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Groups Sign Up For National Night Out
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Eight stops are already on the schedule for Escalon's annual National Night out, and prospective groups have until this Friday to get in on the fun.

"A lot of them are returning, with one new one," Escalon Police Services Manager Dorothy Vandagriff said of the gatherings.

National Night Out will be observed nationwide on Tuesday, Aug. 2 and is designed as a 'going away party' for crime and drugs as residents gather for neighborhood barbecues, ice cream socials and pot luck dinners together. The goal is to get people out of their homes and meeting with their neighbors to bring a feel of community spirit and cooperation.

In Escalon, the night also features a contingent of the city's staff and emergency services personnel stopping at the various gatherings in town. Police, fire, ambulance and city workers and management are part of the contingent.

Neighborhood gatherings on the schedule so far include Chablis Drive, Chianti Court, a new one on Colombard Court, Saron Lutheran Church on North Street, Jonathan Court, Mission Street, the 1300 block of Brayton - back after a break of a couple of years - and Trinity Church on California. Vandagriff said in the case where gatherings are very close together, the contingent may "split" and half attend one, half attend the other, to make sure that all the gatherings are visited during the three-hour time frame for the evening.

"We'll be meeting at the police department (2040 McHenry) at 5:30 p.m.," Vandagriff said of getting the contingent organized and ready to go.

National Night Out itself will be observed from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Each neighborhood celebration is a little different, with everything from barbecues to potlucks to music and ice cream thrown into the mix.

The deadline for sign-ups to guarantee a visit from the city contingent is Friday, July 29. Call the police department at 838-7093 to get on the list.