Ready to go out?

Published 11:19 pm Friday, May 27, 2011

Night Out: “Nat Night” clowns around before the beginning of the 2009 National Night Out. A community kick-off for this year’s event is set for Thursday. The main event will happen Aug. 2.

Leaders gear up for Night Out

The annual National Night Out event is just a couple of months away, and neighborhoods all over Suffolk are gearing up for the neighborhood celebration.

The event is set for Aug. 2, but leaders have scheduled a community kick-off for next week to get the party started early.

“The community kick-off event is an opportunity for community representatives to register their neighborhood for National Night Out,” said Debbie George, city spokeswoman. “It is also an opportunity for those that have never participate in National Night Out activities to get information and ideas, not just from the committee members but from other community leaders who have become pros at throwing the annual ‘going away party for crime.’”

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National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, occurs on the first Tuesday in August every year. Neighborhoods across the nation gather for community cookouts, parades, block parties, youth activities, visits from public safety and elected officials and more.

The activities are intended to present a united front against criminals and let them know they are not welcome in Suffolk.

Last year, more than 60 communities across Suffolk gathered in community parks, cul-de-sacs and vacant lots to send that message. The celebration placed third in the nation for areas with population between 50,000 and 100,000. Prior years have come out on top among all areas in that population group.

“National Night Out has been very successful in Suffolk because it has given a reason for neighbors to work with neighbors,” George said. “Every year, we hear citizens say they are glad they participated because they had never met their neighbors before planning the August event. It also allows members of the community to have interaction with the city’s public safety personnel and learn what caring people they truly are.”

The community kick-off is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday in City Council chambers, 441 Market St. Attendees can get more information about the event, register their communities, receive a box of planning supplies, get a chance to win door prizes and more.

For more information, visit the city National Night Out website at, or the National Organization of Town Watch website at