SUMTER, S.C. — The Sumter Police Department hosted its annual Back to School Bash on Tuesday, attracting hundreds to Crosswell Park for food and fun. 

"I think this is about the eighth year or so we've put on this event and every year it grows," Staff Sgt. James Sinkler said. "We're a part of the community and we care about them. We care about our kids and ...we live in this community and this town, so we just want to give something back to them."

The event was hosted in partnership with several entities, including the city, school district and SLED AMBER Alert. Children and their parents went from tent-to-tent for face painting, goodie bags and information to help them have a successful start to the school year.

Back to School Bash SUMTER Face Painting
Kids could have their face painted at one of the tents.
Kayland Hagwood


Nine-year-old Marley Pinkney was among the crowd. 

"I have been to all the tables except for the balloons," Pinkney said. 

She says she's most excited for physical education and music class when she returns to school. 

Melissa Rowe said she came to support the community, and help teachers in the process.

"We found out about this on Facebook and we came down to see what they had and anything extra we're going to give back to the teachers," Rowe said.

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Officials with the police department say they hope to see the event continue to grow each year.