Turn on your front porch light, and watch the criminals run away while your friends and neighbors come on over for a nice visit.
Take back the night on Tuesday, Aug. 6 and join millions of other Americans in a celebration of National Night Out, which for nearly 30 years now has sent a message to criminals: Your crimes won’t be tolerated by law-abiding citizens.
America’s night out against crime began in 1984, with two and a half million people participating in 400 communities in 23 states. This year it is estimated some 37 million folks in 15,000 communities in all 50 states will turn out for the evening.
That includes El Dorado County, where National Night Out has enjoyed a history of strong support and participation.
In fact, Placerville has received numerous awards over the years for the enthusiasm and support shown by its residents.
In addition to Placerville, other local communities planning a special outing this year are Camino, the Georgetown Divide and Cameron Park.
What began as a simple effort of lighting up the streets and going outside to get to know your new neighbors or rekindle old acquaintances has evolved into festivities more on the order of block parties, with a strong showing by local police, sheriff’s officers and emergency service personnel.
Children are thrilled to see police service dogs and horses up close, just one of the featured aspects of local participation in National Night Out.
Food and drink will keep the crowd happily sustained, thanks to donations by many local businesses and service clubs and organizations.
And it’s all free of charge to the public.
Here’s what’s on tap for this year’s celebration of National Night Out in El Dorado County:
Representatives of service agencies such as Search and Rescue and the Placerville Fire Department should be there, barring any emergencies, so come on out and shake some hands. For more information call Mandy Bryant at 530-306-4829 or go to email@example.com.
For more information contact the Placerville Police Department at 642-5210.
Up Highway 50 just east of Placerville, residents of Camino welcome everyone to a National Night Out picnic at the Camino Community Church Park, 4205 Carson Road, in the heart of the charming community.
This is the 10th year that Camino has joined in the national event. Sponsored by the Camino Community Action Committee, while attendees are asked to kindly bring their own picnic dinner, there will be barbecues, charcoal and lots of hot dogs provided for free.
The fun begins with a popular Classic Car Show at 5:30 p.m., and a raffle will feature gifts from local wineries, ranches and Camino area merchants.
On hand (or on paw) will be Hangtown Hank from the Placerville Police Department, the affable bloodhound that has dog-trotted his way into the hearts of young and old alike. He’ll be joined by members of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Dog Team.
Safety Pup will offer his tips to the kids, who also will enjoy face painting and a bounce house.
Older kids can take advantage of a Teen Activity Room, and the entire crowd will be tapping their toes to the music of Hickory Wind. The party will keep you jumpin’ til 9 p.m.
Participants at Camino’s celebration are asked to bring, if possible, gently used children’s books for the Camino Cares Christmas Project.
For more information call Betty Linville at 530-644-7421.
It’s just in its second year, but the National Night Out celebration on the Georgetown Divide is second to none.
From 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 6, Divide residents, including those who live in Pilot Hill, Cool, Kelsey, Garden Valley, Georgetown and Greenwood, will converge at the Old Greenwood Schoolhouse on Greenwood Road off Highway 193 in Greenwood. Plenty of signs will lead you to the parking area.
In addition to the free hot dogs, chips, drinks and watermelon, residents will learn about free health and safety services available to all.
Law enforcement officers will be joined by representatives of 20 non-profit service organizations that will demonstrate their efforts at improving everyone’s quality of life.
As live music drifts through the evening, there will be rescue dog demonstrations, fire engines to admire and explore and even a CSI team that will fingerprint kids, if parents choose to do so.
The Senior Center will have its Wii game running for those who wish to develop their skills in golf, bowling and balance. Coloma’s Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park will present gold panning, Drug Free Divide will sway the crowd with hula hoop contests, the Kirby A. Root Memorial Fun Zone will have plenty of games for the youngsters — and so much more will be happening on the Divide.
Sponsoring the ambitious evening is the Greenwood Civic Organization, a community partner with the Georgetown Divide Recreation District.
For more information contact Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And it will be a big block party in Cameron Park Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. as that community joins in the National Night Out.
Festivities will be held at Burke Junction on Coach Lane, where rides will be provided free of charge on the delightful Burke Junction Railroad and in a fully restored 1929 Model A Ford.
Merchants at Burke Junction will be offering special deals during the special evening.
The Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce will be serving up free popcorn.
Rich Solis of Solis Collision Center will pilot his rolling hot dog cart with free hot dogs for all attendees.
Along with law enforcement officers from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, local fire department emergency personnel will talk about their important service to the community.
There will be plenty of freebies at various booths throughout the locale at 3300 Coach Lane in Cameron Park.
National Night Out is held on the first Tuesday in August, and its burgeoning success over the years is directly attributable to those in local communities who get involved in the effort to “take back the night.”
National Association of Town Watch Executive Director Matt Peskin, whose group introduced National Night Out three decades ago, urged people across the country to continue with the effort to make law and order the order of the day.
“While the one night is certainly not (the entire) answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safe place year-round,” Peskin said. “The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”