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It is the 17th year for Aztec police to host event

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FARMINGTON — The Aztec Police Department is preparing for its 17th annual National Night Out event, which brings in vendors from around San Juan County together for the community to connect with law enforcement.

The national event was founded to help area law enforcement enhance its relationship with the community in a positive environment.

It is typically held on the first Tuesday in August across the country.

Some agencies, like the Farmington Police Department, host such events in October to avoid conflict with the Connie Mack World Series.

Aztec's event is set for 5 to 7 p.m. on July 16 at Minium Park at 200 Park Ave.

The event gathers a lot of attention, as 110 vendors were signed up to operate booths as of July 11, according to Administrative Assistant Sherri Gurule.

"I enjoy just seeing the community and citizens coming and having a wonderful family night," Gurule said.

The event will bring activities, including carnival rides for children, live bands and food vendors, to the park for the community, Aztec Police Chief Mike Heal said. The Aztec Church of the Nazarene will bring its water slide for the event.

Some of the food vendors include Domino's Pizza, Wonderful House and other local restaurants.

"I just want to make sure everyone comes out and has a wonderful evening out at the park," Heal said.

Heal could not identify his favorite part of the event, but cited the "famous" donut-eating contest as a big hit with everyone.

The Ballet Folklorico de Durango dance group from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, will make their National Night Out debut this year at the event.  

Gurule said organizers have been trying to get the dance group to perform at the National Night Out event for several years and they are glad they are performing this year.

Groups including the Aztec High School cheerleaders and Dance Paws will be returning to perform.

A number of bicycles will be given out by the police department along with helmets donated by San Juan Regional Medical Center.

A classic car and hot rod show will also take place, Gurule said.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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