015 Party in the Park, with activities celebrating the partnership between the community and the police department. The focus of the event is crime prevention, safety, health and wellness.

Kristine Kinsey will serve as master of ceremonies and comedian. Magician Danny Whitson will perform feats of magic during the celebration. Festivities will also include Oak Ridge Police K-9 demonstrations, safety and health exhibits, Oak Ridge Electric Department bucket rides, and drug abuse prevention information.

The Party in the Park will also feature the Canine Costume Contest at 5 p.m., sponsored by Pet Supplies “Plus.” Pet owners must register by 4:30 p.m. to participate, and categories include Most Original, Scariest, Couples (human & dog), and Best in Show.

The High Lonesome Bluegrass Band and musician Will Turner will provide entertainment during the event. Progressive Martial Arts will offer interactive demonstrations for youth and adults. Participants are invited to enjoy games, food and prizes.

In case of rain, the celebration will move into the Civic Center.

The event is designed to heighten awareness of crime prevention and drug prevention, to generate support for local anti-crime programs, and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

Besides the Police Department and Neighborhood Watch, supporting the festivities will be Volunteers in Police Services, alumni of the Citizens Police Academy, and graduates of the Junior Police Academy. Neighborhood Watch Vice President Emilee Smith and Oak Ridge Police Community Resource Officer Brandan Sharp are coordinating the event.

Through the Neighborhood Watch Program, groups of neighbors organize and partner with the Police Department to report suspicious activity and keep watch on neighbors’ homes, helping police to reduce crime and keep neighborhoods safe. The program helps neighbors improve the quality of life in their communities.

For more information, e-mail

Officer John Thomas invites children to meet one of the Oak Ridge Police Department’s K-9s at last year’s crime prevention celebration