National Night Out set for Tuesday, Aug. 1

An image from last year's National Night Out celebrations.

National Night Out is celebrated by more than 35 million people in over 15,000 communities across the U.S. — but few jurisdictions do it justice quite like Richmond.

Held on the first Tuesday in August, the annual event aims to build bonds between neighbors and police officers, and to increase crime prevention education via block parties held by residents throughout communities.

The main event in Richmond will occur Tuesday at 5 p.m. with a kick-off ceremony, resource fair and carnival in the parking lot of the Target store at 4500 Macdonald Ave. The kickoff event will feature children’s activities, food and performances from local youth groups.

After the kickoff event, four caravans consisting of law enforcement, community members and elected officials will head off to visit more than 20 neighborhoods around the city, where they will meet and greet with residents and sample tasty treats.

The “End Party,” or closing ceremonies, will be occur at 700 Barrett Ave at 8 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to attend at least one of the many parties happening throughout the community.

One especially fun party is being planned from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Hilltop Community Church at 3118 Shane Drive. The free event includes a bounce house, free haircuts, car show, obstacle course, giant slide, free popcorn and an appearance by Guinness World Record holder and strongman Jon Pritikin.

Richmond Veteran Memorial Hall at 968 23rd St. is also hosting a National Night Out event. Here’s a list of more Richmond events:

  • Laurel Park – Easter Hill United Methodist Church 3911 Cutting Boulevard
  • Crescent Park – 5004 Hartnett Avenue
  • Monterey Pines – 608 South 37th Street
  • Pullman Point Apartments – 2989 Pullman Avenue
  • Coronado – 212 17th Street (Between Florida and Maine)
  • Richmond Village – 700 S. 26th Street
  • Ventura Watch Group – Ventura (Solano to Clinton)
  • Richmond Heights – Tiller Park, Key Boulevard, Sierra Avenue
  • 500 Block 32nd Street Watch Group – 32nd Street (Roosevelt to Barrett)
  • 600 Block 31st Street Watch Group – 600 31st Street
  • North and East Neighborhood Council – 638 28th Street

Block parties are also being held in surrounding communities, such as throughout San Pablo and in unincorporated areas. La Moine Valley View Park in El Sobrante is set to host one at 5 p.m.

To find out where your closest block party is located, e-mail or check Nextdoor to see what your neighborhood is planning.

Organizers are asking residents to turn their porch lights on Tuesday night.

“Even if you are not able to participate in the neighborhood activities, please turn your porch lights on in your neighborhood on Tuesday to show your support,” organizer Naomi Williams said.

National Night Out has a special place in Richmond, where in recent years the police department has found success with a community policing model that puts more focus on building relationships between police officers and the residents they serve.

Richmond’s National Night Out is put together by The City of Richmond Crime Prevention program, the Crime Prevention Executive Board and local residents.