National Night Out started formally 38 years ago, sparked from an effort in the western suburbs of Philadelphia to bring neighbors and police forces together for increased safety. The first National Night Out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states. Now a national community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships, it reaches 38 million neighbors in 16,000 communities!
Wallingford Seattle is one of these lively communities and on the first Tuesday evening in August, you can see neighbors gathered in blocked-off streets and front yards, sharing information and, in pre-pandemic times, even potluck dinners.
To quote the City of Seattle on their Night Out Page:
“Night Out is a national event promoted in Seattle by Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention. It is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite our communities”.
Wallingford resident, Alan Ness has a good history with Night Out events and says, “This is a great chance to meet with our neighbors and strengthen our neighborhood bonds. In the past this has been primarily a social event. I try to hand out Earthquake Preparedness information. One year we even had afire truck come by! The kids loved that. Usually we close off the street for the evening, but this year a neighbor with a large side yard is hosting. Because of COVID, we have decided not to have a shared barbeque grill, and let everyone ‘brown bag’ their own dinner”.
We expect many Wallingford gatherings will be mindful of COVID-19 protocol and find safe ways to gather, keeping all the community and just perhaps less of the food sharing.
You can find good local information on the Seattle Night Out Facebook page!