National Night Out is back on Aug. 2 – and bigger

RACINE – National Night Out (NNO), an annual event designed to bring neighbors and neighborhoods together, is back and growing. This year’s NNO – the 31st for Racine – is Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Racine Neighborhood Watch, a local nonprofit that coordinates National Night Out with the Racine Police Department and the Racine Fire Department, saw the individual events completely sidelined in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, however, an estimated 3,000 people attended 25 neighborhood NNO events throughout the city. In pre-pandemic 2019, an estimated 6,000 people participated in 55 NNO events.

28 neighborhoods registered for National Night Out

This year, Racine Neighborhood Watch has registered 28 individual neighborhood National Night Out events and expects attendance to reach as many as 4,000. “The night is about neighbors in a neighborhood. We’re pleased to see that it’s growing again,” stated Charlie French, the organization’s executive director.

Credit: Racine Neighborhood Watch

He added that NNO events open the door to building safer neighborhoods by providing a friendly atmosphere for residents to get to know one another. NNO is an evening where law enforcement and first responders come together with adults and children under positive circumstances to hang out, play games, grab some food and just have fun.

Racine Neighborhood Watch’s NNO role is to assist and support individual event planners. These include churches, City of Racine community centers, the Community Oriented Policing (COP) houses and informal groups of neighborhood residents. Individual NNO gatherings range from block party potlucks to larger community cookouts with carnival games, bouncy houses, DJs and live music, and visits from police, fire, sheriff personnel, and McGruff the Crime Dog.

Most National Night Out events in Racine will run from 5 to 7 pm on Tuesday. One exception is at the George Bray Neighborhood Y, where the NNO event is planned for 12 to 4 pm

Racine’s 2022 National Night Out kick-off ceremony is planned for 4 pm Tuesday at Dr. Hamilton Park, 1732 Howe St. Representatives from state and local government, public safety officials, Racine Neighborhood Watch representatives and McGruff the Crime Dog will announce the official start of community-wide NNO festivities.

To find a National Night Out event in your Racine area neighborhood, call Racine Neighborhood Watch at 262-637-5711.

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