Neighborhoods Participate in National Night Out

Grand Rapids Police Department at Aberdeen Park.

On Tuesday night, the Grand Rapids Police Department and several Grand Rapids neighborhood associations are asking residents to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outdoors on porches, lawns, streets or in parks with their neighbors.

This annual community event is hosted across the country and is known as National Night Out. Its goal is crime and drug prevention. Now in its 33rdyear, millions of people will participate this year in National Night Out in hopes of helping create a safer community.

“National Night Out is a night when residents can reclaim their streets in a fun and positive way,” said Julie Niemchick, GRPD crime prevention coordinator. “Some neighborhoods have chosen to make this night particularly significant as they coordinate a variety of family friendly activities to get everyone involved.”

Grand Rapids Deputy Chief Payne with a young fr
Grand Rapids Deputy Chief Payne with a young friend at Aberdeen Park.

Here is list of neighborhood National Night Out celebrations taking place on Aug. 7 (unless otherwise noted):

ALGER HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION (AHBA)
Alger Middle School parking lot, 921 Alger St. SE
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Activities: Petting zoo, pony rides, kids games, splash pad, prizes, crime/safety, bike safety literature, sign-up for volunteer opportunities, Alger 5K/10K Race Walk registration, AHBA information, representatives from GRPD and local churches,  free popcorn, water and lemonade, and  JB’s Pizza for sale
Info: Sam Evans, 616.540.2107

BAXTER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Joe Taylor Park, 1030 Bemis St. SE
6 to 8:30 p.m.
Activities: Music, GRFD smokehouse, face painting, information booths, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ Baxter Neighborhood Green Project, balloons, giveaways, bounce house for youth,  and free hot dogs, ice cream and fruit
Info: Marian Barrera-Young, 616.821.3740

BERKLEY HILLS CHURCH 
1670 Ball Ave. NE
6 to 8 p.m.
Activities: BBQ pork, cotton candy, three inflatables, 9 square in the air, cornhole and pickleball
Info: Kirk Bierens or Elise Smith, 616.364.9505

CRESTON NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Briggs Park, 350 Knapp St. NE
5 to 8 p.m.
Activities: Native butterfly release, family yoga, free hot dog dinner, kids games and safety learning activities
Info: Kymie Spring, 616.454.7900

EASTOWN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
Sigsbee Park, 431 Benjamin Ave. SE
5 to 7 p.m.
Activities: Food and beverages, family activities and public safety information
Info: Marisa Sandahl, 616.451.3025 or 347.668.0479

EAST HILLS COUNCIL OF NEIGHBORS
Cherry Park, 725 Cherry St. SE
6 to 8:30 p.m.
Activities: Face painting, DJ, bring your own picnic, games
Info: Cynthia Ayers, (616) 454-9079

FULLER AREA NEIGHBORS
Fuller Avenue Church, 1239 Fuller Ave. SE
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Activities: Hot dogs, chicken, law enforcement and emergency personnel, basketball, crafts and a jazz band
Info: Matt Mulder or Kent Sanders, 616.886.3934

GARFIELD PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave.
5 to 8 p.m.
Activities: Giant slip and slide, community resource tables, playground, basketball, volleyball and  concession stand with hot dogs, snacks and drinks
Info: Fran Dalton, 616.241.2443 or 616.401.9835 or Jon Shaner, 616.588.7200

HEARTSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Heartside Park, 301 Ionia Ave. SW
Wednesday, Aug. 1
6 to 9 p.m.
Activities: Food, games, meet your neighbors and family activities
Info: Amy Henderson, 810.282.1083

HERITAGE HILL ASSOCIATION
Pleasant Park, 400 Pleasant St. SE
6 to 8 p.m.
Activities: Kids games, free ice cream and hot dogs and bring your own picnic
Info: Tansy Harris, 616.459.8950

JOHN BALL AREA NEIGHBORS
Lincoln Park Lodge, 1120 Bridge St. NW (entrance off Marion NW)
7 to 8:45 p.m.
Activities: Information and safety booths, kids games, face painting from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m., tacos sold by Tacos El Cuňada and free popcorn and water
Info: Mary Bueche, 616.334.0914 or Marie Cimochowicz, 616.901.2924

MIDTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD
Midtown Green, 735 Fountain St. NE
Saturday, Aug. 4
2 to 5 p.m.
Activities: Mobile smokehouse, mural painting, music and face painting
Info: Ellen Meyer, 616.732.9191

NEIGHBORS OF BELKNAP LOOKOUT
Coit Park, 701 Coit Ave. NE
6 to 8 p.m.
Activities: Lawn games, hoola hoop, jump rope and kites
Info: Elianna Bootzin, 616.454.8413

NORTHEAST CITIZEN ACTION ASSOCIATION
Beckwith Hills Christian Reformed Church, 2100 Chelsea Road NE
6 to 8 p.m.
Activities: Hot dogs and other treats, games and face painting
Info: Betsy Hernandez, 616.304.7245

OAKDALE NEIGHBORS
1480 Kalamazoo Ave. SE (between Amplify and Standard Kitchens)
4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Activities: Food, games, arts, dance, music and information celebrating the neighborhood
Info: Deb Van Duinen, 616.773.0442

OTTAWA HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD
Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School playground, Fisk Road SE between Iroquois and West Chippewa
6 to 8 p.m.
Activities: Bounce house, balloon man, bubbles, chalk and ice cream
Info: Becky Kok, 616.366.3058

ROOSEVELT PARK NEIGHBORHOOD
Cesar Chavez Elementary School, 1205 Grandville Ave. SW
5 to 7 p.m.
Activities: Representatives from the Grand Rapids Fire Department, John Ball traveling zoo, resource tables, live entertainment, promotional tables, hot dogs, chips, cookies, freeze pops, giveaways and bounce house for kids
Info: Rocio Rodriguez or Asucena Cervantes, 616.243.2489

SEEDS OF PROMISE
Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE
4 to 7 p.m.
Activities: Bounce houses, kids games, photo booth, giveaways, raffles, health resource fair, mobile mammogram unit, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, water, lemonade and make your own sundaes
Info: Jessica Solis, 616.710.5730

WEST GRAND NEIGHBORHOOD
Stocking Elementary, 863 7th St. NW
5 to 7 p.m.
Activities: Games, multiple organizations and giveaways, hot dogs, water, prizes, music and  safety tips
Info: Chi Benedict, (616) 451-0150

*Photos courtesy of Grand Rapids Police Department

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