A night to remember
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Not even Elvis could skip National Night Out festivities in Suffolk.
The late rock-and-roller – A.K.A. Ernest Hefferon, president of West End Civic League -partied with police officers and his neighbors at the organization’s NNO sock hop late Tuesday afternoon.
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The sock hop was one of a dozen neighborhood activities going on citywide last night to promote the national crime-prevention event.
NNO – always the first Tuesday in August – uses neighborhood block parties as a way to enerate support for anti-crime programs and strengthen police and community relations.
&uot;This was a beautiful neighborhood – it still is,&uot; Hefferon said of the West End community. &uot;We’ve got to get everybody out of the house and on the street so that we can get to know one another and watch out for one another.&uot;
With the Market Square Neighborhood Association’s picnic canceled, the West End party turned into the one of choice for more than 75 downtown residents. Dozens of folks – many in 1950s and 1960s dress – turned out for hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn and drinks.
Hefferon thanked his wife, Sandy, and neighbor Angela Kooncz for their work in pulling the West End celebration together.
At the same time, dozens of Chorey Park residents joined city and police officials in celebrating NNO with a down-home country meal: fried fish, fried chickens, cabbage and baked beans.
&uot;We’ve been cooking since 1 p.m. this afternoon,&uot; said Joyce Banks, serving up plate after plate of food.
As a band played, residents feasted over plates piled with food and chatted with neighbors.
&uot;This is nice,&uot; said Mario Jones, adding it was the first time he had attended NNO festivities. &uot;It’s good to have all the neighbors doing something together.&uot;
Across the city, Holland residents celebrated with a cookout and dancing at the ball field.
Due to weather concerns, several communities postponed their events.
Suffolk city officials, including police,
and other dignitaries toured numerous NNO sites throughout the city. The celebration ended up in northern Suffolk’s Huntersville community.
Allison T. Williams, Jason Norman and Andy Prutsok contributed to this story.