The annual Family Fun Festival, a free community event in Biddeford offered as part of the National Night Out campaign each August, has received its tenth award from the National Association of Town Watch in the twelve-year history of the event. Mayor Alan Casavant presented the award plaque to the community at the February 18 City Council Meeting.
The goal of the National Night Out campaign is to promote police-community relationships to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. During the first week of August each year, 16,000 participating cities, military bases, and universities nationwide host events that bring law enforcement officers and community members together. Biddeford was among only 1% of the 2019 participants to receive an award for their event and is the only city in Maine to have been recognized by the campaign to date.
“It is meaningful to be recognized year after year by a national organization for the evolution we have been seeing throughout Biddeford,” said Mayor Alan Casavant. “The Family Fun Festival is a great way to bring people together to celebrate the progress we have made in our neighborhoods.”
The Family Fun Festival, previously known as the Bacon Street Festival, began in 2008 to celebrate the efforts that have been made by volunteers, nonprofits, and City departments to make the Bacon Street neighborhood an even more family-friendly place to live. These efforts began with a park constructed by Project Canopy and continued over the years with cleanups, barbecues, neighborhood meetings, and the addition of a playground and community garden. These community-building improvements have reduced crime in the neighborhood and have inspired positive relationships between law enforcement officers and residents.
“The event went through a name change this year since it has grown from a small neighborhood festival into something that families from all over the community can come enjoy together,” said Community Development Director Linda Holmes. “This year’s award honors all of the citizens and organizations that have worked hard to make each year an even bigger success.”