SILER CITY — For the 10th consecutive year, residents in neighborhoods throughout Siler City will host gatherings — think fun and games and lots of good food — when the local observance of …
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SILER CITY — For the 10th consecutive year, residents in neighborhoods throughout Siler City will host gatherings — think fun and games and lots of good food — when the local observance of National Night Out returns to Siler City on Tuesday.
Celebrated by millions of people across thousands of communities throughout the U.S., Siler City residents can participate in the festivities — underway from 6 to 9 p.m. — at eight locations this year. That’s one fewer than last year, but organizers of the local event say the popular annual observance, always held on the first Tuesday of each August, hasn’t diminished.
“We’re expecting a good turnout,” said Andrea Smith, the Siler City Police Department’s Communications Supervisor.
Smith has been instrumental in planning this year’s NNO.
“It’s all about citizens interacting with each other and with law enforcement and having fun,” Smith said.
As its name states, National Night Out is a nationwide event — sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and first introduced in 1984 — with a goal year-after-year of enhancing community awareness of crime prevention and strengthening community/law enforcement relations.
“National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community,” the official NNO website states about the annual event. “Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”
Officers from the Siler City Police Department — including the department’s new police chief, Michael Wagner — will be “out and about meeting folks” at the eight NNO spots on Tuesday evening, Smith said.
Officers with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office will also be participating in NNO in Siler City, as will fire, medical and other public safety personnel.
The Siler City Police Department hosted its first NNO event in 2009 and since then it’s grown in popularity, with the town winning several awards from the National Association of Town Watch over the past decade for its strong community-wide participation.
NNO 2019 events will span throughout Siler City. Events are scheduled downtown (at Communities In Schools, Courtyard Coffee, Hispanic Liaison, N.C. Arts Incubator, Oasis Open Air Market, and Zone Fitness); Homewood Acres; Westmont Drive; Lincoln Heights; East 5th Street; Siler City Moose Lodge at 721 Alston Bridge Road; The Journey Church, Fairfax Street; and Walmart, 150 Walmart Supercenter.
The Fifth Street site has grown into one of the largest NNO locations over the past decade of NNO observances, the small neighborhood putting on a big event and feeding hundreds.
“There’s food at just about every location,” said Smith, who will be out and about herself, on duty documenting the fun at various locations with photos (which help the town earn recognition for participation) but also enjoying the night.
“Absolutely,” Smith said. “I’ve always enjoyed it.”
Randall Rigsbee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.