By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Tuesday, September 12 neighborhoods all across the Oklahoma City metro area will turn out to celebrate Neighbors Night Out. Festivities will take place that evening from approximately 5:30-9 p.m. in over 60 neighborhood that register to participate.
Neighbors Night Out is an effort to bring citizens together to network with public safety officers and public officials in order to curb neighborhood crime, gang and drug activity and promote social connections within metro communities.
“Neighbors Night Out provides Oklahoma City neighborhoods a chance to get to know their neighbors,” said JB Schuelein, President of the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Alliance. “Our goal is to strengthen a neighborhood’s social bonds and foster a good working relationship with local police – if it comes with hot dogs and bouncy-houses, then all the better.”
The event is sponsored by Neighborhood Alliance, Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma City Fire Department, Waste Management and local Target Stores.
“Active, social neighborhoods have less crime,” said Georgie Rasco, Executive Director of Neighborhood Alliance. “Use this event to get your neighbors out of their houses and talking to each other. Let your neighbors know that you are watching out for them, and they will do the same for you.”
Neighbors Night Out events will be visited by City Council members, the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, elected officials, City Department heads, and fire trucks – and sometimes even the police helicopter buzzes overhead, according to organizers.
Target store representatives will be volunteering at many of the neighborhood parties with store gift cards as prizes.
Early neighborhood registrants will receive a “plethora of freebies” including official NNO t-shirts, cases of water from Waste Management, Recycling bins from OKC Beautiful and event signage sponsored by S&S Promotions.
“Neighbors Night Out embodies everything that communities and neighborhoods are about – diverse people doing ‘life’ together,” said Ashley Dickson Oso, Programs/Communications Director for Neighborhood Alliance.
“Early Bird registration is still open and so far, we have over 60 neighborhoods registered,” Dickson Oso added. Neighborhood event themes can range from a simple porch vigil – encouraging neighbors to sit and socialize on their porch or front yard – to fully-catered functions with bounce houses and hundreds of attendees.
These events, big and small, are also an opportunity so bring neighbors and local businesses to connect and build stronger communities. The Earlybird registration deadline is Friday, August 11. All early registrants across Oklahoma City will be eligible to win a free Waste Management donated roll-away dumpster for a neighborhood clean-up day, which they will deliver and pick up.
The final registration deadline for Neighbors Night Out is September 1. Registered events will be included on the NNO Events Map, and the Master List which is distributed to officials and City agencies.
“Thousands of OKC Metro Area citizens at over 90 neighborhood events celebrated Neighbors Night Out in 2016,” Dickson Oso said. “We want to recruit and include even more neighborhoods for 2017.”
Neighborhoods that expect large crowds or are inviting food trucks need to consult with the City’s Special Events Office at 405-297-2890. A helpful guide with information pertaining to public events can be found at okc.gov/specialevents. Permits for these activities require 30 day advance application.
To learn more about Neighbors Night Out or how to start a Neighborhood Association, visit www.nacok.org or call the Neighborhood Alliance at 405-528-6322.
The following Oklahoma City neighborhoods have to date registered for NNO 2017:
Prairie Ridge HOA
Sunny Pointe HOA
Cascata Estates HOA
The Gardens at Blue Quail Ridge
Remington Home Owners Association
Bodine Home and School Association
Oakdale Valley – The Villages
Eagle Lake Mantle court
Park Estates North/Cashions Wildewood
Raywood Manor Homeowners Association
La Sonata HOA
Camden Place HOA
Eagle Lake Estates
North Coronado Heights Neighborhood Association
Harvest Hills South Neighborhood Association
Glen Oaks HOA
Windsor Forest Neighborhood Association
Chisholm Village HOA
Bush Hills Neighborhood Association
Lone Oak Lakes
Windsor Hills Neighborhood Association
Medical Community Neighborhood
Canyon North Neighborhood Association
Lakeview Neighborhood Association
New Hope Worship Center
Northeast Renaissance Neighborhood Association
Cambridge Park Property Owner’s Association
Urban Neighbors, OKC
Markwell Place Neighborhood
The Gardens at Blue Quail Ridge
Military Park Residents Association
Hartsdel Neighborhood Watch Association
Greenvale Neighborhood Association
The Grove neighborhood
Treadwell Hills Neighborhood Association
Persimmonn Hill Neighborhood Assoc
Prairie Queen Neighborhood Watch Association
Colony Pointe HOA
Heritage Hills East
For a complete listing of all events e-mail [email protected] .