SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (KEYC) - While other towns have National Night Out and Night to Unite, Sleepy Eye has Party in the Park.
For the last ten years, the Sleepy Eye Police Department has joined forces with local organizations to bring the community closer.
“I definitely think we’re a tightknit community, we’re all very aware when certain groups are active or not active and I think it’s just important to sometimes highlight those groups, especially when you’ve got new community members moving into the community," Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce & CVB Executive Director Christina Andres said.
Even for people who have lived their whole lives in Sleepy Eye, the party offers a great opportunity for residents to stay informed with the latest endeavors around town.
“There’s a group here that is working toward getting a dog park started here in town so they’re here to help hopefully fund raise and raise money for that and then again it’s something that there might not be a platform for that group outside of something like this so we want to give them the opportunity to get their voices heard and also just introduce that idea to the community as well," Andres added.
As a six officer police department, it’s easy to form close relationships within the community.
“Since we are a smaller department, a smaller town we do get to know a lot of people on a first name basis. This community is great in terms of supporting the police department," Sleepy Eye Police Officer Elliott Waterbury said
In turn, the police department supports their youngest community members.
“We drive around town and if we see any kids wearing their bike helmets, we’ll stop them and give them tickets, we partnered with Dairy Queen that entitles them to one free ice cream cone for wearing their helmets and then their names will go into a drawing that we’ll do later tonight. We’ll pick two winners and those winners will be able to go to McCabe’s, our Ace Hardware Store and pick out a bike of their choosing. So we’re able to do that through the community partners and they’ll donate money to a fund that we have, so were able to pay for those bikes and we keep recycling it back into the community," Waterbury added.
The town’s largest event, Buttered Corn Days, will also take place in Allison Park on Aug. 16 and 17. For the 58th year, guests can enjoy free buttered sweetcorn on Friday, a barbecue rib competition Saturday then of course the grand parade Saturday night.