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Final Sign-Ups Due For Night Out
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If your neighborhood wants to get in on the festivities for this year's National Night Out, you have until Thursday to sign up.

Coordinated through the Escalon Police Department, Police Services Manager Dorothy Vandagriff said eight neighborhood gatherings are on the schedule so far for Tuesday's National Night Out, and residents can sign up to host an event through the end of the day Thursday, July 31.

National Night Out will be observed on Tuesday, Aug. 5 and it is a nationwide observance, offered so residents of communities can get out, greet their neighbors, interact with public safety and city officials and 'take back the night' from crime and drugs. Escalon will join communities across the country in celebrating 'America's Night Out Against Crime.'

This year marks the 25th annual National Night Out and Escalon has participated for the last several years. The various neighborhood gatherings have included barbecues, ice cream socials, fun and games for kids, potlucks and more. Goal of the National Night Out is to get neighbors out into the streets and local parks, getting to know each other and building a sense of camaraderie and security in the neighborhood, as well as sending a message to criminals that they are not welcome in the community. Escalon has traditionally had tremendous participation, officials said, and they are also looking forward to a good event this year.

Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored locally by the Escalon Police Department, the night features representatives from the police department, Escalon Fire, Escalon Community Ambulance and the City of Escalon in a caravan, traveling around the community to the various block parties, stopping for a brief time at each one. Length of the visit is determined by how many neighborhood groups are taking part in the festivities.

"We have eight groups," Vandagriff said of those on the schedule as of Monday, July 28.

They include the ice cream social on Genevieve, music and a barbecue in the 1300 block of Sacramento Street, gatherings on Chianti Court and Chablis Drive, "accordion music and drums" with the fellowship circle at Saron Lutheran Church on North Street, along with events on Jonathon Court, Mission Street and the 1300 block of Brayton.

The caravan will form at the Escalon Police department on Tuesday evening and head out, with the visits scheduled between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin describes it as "a night for America to stand together" to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity.

"National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation," Peskin said.

To participate, contact Vandagriff at the Escalon Police Department, 838-7093.