National Night Out
National Night Out - America’s Night Out Against Crime!
National Night Out (NNO) is a unique event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and is held the first Tuesday in August. The National Night Out campaign has involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. Over 37 million people have participated in NNO worldwide.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT is designed to:
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
- Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships;
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Along with the traditional display of outdoor lights and front porch vigils, cities, towns and neighborhoods 'celebrate' NNO with a variety of events and activities such as:
- block parties,
- visits from local police, fire fighters, paramedics, and city officials.
NNO has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in our fight for a safer nation.
Reasons To Have a Block Party
- To have fun - no excuse is needed to celebrate!
- To meet your neighbors. When you know who lives in your neighborhood, the more likely you are to identify strangers or suspicious people.
- To increase the sense of belonging in your neighborhood.
- To make additional connections within the community. When you know people, you can exchange skills or resources and perhaps organize a book club, baby-sitting co-op, share walking to school duties, or find new friends for your children.
- To plan a campaign for traffic slowdown, get better lighting, or address other interests.
- To "use" the street for one day, to, for example, play hockey or basketball or other games.
- To meet some of the old time residents in the neighborhood and learn the neighborhood’s history.
- To start a yearly neighborhood tradition of getting together at least once a year!
How to Get Started
- A couple of months in advance, talk to neighbors and find out if there is interest in having a block party.
- Gather a few neighbors and divide up the tasks. Decide on a possible theme, activities, etc. Decide what to do about food.
- Make the invitations and distribute to neighbors.
- Recruit volunteers.
- Register your event with your local police department.
- A few days before the event, place sign(s) in the neighborhood reminding the neighbors of the block party.
- At the event: Assign a specific neighbor to look for and greet the officer(s), fire fighters, paramedics, and city officials attending your event. Introduce them publicly or individually to the neighbors attending your party.
- Prior to the event, assign specific neighbors to specific duties. Praise the volunteers, publicly, and send Thank You notes to them.
- Consider name tags for everyone at your event. Maybe the children and teens could design/make them.
- Consider inviting area businesses to your event.
- Keep good records. If you have a root beer float event for 50 people, keep records of how many tubs of ice cream and two-liter containers of root beer you used. This will make next year's event much easier to plan.
- Involve children and teens. One coordinator had a great response because she told the kids in the neighborhood well in advance about the parade plans and what the kids could do to prepare.
- Plan in advance, keep organized, and utilize volunteers.
- Assign a neighbor to photograph your party, and then consider posting the photos on Facebook, Nextdoor.com, or send photos via email to the neighbors.
- When you send Thank You notes to businesses/organizations who have donated to your NNO party, include a photograph.
Obtain Permit to Block off Your Street
To obtain a Citizen's Use Permit CLICK HERE.
The City has waived the insurance requirement for block parties. The Citizen’s Use Permit still needs to be submitted, along with a map showing where the roadway will be blocked, but no insurance is required.
Recycle Bins for Neighborhood Events
Boise Public Works has recycle bins available to borrow at no charge for your neighborhood events. Two styles of recycling bins are available: collapsible and yellow Rubbermaid. For more information: www.curbitboise.org or 384-3901.
City Noise Ordinance
If you have amplified music at your block party, such as a neighborhood band, you are subject to the City Noise Ordinance (Boise City Code 6-20). Consider printing off flyers and go door-to-door or email the neighbors. The flyer would include a contact phone number the day of the event, and then if someone has an issue with the music they can call the number on your flyer to handle their complaint.
Suggested Activities for Getting to Know Your Neighbors
- Cultural Connections
- Have everyone bring their favorite family dish.
- Record the story of how everyone came to live in the neighborhood and what he or she likes best about it.
- Identify any special people that lived in your area such as the longest resident, politician, artist, military personnel, etc.
Fun Family Activities For Block Parties
- Invite a clown, balloon artist, or magician
- Have games using water balloons
- Rent a "Jump House"
- Do face painting (Remember to use non-toxic paint)
- Organize a kids talent show or bike parade
- Use sidewalk chalk (Make it a game for the kids and give out prizes)
- Play Musical Chairs
- Play an ice-breaker game
For questions about National Night Out, please contact Carrie Demirelli at 570-6070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org