July 15, 2016: National Night Out is a new summer tradition, by Patrick Sieben

July 15, 2016 by

Patrick Sieben

Patrick Sieben

The long, hot summer days are upon us. The long postponed home improvement projects are finally starting to be addressed. The wheat is in and the beans will be soon. The Royals are defending their 2015 World Series title.

This is summer in Kansas.

There is one more event that is becoming a tradition in Concordia, and that is the National Night Out. This year, Concordians can join with the Year Of Peace Committee and the Police Department in observing this event on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Just what is National Night Out?

It is an evening to get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood. It’s a chance to step away from the television or computer screen and go out on your front porch, or attend one of the numerous block parties that will be held about town, and talk — face to face instead of Facebook, no email, no Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat. You can have an actual conversation with people who live around you! Get to know them, or get to know them better.

The evening is a great time for casual conversation about what’s going on in your life. But it is also a time for a bit of serious conversation about neighborhood safety. Things like locking up, turning on a light, trimming shrubs that obscure windows, etc.

But most of all, it’s a time to just be neighborly. Enjoy the company of the folks next door or across the street.

In 2011 — the first time Concordia took part in what’s called “America’s Night Out Against Crime” — more than 25 neighborhoods planned events and a number of others held informal front-yard get-togethers. Each year since then neighborhoods across the city have taken part.

National Night Out is now in its 33rd year, and more than 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide are expected to take part this year.

So we encourage you at least attend, or better still, host a National Night Out block party. If you are interested in hosting a neighborhood get-together and would like a visit from the Concordia Police Department to discuss safety or other concerns, you may obtain more information and register with Ambria Gilliland at 243-2113, ext. 1221, or agilliland@csjkansas.org. (And organizers who “register” their activities will get free National Night Out yard signs and balloons to mark the spot.)

We hope to see all Concordians taking part in National Night Out on Aug. 2.

Enjoy the summer, the harvest, the Royals, and most of all, each other!

 

— Patrick Sieben is the Director of Bands at Cloud County Community College and a member of the Concordia Year of Peace Committee.

 

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