Wednesday, August 4, 2010

National Night Out

I'm recovering today from last night's National Night Out. If you have never heard of National Night Out, it's officially a crime prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

Unofficially it is a large collection of block parties. Close your street, bring out the grills, furniture and, of course, beer and get to know your neighbors. I heard a figure that Seattle had nearly 1600 blocks registered. Mrs. LIAYF and I are our block watch captain's and thus were in charge of organizing and hosting the event for our street. If you are not doing this on your block, by all means put it on your calendar for next year. It's a terrific way to meet and catch up with your neighbors.

Here are a few random observations from our Seattle block party.

1. We gave out fliers to 45 houses, and had 16 families represented. It was decent participation but It's still hard to fathom the number of families who didn't take a few minutes to at the very least walk out to the center of the block and say hello to The people who live next to them.

2. The past couple of years we hadn't officially registered our participation with the Seattle Police Dept, but they sent a patrol car out anyway. It was cool for the kids. This year however, when we called in our request we were told that we had to be officially registered to have a patrol car stop by. So we did, but this time they didn't show up.

3. We must have close to 30 kids under the age of 10 on our block. With the street closed, they rode rampant up and down the street all night. For them, it was pure bliss.

4. A one point a large group of boys congregated on one particular lawn, playing wildly. I dubbed it The Yard of the Flies.

5. At the height of the festivities one of the houses whose occupants didn't show up to the party apparently ordered a pizza. The delivery guy drove around the barrier, weaving though hoards of small children on bikes, until he was stopped by all the tables in the street. Seriously?

6. The residents on the next street over from us are a bunch of showoffs. As if it wasn't enough that they had LIVE music that we could hear, then they started shooting off some fireworks too. Taking notes.

7. One couple decided to eat the tickets they had to the Seattle Mariners game and attend the party instead. Judging by the M's horrific season so far, that was a wise choice.

8. I called it officially over at 10:45 PM without having convinced anyone else to take over for us as block captains. Looks like we will be hosting again next year.

9. The downside of hosting the party is having to clear the street and clean up after it is all done, which is a drag.

10. The upside is getting to take home all of the leftover beer.
How about you readers. Did any of you also participate in the National Night Out?


WeaselMomma said...

No, but that sounds like fun. Especially taking home the leftover beer.

Anonymous said...

No, we didn't, hadn't even heard about it until this post. We are such shut ins, it is terrible.

Otter Thomas said...

Never heard of it but it sounds like a lot of fun. Of course in our retirement neighborhood a night out would mean from 3-7. You should have unleashed the yard of the flies boys on the pizza guy.

Keith Wilcox said...

I did participate one time back when I lived in Minnesota. The captains decided to hold a raffle that year to encourage participation. each attendee was given a ticket, and there were 5 prizes. To my initial glee my family wound up winning 3 out of the 5 prizes including the grand prize (100 bucks). Then everybody thought I rigged the dumb thing and we got ostracized from the party. Still, I went home with the loot and didn't come back the next year :-)

Papa K said...

If your person that had the M's tickets had gone to the game then they would have seen them beat MY RANGERS 3-2... jerks.

Didactic Pirate said...

Your neighborhood sounds like the kind I had when I was growing up -- and the kind I wish my daughter had. Glad you had a great event!

Eric - BHF said...

Ours was a bit different. The city put one on hosted by the Police department at the police station. Officers cooking free hot dogs, lots of raffle prizes donated from local busineses, the works!

It was tons of fun!

Jack Steiner said...

This is the first time I have ever heard of it.

Sybil Runs Things said...

Sounds like you had a good time! I organized ours, after living here only a year. No one remembered the last time anyone did one on the street. My daughter and I handed out the fliers to everyone, too. We had maybe 25% of the people show up.
The thing that made me mad was all of our neighbors (who didn't come) still driving down the street when we had the blockades up. Sheesh. Maybe next year I'll have to make sure everyone knows before hand the street will really and truly be CLOSED.
Oh, and we had a neighbor go to the M's game who said she was coming. Boo!

Slamdunk said...

Great work.

We were not able to attend our local one this year, but we (the kids and I) caught up with some of our townie police at a booth they were hosting at another local event a few days later.

Knatolee said...

That stuff on the barbecue looks yum!

The pizza delivery guy? CRAZY!

Mrs. M said...

We didn't, but we do a neighborhood Fourth of July parade/gathering so we get to meet some families that way. Hopefully someone will organize way I want to be block captain! :)

Siera said...

Being Canadian, no but my block is having a party coming up and I can't wait.