National Night Out, which seeks to promote a partnership between police and the people they serve and protect, will be observed in a variety of ways in Northland neighborhoods.
First introduced by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984, National Night Out "promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live," according to the website for the event, which always falls on the second Tuesday in August. This year, it will take place Aug. 7.
"National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community," the website says. "Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances."
The Sharon Woods observance will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist, 6167 Sharon Woods Blvd.
"We're going to do something like Hands Across America," longtime coordinator Pat Wood said. "I want everyone to gather hands in peace and support of our first responders."
Wood also hopes to recruit people for a new dog walker watch, figuring no residents are better suited to be a neighborhood's eyes and ears.
"We're going to see how that goes," she said.
"Salem Civic Association will celebrate National Night Out by meeting at one of our hidden jewels, Chaseland Park, accessible off Joss Avenue or Lincoln Avenue," said Stephen Baker, the treasurer. "This is an informal gathering, a time to meet and greet old neighbors and meet new ones.
"We will encourage as many residents as possible to come out, bring your kids, bring your pets and spend a couple of hours informally socializing."
Baker said the gathering probably would run from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The Clinton Estates Civic Association's observance will take place at 6 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church of Christ, 1180 Shanley Drive.
"CECA will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and soft drinks," according to an announcement. "Neighbors are asked to bring a covered side dish or dessert to add to the festivities."
The Asherton Grove Condominum Association, although a "very small, private community," according to its National Night Out chairman Sam Stuckey, was named one of eight "rookies of the year" in 2017, and it will be back with the display of a special memorial for military, law enforcement and fire personnel, Stuckey said.
The Maize-Morse Tri-Area Civic Association and block watch always goes all out for National Night Out, said spokeswoman Jeri Newell. This year will be no exception. A "giant neighborhood potluck" will begin at 6 p.m. The overall observance starts at 5:30 p.m. at Maize Manor Methodist Church, 3901 Maize Road, said Geri Warner, association and block watch board member.
"You're going to have a lot of individual homes inviting their extended neighbors over," said John Biteman, who is with the Forest Park block watch. "At our house, we put on a barbecue and we feed everybody. We usually have 30 or so people show up, including about 15 cops.
"It's really making sure that there's a great sense of community."
National Night Out in Forest Park runs from 6 to 9 p.m., Biteman said.