Cottage Grove hosts Night to Unite: Meet and greet brings out the crowds
Annual Night to Unite picnics in Cottage Grove drew police, firefighters, residents, elected officials and Strawberry Fest ambassadors together to renew their shared commitment to crime prevention, public safety and community pride.
A visit by a city fire truck, sirens wailing, was a highlight at a block party hosted by Lindsay Elwell of Cottage Grove. Her daughter Amelia Mizell, 5, wore her star-shaped police sticker with pride.
At Ideal Park, the outdoor picnic included yoga on the grass.
There were 45 registered parties, Community Affairs Officer Adam Pelton said.
The city also held its annual Fill the Backpack campaign. The Cottage Grove Public Safety Board provided a backpack to interested party planners. People were encouraged to fill the backpacks with school supplies, which the city then donated to Friends in Need Food Shelf.
Residents also donated paper towels, plates and napkins as part of the city's Paper Products campaign.
"They were very generous this year," Pelton said. "We filled two pickup trucks full of donations from the neighborhoods."
There was also a coloring contest to win a free splash pad rental at Highlands Park.