‘It takes a neighborhood’

Published 11:21 pm Thursday, July 14, 2011

Night Out: Nat Knight, the mascot of National Night Out, visits with children at the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority National Night Out celebration last year. There are less than three weeks left until this year’s National Night Out on Aug. 2.

Night Out celebration planned

National Night Out festivities are less than three weeks away, and more than 50 communities, churches and businesses are gearing up to celebrate the annual “going away party for crime.”

The deadline for communities to sign up to be on the official motorcade tour is July 22, so those who have put off making it official should do so as soon as possible, said Diana Klink, the coordinator of National Night Out.

“National Night Out is all about building citizen/police partnerships and the community taking a stand in their neighborhoods and taking back their streets from crime,” Klink said. “This year, we’re really excited. We have a lot of the communities that have gone all out.”


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The event is set for Aug. 2. It will kick off around 5:30 p.m. in the Hall Place and Fairgrounds area, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and a nearby area of redevelopment.

The city chose that kickoff, location because its theme for this year is “It takes a neighborhood,” Klink said.

“When you think about it, it really does take all of our neighborhoods working together,” she said.

Communities, churches and businesses all over the city will have events such as outdoor movies, live bands, potlucks, ice cream socials, children’s activities, arts and crafts and old-fashioned games such as sack races and ice block-sitting contests. In addition, communities are encouraged to hold canned-food or school-supply drives at their events.

Suffolk’s National Night Out celebration has been nationally ranked for the last five years and was in first place for two consecutive years.

“We’re really hoping to bring that award back to the citizens,” Klink said.

Target is the national sponsor of National Night Out, and employees from the Target warehouse will be participating in judging the communities.

In addition, all of the city’s public safety units, including Suffolk Police, Suffolk Fire and Rescue, Suffolk Sheriff’s office and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office will have major roles in the celebration.

“It does take all of our public safety partners working together,” Klink said.

Residents can visit the website, www.suffolknno.org, to see the countdown clock, National Night Out brochure, registration form, children’s activities and more. They also will be able to view the list of communities there once it is finalized, Klink said.