On Tuesday, communities across the nation will get together to celebrate National Night Out.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, better places to live.
National Night Out was first established in 1984 by Matt Peskin of the National Association of Town Watch.
The first National Night Outs were fairly simple. In most communities, they were mostly “lights on” vigils with some basic information given to the community. The event attracted more than 2 million participants in Canada and the United States.
Today, National Night Out draws in more than 37 million people from 10,000 communities across North America.
With the growth comes a shift in focus. Now, NNO brings communities together with festivals, block parties, cookouts, parades and various other events.
Here’s where to celebrate the event throughout Mercer County.
The Ewing Police Department will host National Night Out on Aug. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the senior/community center, located at 999 Lower Ferry Road. Parking is available in the DOT lot, and the community center’s pool will be open during the event.
The Hamilton Township Police Division will host National Night Out on Aug. 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. outside of police headquarters. HPD is located at 1270 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road.
The Hopewell Township Police Department and Hopewell Township Police Benevolent Association 342 are hosting National Night Out on Aug. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Stony Brook Elementary School. The school is located at 20 Stephenson Road, Pennington.
The Lawrence Township Police Department is hosting National Night Out on Aug. 1 between 5:30 and 8 p.m. on the grounds of the municipal building. The municipal building is located at 2211 Lawrenceville Road. Local nonprofits will be on hand to provide information about their services.
Princeton will host their Community Night Out on Aug. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the community park pool, located at 380 Witherspoon Street. In addition to food and giveaways, there will also be demonstrations by the police department’s K-9 unit.
The Robbinsville Township Police Department will host National Night Out on Aug. 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the basketball courts outside of Police Headquarters. RPD is located at 1117 Route 130 North. The primary parking entrance for this event is via Folsom Way and Robbinsville-Allentown Road.
There also will be a bicycle drive hosted by the Robbinsville Hamilton Rotary Club Aug. 1. Newer or used bikes can be dropped off at the municipal complex between 6–8 p.m. to benefit the Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Mercer County. For more information visit bikeexchangenj.org.
The West Windsor Police Department will host National Night Out on Aug. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. at Community Park, 193 Princeton-Hightstown Road. Visitors will have the chance to meet their neighbors, community leaders, police officers, EMS and volunteer firefighters. There will be entertainment, food, games and inflatable rides.