Morgan Park residents celebrated their first National Night Out event Tuesday with music, food, bounce houses and local law enforcement.
Children raced in a bounce house obstacle course while music from Maintenance Free floated out through the windows of the Good Fellowship Community Center, just across the street from where the former Morgan Park Middle School used to stand.
Debbie Isabell-Nelson, neighborhood coordinator, said every year in August the neighborhood holds a community event, but this year, for the first time, they decided it have it on National Night Out.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderies in an effort to make the neighborhoods safer. Duluth firefighters and police came out to the Morgan Park event, which even saw an appearance by Mayor Emily Larson and Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken.
Isabell-Nelson said organizers also decided to incorporate a little history into the event.
"It just seemed like the best year to pull together as a community to talk about the history of Morgan Park," she said. "As most people know we lost the school, the Catholic church was also torn down this year and many of our senior citizens have either moved into a one-level home or assisted-living facility. So we wanted to make sure we had a chance to bring everybody in the community together the best we could and talk about the neighborhood history."
As part of the event, a history of Morgan Park presentation was given by John Strongitharm. There was also no shortage of fun for the neighborhood children between the fire truck, playground and bounce houses.
"I love the neighborhood and I love the kids as well as doing events for them to enjoy too," Isabell-Nelson said.