Every year a summer night is set aside for neighborhood gatherings and socializing across the United States.
More than 9,500 communities and 32 million people are expected to participate in this year's National Night Out from 7 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 7, and the evening is more than just a feel good event. The focus is crime prevention and the gatherings are a way to unify communities block-by-block, raising awareness and strengthening ties with law enforcement in the process.
There is still time to register to hold a block party or other gathering for National Night Out in Pinole, which had 10 neighborhoods participating as of Friday, with more expected to sign up.
"Residents in neighborhoods throughout Pinole and across the nation are asked to turn on outside lights, lock their doors, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and public safety representatives," said Al Chavarria, community safety specialist with the Pinole Police Department. "Many neighborhoods throughout Pinole will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, ice cream socials, flashlight walks, contests and youth activities."
Each registered location will get a visit from police and fire representatives and mascot McGruff the Crime Dog.
Pinole received a $1,200 from the event's national sponsor, Target Stores, for promotion, supplies and support for the neighborhood activities.
Neighborhoods that want more details or are
The evening opens with a community kickoff in the parking lot of the Target Store at 4500 Macdonald Ave., where there will be food, entertainment, information booths, speakers and activities from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
From 6 to 8:30 p.m. a caravan of police, fire, elected officials and civic leaders will travel to individual block parties at neighborhoods around the city.
An end party hosted by Richmond Main Street Initiative starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Community Green Space at Harbour Way and Macdonald Avenue.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: The next Music on the Main concert in downtown Richmond is 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the FoodsCo parking lot at Macdonald Avenue and 12th Street.
This month's entertainment will include gospel music by Consonance, blues with the Blue Hand Band, and a performance by youth musical group The Originalz from the Richmond Police Activities League.
The free family event will also have activities for children, prize drawings, food on sale and vendor and community information tables.
The new downtown farmers market will be open that same day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nevin Plaza at 13th Street and Nevin Avenue. The market drew more than 600 people to its grand opening July 11.
The film, created for the anticipated visitors center at Port Chicago, provides an overview of the disaster and its aftermath and features five young men from Richmond portraying black dock workers.
The 11-minute film is available to view online at http://vimeo.com/36775462.