Every year, there’s a block party in my neighborhood ~ and it’s a blast, especially for us kids! Some of our neighbors organize it by putting the word out on the block with flyers, urging everyone to participate. It’s like having a big family reunion picnic without having to go very far.
It really takes me quite a bit of time to pick out just the right outfit, so I stand out. You see, just about everyone shows up, and I want to make a good impression.
My Mom told me that block parties began in her home city, New York, during World War I. Just like now, an entire block was roped off so no cars could come through. The block parties honored the men from the neighborhood who were going off to war.
Our block parties are always on National Night Out, which is the second Tuesday in August. Everyone brings food … from chips and dip to salads and fruit to hot dogs and chili to slammin’ desserts. Food always brings people together and is an added bonus to block parties where you get to meet your neighbors, build community and play in the street.
Besides lots of food, there was a Bounce House at one end of the block for the little kids to play in. I thought I’d be able to go in, but the little ones were having such a great time, jumping hard and fast. I got a little scared and skittish and sure enough, I got bumped at the entrance and, luckily, Pop was there to catch me, because I almost fell.
I got to meet and talk with our beat cop, Officer Singh. He’s very friendly, and I feel safe knowing he watches out for us. He told me how, in 1984, a man named Matt Peskin worked for an organization called the National Association of Town Watch.
Mr. Peskin wanted people to be safe and thought long and hard about how to make people more aware and want to participate more in neighborhood anticrime efforts ~ and that’s how the idea of having a block party or safety fairs or neighborhood walks on National Night Out started.
Last year, there were 27 million people in 15,110 communities from all 50 states participating. That’s a lot of people. Did you do anything special on National Night Out?
We even got a visit from our local firefighters. They let me climb into the fire truck, and gave me my very own helmet ~ pretty cool!
We have the best neighbors ever! This is Jose ~ he’s the grill master who made sure that there were enough hot dogs for all of us and the police officers and firefighters.
Here’s to safe and peaceful neighborhoods for us all!