National Night Out encourages people to get out and get to know their neighbors.
In its 35th year, one of the goals is to help create safer communities while sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are partnering with police in crime prevention activities.
“Every community does something a little bit different to celebrate,” said Capt. Travis Eynon of the Hermiston Police Department.
Simply put, he calls National Night Out a “community-building campaign.” People are encouraged to attend a community-sponsored event or organize their own neighborhood block parties, a barbecue or other activities that assist in fostering relationships with neighbors.
Rather than having one community-wide party at the Pendleton Aquatics Center like in recent years, there will be 10 official party locations in Pendleton. Community services officer Shelly Studebaker has been busy coordinating with community partners, vendors and people who are hosting each gathering.
Police, public employees and local citizens are on board with the importance of National Night Out. The relaxed atmosphere, said Laurie Nelsen of the Echo Public Library, provides a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors and meet police officers.
“It’s just get to know your neighbors, get to know your law enforcement and emergency providers and build a sense of community,” said Jesselee Leachman, who is hosting a gathering at Roy Raley Park. “In a time when everybody is so divided politically, it’s nice to have something we all can come together on.”
While National Night Out is officially Tuesday, Aug. 7, Echo and Stanfield are planning activities on Aug. 14. Local events include:
•Aug. 7 from 6-8 p.m.
•10 community locations, including Aldrich, Kiwanis, May, Roy Raley and Vincent parks.
For questions, email NationalNightOut@ci.pendleton.or.us or call Studebaker at 541-276-4411 ext. 1109.
Party locations will be posted on the Pendleton Police Department Facebook page, including where “Campfire Stories” will be presented by the Pendleton Public Library. Each party will have free food and beverages provided by area businesses and individuals. In addition, free day pass to the Pendleton Aquatic Center will be given away.
Hermiston Ice Cream Social Block Party
•Aug. 7, 6:15 p.m.
•Location to be announced
More info: 541-667-5112
Personnel with the Hermiston Police Department will mingle with people and city leaders will serve ice cream with all the toppings in the neighborhood of the person who finds the golden medallion as part of the National Night Out treasure hunt. In addition, first responders and city leaders will visit as many block parties as possible. Contact Tim Miears at HPD with details about neighborhood parties at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-667-5112 (leave a message).
•Aug. 7, 6-7:30 p.m.
•Milton-Freewater City Hall (outdoors)
More info: 541-938-5531 or Facebook
Free food, emergency responder vehicle tours, games and prizes. A meet-and-greet features “Paw Patrol” and “Frozen” princesses Elsa and Anna from Royalty Princess Parties. Community members of all ages are encouraged to come out and meet their neighbors, police and community leaders.
Echo Neighbor of the Year & Celebration
•Aug. 14, 6-8 p.m.
•Echo Masonic Lodge & George Park
More info: 541-376-8411 or 541-449-3245
Free hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks. Includes a youth bicycle rodeo with prizes, bingo and other games. Local businesses donated door prizes and items for raffle drawings. Also, a resident will be recognized as the Neighbor of the Year (nominations accepted through Friday, Aug. 10). Volunteers are still needed.
Stanfield Celebration & Movie in the Park
•Aug. 14, 7-9 p.m.
More info: www.cityofstanfield.com or 541-449-3245
Free hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks. Features a youth bicycle rodeo (with prizes). Area businesses donated door prizes and raffle items. Also, a citizen will receive the Neighbor of the Year Award (nominations accepted through Friday, Aug. 10). Evening concludes with free popcorn and a showing of “Paddington 2.”
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at email@example.com or 541-564-4539