Big turnout for Sulphur’s National Night Out, Schneider given key to city

Published 11:03 am Monday, August 9, 2021

By Rita LeBleu

Southwest Daily News

Sulphur’s 18th Annual National Night Out drew people of all ages. Women lined up to have photos taken with John Schneider, the tall, slim golden-haired 61-year old celebrity with the perfect tinge of gray. Men who were fans of Dukes of Hazard Bo Duke (or maybe Daisy Duke or General Lee) stood in line to chit chat and get autographs.

National Night Out allows emergency responders and especially law enforcement officers to interact with community members in a positive way. In addition to the celebrity guest for the year, emergency responders from local, parish and state agencies showed up in uniforms, with giveaways, helicopter, fire truck, robot, tactical response truck, motorcycles and more. National Night Out events are held all over the country on the first Tuesday of August every year.

Sulphur’s Night Out was held Tuesday, Aug. 3, the day after the governor re-instated the mask mandate. Public Information Officer Erica Martin said the City of Sulphur and the Sulphur Police Department were able to continue plans because of the venue choice. The West Cal Arena is a spacious open-air facility.

“I love seeing how the children respond,” Martin said. “I put my threeyear-old nephew on a Louisiana State Trooper motorcycle and I thought I’d never get him off.”

In addition to having the ideal location, Martin said sponsors Citgo and Mike Willis Ford played a role in making the event successful.

“The Rotary Club and the Biker Church always provide great food,” she added. “This year Red River Bank brought in an ice cream truck. That was a hit with the kids. John Schneider was wonderful. He didn’t want to sit behind a table and had planned to just walk around in the crowd.”

Howie Simon was in a small group that welcomed Schneider to the city. Simon met Schneider 34 years ago in Los Angeles at Hollywood Presbyterian Church.

“I had just moved to LA,” Simon said. “John was part of a movie and award show presentation we were shooting.”

He invited Simon to stay with him in Burbank.

Martin said that Schneider didn’t want any recognition for his help during the hurricane. However, he was presented a key to the city and the Sulphur Police Department awarded him its Challenge Coin, given to those who work through a challenge or hardship. “We had such a good time, we would love to have him back one day soon,” Martin said.