National Night Out celebrates 30th year with gatherings

National Night Out will mark its 30th year with events all over western Washington County on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

“America’s Night Out Against Crime” started in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, neighborhood camaraderie — and as a way to send a message to criminals, letting them know neighborhoods were organized and fighting back.

The event now involves more than 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

Here’s what’s happening in your area next Tuesday:

n In Forest Grove, Neighborhood Watch groups are organizing National Night Out events in their own neighborhoods with potlucks, barbecues, games for children and visits from Forest Grove Police officers, who will hand out goodies to kids.

For more information about an event near you, or to request a police visit to your own National Night Out gathering, email Community Service Officer Teresa Kohl at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-992-3108.

n At Harleman Park in Cornelius, 795 S. Heather St., guests will be able to talk about concerns with Cornelius police officers one minute and dunk firefighter recruits in a splash tank the next.

“The intent is for neighbors to meet neighbors and gather information about neighborhood watch groups,” said City Recorder Debbie Roth. “It’s an opportunity for new groups to start.”

The police department, library, TriMet, Adelante Mujeres and city departments will have booths set up and information available. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office—which is considering merging with the Cornelius Police Department —might bring search dogs, said Roth.

The Friends of the Cornelius Library will do an art project on the sidewalks throughout the event. A Life Flight helicopter is scheduled to land and Fred Meyer will provide hot dogs and drinks.

“It’s a way to know your neighborhood. It’s about awareness,” Roth said. “It also doesn’t hurt to have something nice happen in Cornelius.”

n The Gales Creek Neighborhood Watch Association will host the ninth annual Gales Creek National Night Out Barbecue Potluck at 6 p.m. in Gales Creek Elementary School, 2195 Sargent Road.

The event is is part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness of local crime prevention efforts, but in the community of Gales Creek, it has also become a time when neighbors and friends catch up on the events of the past year, and often begin new friendships with new residents.

“It’s a great way to renew our friendships in this valley,” said event organizer Sharon Boge.

The event will include door prize drawings and live music as part of the Gales Creek Concert Series, sponsored by the Gales Creek Chamber of Commerce. Gales Creek-area residents are encouraged to attend and to bring a side dish or dessert to the event. To learn more, call Boge at 503-357-7688. or Joyce Sauber at 503-357-2663.

n In Banks, Greenville City Park (41905 N.W. Arbor Park Loop) will play host to National Night Out with a barbecue dinner, snowcones from the local Lions Club, face painting, arts and crafts, a dog show, free bicycle helmet fittings by the Northwest Bicycle Safety Council, a volleyball tournament, a meet-and-greet with Banks Fire Department firefighters, tours of a Life Flight helicopter and information from Angels Making A Difference, a cancer support group.

An outdoor showing of “The Avengers” will follow the main NNA events as a movie in the park. Community members are invited to bring a lawn chair or a blanket. For details, call the city at 503-324-5112.

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