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Sign-Ups Under Way For National Night Out
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National Night Out is fast approaching; the annual 'Take Back the Night' celebration in the community and across the country is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 3.

Escalon Police Department Community Services Manager Dorothy Vandagriff said she is taking 'reservations' from neighborhood groups that will be participating, so she can schedule a time for the caravan of local emergency and city personnel to stop at their neighborhood gathering.

"I have three groups signed up already, Saron Lutheran Church and the Chianti Court group, and a small one on Chablis," Vandagriff said.

Escalon routinely has outstanding participation in the National Night Out festivities, added Vandagriff, with a variety of activities spread throughout the community. Neighborhood potlucks, barbecues, ice cream socials and entertainment is featured, from music to bounce houses and more.

Like in past years, Vandagriff said police, fire, ambulance and city personnel will join together to travel from location to location throughout the evening, making a stop at every neighborhood gathering that signs up to be on the visitation list. The caravan usually arrives at the first stop around 6 p.m. and closes out the visits by about 9 p.m.

Depending on how many stops there are, the group will devote some time to each one, then move on to the next. Escalon City Council members, city staff, firefighters, police officers, and ambulance squad members have the chance at each stop to eat a little and then visit with residents. Stops often include a tour of the police or fire tucks for youngsters, as well as some small giveaway items as well.

"They just need to contact me at the police department to get on the (visitation) list," Vandagriff said. "They can also call if they have any questions."

Some groups have been meeting for the National Night Out festivities for years and enjoy the chance to not only socialize with neighbors but also 'meet and greet' the city staff and emergency services personnel. New groups are always welcome.

Across the country, the National Night Out observance is designed as a way for residents to 'take back the night' from crime and drugs, supporting neighborhood watch programs and getting to know their neighbors.

For more information or to sign up, contact Vandagriff at 838-7093.