Family Night Out extends big welcome

Chance to explore Auburn and enjoy longest Saturday of the year
By: Luke Ramseth Journal correspondent
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It will be hard to miss Family Night Out if you’re in the Auburn area Saturday night. The celebration runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and stretches a mile from Old Town to Downtown. It’s a sober evening for families to escape the house, and enjoy the longest Saturday of the year. “Family Night Out brings Old Town and Downtown together,” said Linda Robinson, organizer during the event’s 10-year existence. “(It’s perfect) in this economy. It’s free, it’s safe and sober. We don’t shut down any traffic, and only use city and private lots.” The festivities feature 15 locations to check out. Highlights include a production called “Urinetown the Musical” by local high school students, dancing at the clocktower, a petting zoo with wolves and reptiles, a chalk art contest, and a recycle costume contest. An old-time wagon display at the courthouse is another highlight. Wagons include the first vehicle to cross the San Francisco Bay Bridge, and some that traversed the Auburn area in the 1880’s. “They’re all original with appropriate restoration,” said John Redgwick of the Native Sons. “We’ve had to dig quite a few of them out of people’s yards and restore them.” The most popular event? “It’s always the chalk art because it starts early and it’s over quick,” Robinson said. Kids get a 3-foot by 3-foot square to put their masterpieces on display. The recycle costume contest is a new activity. Robinson said the purpose is to promote recycling and “green” awareness for children. Participants should dress their best in the craziest recycled items and materials they can find. The catalyst for the event’s success is a “passport” that is given to every participant at any location. Eight locations are listed on the back of the passport, and the participant must get each stamped to be in the running for a grand prize. The grand prize drawing happens at the end of the night, 9 p.m. under the clocktower. Robinson predicts up to 5,000 people will come out and participate throughout the evening. “Each year, I drive up and down the streets and it’s fun to see everybody enjoying themselves, the kids jumping up and down,” Robinson said. ----------------------- Auburn Family Night Out When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday, June 20 Where: Parking lots from Old Town to Downtown Auburn Info: (530) 888-1585