Are you interested in building community and want to organize a National Night Out in your neighborhood? Well, we tell you how!
Organize A National Night Out: What Is it, Anyway?
National Night Out is a country-wide event that is organized at the local level that occurs on the first Tuesday in August and is meant to bring community and neighborhoods together. On the National Night Out site it explains:
"National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas celebrates on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more."
You can read more about the history of NNO HERE
Organize A National Night Out: First Steps
First of all, if you'd like to organize a National Night Out for your neighborhood - get started with the steps below!
- Gather Interest Levels and Support
The first steps in organizing your neighborhood NNO is to measure the interest levels in your area. Speak with neighbors, neighborhood watches and the groups. Check in with HOA meeting attendees and online platforms such as Next Door and see if their is interest in the event. If there is - start gathering support and help!
2. Check With Your HOA / City
A very important step if you want to organize a National Night Out is to coordinate with your local HOA as well as the city. Make sure your HOA allows for block parties or outdoor events. Check with your HOA and the city to see if you need any special permission or permits to hold outdoor activities. Your city or HOA may have special guidelines. You may be required to host the block party in an certain area, or have special measures taken to block off streets.
3. Form A Committee
If you want or organize a National Night Out you're going to need help! Form a committee right away. While you're engaging in Step 1 - test the waters to see how interested people are and ask if your neighbors would be able to help. Form a committee and delegate. Different committee positions might include Community Relations, Vendors, Communications and Marketing and overall Event Planning.
Organize A National Night Out: Critical Aspects
When you organize a National Night Out you'll want to have a few aspects involved:
- Community Engagement (Local Law Enforcement)
One of the main aspects of NNO is the involvement of local police and law enforcement. The event is meant to prevent crime and bring community togetherness. You may already have NNO activities in your area, If not, the local police are more than likely going to be excited to help. Local law enforcement traditionally participate in the NNO by setting up booths. They will be passing out stickers to kids and participating in the overall event.
Furthermore, local businesses and vendors are going to be more than happy to participate in your local NNO. Do you have small businesses in your neighborhood? Local community minded business would most likely participate as well. Immediately begin calling around to local businesses and vendors and inviting them to set up booths and participate in your NNO.
3. Food and Activities
Any fun event is going to need two things: food and activities! Consequently, consider having a face painting booth for children, invite local food trucks and beverage vendors and have live music. Maybe someone in your neighborhood has a band that would be willing to play. Any outdoor, neighborhood activity is going to be a success with the ambience of music, food and fun things for the whole family to do!
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