Join us Friday for National Night Out, music and more

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wilson residents are asked to join with local law enforcement this Friday for the annual National Night Out.

National Night Out's No Texting while Driving CourseThe event will be held during the First Friday on the Lawn concert event, 6-9 p.m., 249 W. Nash St., which is the lawn of the Wilson County Public Library. The concert will feature the Darrell Harwood band and other performances.

Begun in 1984, National Night Out is a partnership between the police and communities to take a stand against crime and make neighborhoods safer.

The Wilson Police Department will have 10 different displays Friday night; Wilson Fire and Rescue will have five displays, including fire trucks; and Wilson County EMS, 9-1-1 center and the Sheriff’s Office will also participate. Target, the national sponsor of National Night Out, is contributing a variety of activities, door prizes and games.

The WPD Strategic Traffic Enforcement Policing (STEP) team will host a new activity this year highlighting the dangers of texting and driving. The STEP team will set up a golf cart road course for those of driving age. NC law prohibits all drivers under 18 from using cellphones while driving, and texting while driving is prohibited for all drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sending a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field,  if traveling at 55 mph.

There will be also a children’s scavenger hunt. Kids will receive a map of the activities. At each booth/activity will be a specific item to find or identify. Once the children have completed a majority of the hunt, they can bring the map to the Human Relations Commission tent and receive a prize.

Country music is the featured act in August. Darrell Harwood’s five-piece country band plays on average 100 shows per year and has opened for national acts such as Jason Michael Carroll, Easton Corbin and Clint Black. They are scheduled to perform at the 2014 NC State Fair in October. The band plays high energy new country, originals and covers. The band members are Darrell Harwood, lead vocals; John Barton, guitar and banjo; Eric Upton, guitar and dobro; Jamie Scruggs, bass and Tim Jones, drums and percussion.

Mesmerizing Arts from Raleigh, NC will perform several Polynesian and hula dances from 7-7:30 pm. The trio of dancers includes two female dancers and one “warrior” male dancer.  Polynesian dancers illustrate the words and melody of the song through hand gestures and hip movements. Early Polynesian music is described as chant-songs, vocal music that is chanted using simple to elaborate melodies. These chant-songs were a part of daily life. The rhythm of the music is emphasized by stomping of the feet or clapping of hands. Dancers wear colorful clothes island native clothes, such as grass skirts and leis worn by Hawaiian hula dancers.

The Wilson Youth Council is operating a free kids zone with a large 19 foot water slide and water mister, to help beat the heat.

The food vendors this month are: Taste of Texas, All Good Dogs, Everett’s Concessions, Jerry on Wheels and Mt. Hebron Fish Fry.

The community booths that will be set up are N.C. Wesleyan College, Federation of the Blind of Wilson, Wilson Downtown Development Corporation, YOUTH of Wilson, Wilson Energy and the Girl Scouts.

1st Fridays on the Lawn is a family-friendly event. Admission is free. All concerts are alcohol free. Pets are preferred to be left at home, but if brought must obey the leash law. Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, a blanket and even a picnic from home.

In case of rain, the concerts will be moved downtown to the Boykin Center. The schedule will remain the same with the doors opening at 5 p.m. and the music starting at 6 p.m.

For more information check out the 1st Fridays on the Lawn web page on the City of Wilson’s website (, key word search “1st Fridays” or contact the Human Relations Office by calling 399-2308.

The remaining 1st Fridays on the Lawn concerts will be held on September 5 with rock music and October 3 with R&B music.