On National Night Out, neighbors gather at events to foster camaraderie among themselves and with local law enforcement. Building those relationships to build safer communities is the ultimate goal of National Night Out. Each year this special evening falls on the first Tuesday in August. The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) founded National Night Out in 1984. In that first year, 400 communities across 23 states participated. This year NATW expects 38 million neighbors in 16,000 communities across all 50 states to participate.
Many of the early celebrations were largely symbolic events like porch vigils. Over the years, the celebrations have become more elaborate and meaningful. Communities mark the occasion with events like block parties, cookouts, parades, and festivals. Often, National Night Out celebrations provides neighbors with education on safety and crime prevention in the form of seminars, demonstrations, and exhibits. A typical National Night Out event may include children’s activities, live entertainment, food, and other community-building fun. Visits from police officers and other emergency responders, which are common at these events, give citizens a chance to have positive interactions with local authorities.
In some communities, neighbors take the lead to organize local celebrations. However, in many communities, local enforcement hosts an observance, and some communities have both types of celebrations.
Here’s what happening with National Night Out 2019 in our area.
Although citizens of Hudson are welcome to hold block parties or other neighborhood celebrations for National Night Out, the Hudson WI Police Department invites all residents to its annual celebration at Lakefront Park (505 First Street) on August 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is an opportunity for citizens to meet officers and interact with them in a positive atmosphere. Also, it’s a time for residents to discover the resources available to the Hudson community.
The family-friendly evening will feature live music from the Alex Zachary Band, demonstrations, dinner, and many other fun activities. For example, the Hudson Library is participating in partnership with Fantasy Corral Petting Zoo, which is well known for its exhibitions of zebras, camels, miniature horses, and other uncommon animals.
The police department has not announced everything it has in store for this year’s participants. However, at last year’s celebration, Hudson police, fire personnel, and St. Croix EMS staff participated in friendly competitions. Staff members had a hot wing eating contest. The chiefs of the respective departments competed in a dunk contest to raise money to acquire fire suppression devices. This year’s festivities are sure to convey the same light-hearted spirit.
For several years, neighbors throughout River Falls have organized block parties for National Night Out. While any block may host a celebration, you are required to have a permit from the police for street closures. The police department has a limited number of barricades available for permit holders. Permit holders may also use personal saw horses or cones. Police ask that neighbors refrain from blocking streets with cars because they prevent emergency vehicles from passing through.
Neighbors can contact Officer Tom Overland (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the River Falls Police Department to request a visit from special police units or the fire department. Also, the police department is tracking how many National Night Out events are happening in River Falls this year. Registering your event with the police department is the only way to ensure your event is counted.
Baldwin is listed as a participating community on the official National Night Out website. In addition, the department hosted celebrations in 2018 and 2017 at Mill Pond Park.
Baldwin’s National Night out will be August 6th from 5:00-7:30 down by the hockey rink.
The staff at Hudson Physicians are also members of your communities and look forward to spending time with you on National Night Out in August!