Columbia holds National Night Out events

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The City of Columbia is holding its annual party that leads into events for the National Night Out.

      The city is hosting an event starting at 6 p.m. Saturday at Finlay Park. Organizers say this year's 7th annual event goes until 10 p.m. and features live entertainment, inflatable rides and a neighborhood display contest.

      There will also be public safety vehicles on display, as well as a "catch the criminal" scavenger hunt.

      This event is free and open to the public. On Tuesday, Columbia neighborhoods will also mark National Night Out with cookouts and community block parties.

      National Night Out began in 1984 and is an effort to promote community involvement in crime prevention activities, neighborhood camaraderie and communication between police and residents.

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