More than 20 St. Mary’s communities gathered Tuesday for National Night Out, an evening meant to bring neighborhoods together with local law enforcement, community leaders and local businesses.

Colony Square in Lexington Park hosted a “Dance With Your Principal” contest with Wendy Zimmerman of Spring Ridge Middle School, Rebecca Schou of Lexington Park Elementary School and school board member Rita Weaver.

Laura Martin has been organizing Colony Square’s night out for at least five years, and called this year’s event a big hit. “Our DJ, our cookout, those are always a great success,” Martin said.

Also in attendance at Colony Square’s night out were Del. Brian Crosby (D-St. Mary’s), and people from the St. Mary’s County Health Department and U.S. Coast Guard. Three Oaks Center provided this year’s cookout, and attends the night out event every year.

The Colony Square Association organizes the neighborhood’s night out every year, and runs an annual book bag drive at the event. “We might be the first ones to do it,” Martin said. “We do it because our kids have that need.” The group also invited Cpl. Timothy Snyder of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, who attends every Colony Square Association meeting, and Trooper Evan Ruggles of the Maryland State Police.

“We’re just working together on improving the neighborhood,” Martin said.

At Greenbrier, in Lexington Park, visitors included members of the Greenbrier Homeowners Association and the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the NAACP’s local chapter.

“We wanted to come out to an event like this to offer some information on things that the public is dealing with, things that the community is dealing with,” T.J. Hudson, who serves on the NAACP urban development committee, said at Greenbrier’s night out block party. “We have information on hypertension, back to school and school projects.”

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