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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
The Olney Chamber of Commerce will not hold its annual National Night Out celebration on Aug. 4, and perhaps not at all this year.
The event is sponsored nationally by the National Association of Town Watch, which has strongly recommended that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of the first Tuesday of August, all National Night Out 2020 events be celebrated on the first Tuesday in October, Oct. 6.
Jon Hulsizer, executive director of the Olney Chamber of Commerce, the local sponsor of National Night Out, said no decision has been made about celebrating on that date.
“It’s a pretty big event, and to have it in October, we’d need to start working on it in July,” he said. “But we are not at that point when we can predict what things will be like in October and if we will be able to have crowds of that size.”
The Olney celebration of National Night Out has won national awards for participation, generally drawing more than 1,000 people.
He said the chamber would also have to consider whether vendors would want to participate and if they would be able to sell food.
Another challenge with the Oct. 6 date is that it is sandwiched between two other large community events — the Women’s Board Picnic and Bazaar, which has been rescheduled to Oct. 3, and the chamber’s Olney Community Night, which is planned for Oct. 12.
“Community Night is in jeopardy, too, with a large crowd for an indoor event,” Hulsizer said. “It’s just a bleak picture with not enough information.”
This would mark the 27th year of Olney’s National Night Out, an event designed to generate neighborhood support and participation in crime prevention efforts and to enhance police and community relatio
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