Muskego -- This year’s Muskego National Night Out on Thursday, Aug. 4, promises to be bigger than ever with kids and adults invited to take the distracted driver challenge and to see if they can pass a field sobriety test wearing glasses that distort their balance the way alcohol does.

The simulators from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be a first for the event to be held from 5 to 9 p.m.  at Muskego’s Veteran’s Memorial Park across from the Muskego City Hall, W182 S8200 Racine Ave.

Returning favorites will be exhibits from law enforcement, the fire department and event sponsors, along with food, music, bounce houses, glitter tattoos and the Klements Racing Sausages. Other highlights will include the Muskego Lions Club bike and bike helmet give away, a visit from Flight for Life. Raffles will include Target gift cards and tickets for Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Admirals games. Bids also will be taken on a signed football from the Green Bay Packers.

The band The Gleasons will be back with its offering of Celtic, Americana, bluegrass, rock and pop favorites. There also will be bike raffles sponsored by the Muskego Lions Club. The Lions also will accept eyeglass donations. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 500 kids.

National Night Out is an effort of the Muskego Task Force on Public Safety Education, the Muskego Police Department, the Tess Corners Fire Department and corporate sponsors.

Simulators to be popular

The DOT car and motorcycle simulators are expected to be popular attractions, said Police Officer Michael Rakers who is on the Night Out planning committee..

“It will see if people pay attention to the road,” or have to peak at their phones, he said. People wanting to take on the challenge will get behind the wheel of the simulator and drive as screens simulate the road ahead.

What happens during the challenge is a bit of a secret.

Motorcycle safety is the aim of the balance glasses simulator that demonstrates how alcohol messes with your balance, even if people don't realize it, Rakers said.

“And when you’re only on two wheels, you really need your balance,” he said.

Kids' 'mug shots'

For the first time at National Night Out, the Muskego Police Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association will let parents photograph their children sitting in the back of a police squad car or on a motorcycle or even take a “mug shot" of their children. The fee to do all that will help the group raise money.

Lots of people may have seen the anti-drinking and driving television commercials saying “choose your ride.”  The choose your ride car in that commercial will be at Muskego's National Night Out. The car is half police squad car and half taxi, emphasizing that drunken drivers can either go to the police station in a squad car or go home in a taxi.

Back again will be the Army National Guard with its rock wall to climb. Representatives of the Coast Guard and the state Department of Natural Resources will be on hand to answer boating and hunting questions.

The Flight for Life is slated to copter into the festival from 7 to 7:30 p.m. The Klements Racing Sausages will mingle with the crowd and maybe even race from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m., firefighters will present a Jaws of Life demonstration, cutting the roof and doors off a car. The demonstration will show how firefighters rescue people who are trapped inside of cars.

Visitors also will get to meet Muskego’s first police dog, Sirius, named in honor of the only police dog lost on 9/11. They also can meet police officers and firefighters and learn how to keep their neighborhoods safe.

Support for police

With police officers coming under attack around the country, National Night Out visitors can get free “Support Law Enforcement” decals for their cars and buy “We Back the Badge” yard signs for $10. The Inpro Corp. of Muskego is providing the decals.

The police department started selling the yard signs last year, but with the killings and shootings of police officers around the country, the signs have been selling fast.

“In six days, we sold 40 of them, and people are still coming in looking for them,” Rakers said.

Residents are showing their support for police in other ways, too. People have brought water and treats to the police station and when they see officers on the street they have told them how much they appreciate and support them, Rakers said.

“The support we’ve received in the past month has been unbelievable,” he said.

Families who want to have dinner right at National Night Out can choose hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, brats or hot dogs and potato chips, snacks, soda and ice cream.

The event will end with a Glow Stick Walk.

The sponsors include Alpine Lanes, American Family Insurance, Avant Graphics, Citizens Bank, Coldwell Banker, Elite-Tad Williams, Costco-New Berlin, Dairy Queen-Muskego, Inpro Corporation, Jimmy Johns, Klement’s Sausage Co., Inc., Kwik Trip, Lakepoint Church, Lang Construction, Learning Edge Childcare & Preschool, Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce, Muskego Lions Club, Muskego Mobil, Muskego Moose Lodge, Muskego Tire & Auto, New York Life Insurance-John Mooney, Piggly Wiggly, St. Leonard’s School, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, Starz Dance Academy, State Farm Insurance, Summit Credit Union, Sysco, Target, Tri Town Heating and Air Conditioning, US Bank, Waukesha State Bank, and the Waukesha County Technical College Criminal Justice Department.

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