How do we start our own National Night Out Celebration?
Getting a National Night Out program off the ground is not that difficult. Before beginning, get yourself a notebook. Here, you will record names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of everyone you deal with while planning your event. This will help keep you organized.
Form a NNO Planning Committee:
Even the simplest event requires some planning. The easiest way to get off to a great start is to meet with interested neighbors. You should schedule your first meeting about 8 week before the event. Remember that the NNO celebration is always held the first Tuesday in August.
Some things to discuss at the planning meeting:
Where will we hold our event?
How many people should we plan for?
How will we feed the group (i.e.: cookout, potluck, bring your own, or vendors)?
What kinds of activities will encourage conversation?
What type of activities will we have for the children?
Should we have music (i.e.: DJ, radio, or karaoke)?
Do we need to block off the street?
How will we advertise our event?
Do we have communication issues with any of your residents?
NNO works best when community members share the work!
Location for National Night Out:
First you must find a location for the event.
The location you choose should be convenient to the residents in the community.
Your community is unique and your event should reflect that.
Financial Support / Donations
Contact local businesses for financial support or donations in your area.
Set Up Activities and Events:
Once you have chosen the activities for your event you should draw a diagram of the area where the event is being held. Pencil in where the activities are going to be held.
Activity ideas for all ages:
Collect food for donation
Plan to beautify a common area
Plan a fall clean-up day
Start planning another get together
Don't forget to turn on your porch lights!
Promote, Promote, Promote:
Your hard work will have been wasted if no one shows up. Promote early and promote often. Local newspapers, radio stations, and flyers around town are some ideas to help get the word out. In your community you can use a message board, pass out flyers, use a "calling tree", community website, and community newsletter. Get the kids involved by making posters and yard signs to post within the community.
Getting to know your neighbors:
The use of name tags is a great way to get to know your neighbors. Display photos of past block parties and activities you have held in the community. Create a neighborhood directory which includes name, address, phone number, email address, and special talents/hobbies.
National Association of Town Watch
If you would like more information on the National Night Out Program please contact Officer J.E. Frisk by email: