WEST HOLLYWOOD—West Hollywood is celebrating the 34th annual National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1 in a show of unity against crime, according to a press release from the city on Tuesday, July 18. Nearly 2,000 residents are expected to gather at block parties, live entertainment, barbecues, and other events throughout the city.

National Night Out originated in 1984 through the National Association of Town Watch, in an effort to encourage involvement in crime prevention activities, law enforcement and community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie, notes the press release. The event aims to bring back a sense of community and convey to criminals that neighborhoods are organized against crime.

“The City of West Hollywood has participated in National Night Out for many years, and feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive,” Lily Campbell, Emergency Management Coordinator for the city’s Public Safety Department, indicated to Canyon News in an email. “National Night Out serves as an excellent vehicle for partnership building. The block parties foster a greater community spirit and ease the isolation that often exists in heavily populated urban areas such as West Hollywood.”

National Night Out has been celebrated in West Hollywood since the city’s inception in 1984. Over 2.5 million people in 400 communities across 23 states participated in the first National Night Out, according to the campaign’s website. Neighborhoods began hosting festivals, block parties, parades, seminars, safety demonstrations, and youth events in support of the event. Now, more than 35 million people across the country gather to celebrate their unity and camaraderie in the fight against crime.

“National Night Out is a wonderful event that brings neighborhoods together,” said Mayor John Heilman. “It’s an opportunity for residents to make new friends, socialize, and meet representatives from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, our local L.A. County Fire Stations and City Hall, and it’s wonderful to see neighborhoods come together and take a firm stand against crime.”

West Hollywood typically has 10 to 15 events hosted by Neighborhood Watch groups, the city’s Russian Advisory Board, schools, and the West Hollywood Gateway shopping plaza, according to Ms. Campbell. Events include block parties with potluck dinners and barbecues, and some organizers are able to have their events catered by local restaurants. Live entertainment is provided in some cases, and amplified music in others.

“Last year, live musical performances included an accordion player, a guitar player, Judy Garland impersonator, and belly dancer,” Ms. Campbell said to Canyon News. She added, “National Night Out is typically topped off with the City’s annual ‘Movie Night in the Park.'”

This year, the city of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division will host a free family-friendly movie night, featuring “Finding Dory,” at 8 p.m. at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Attendees are welcome to bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the outdoor movie.

In addition to the Neighborhood Watch groups, Russian Advisory Board, West Hollywood Gateway, and Recreation Services Division, members of the West Hollywood City Council and the city’s Public Safety Commission will also participate in National Night Out festivities. The events will be held in coordination with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and City of West Hollywood officials and staff members.

“Throughout the evening’s festivities, residents and business owners personally thank Sheriff’s Deputies and firefighters for their service to the community,” Ms. Campbell indicated. “Law enforcement officers are thankful for the residents’ appreciation for their continuous hard work.”

According to Ms. Campbell, the business community is an integral part of National Night Out with their generous donations.

“West Hollywood is a small city, but there is tremendous support for community programs, and National Night Out is no exception,” she said in the email. “This particular event truly unites everyone in a partnership that strengthens neighborhood unity.”

There will be several street closures during the celebration, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the following locations:

  • The cul-de-sac at Sherbourne Drive and Ashcroft Avenue, with closures at San Vicente Boulevard and Ashcroft Avenue, and Ashcroft Avenue at Sherbourne Drive
  • N. Kings Road between Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Street
  • N. Kings Road between Waring Avenue and Willoughby Avenue
  • Harratt Street between Palm Avenue and Larrabee Street
  • North Poinsettia Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue

Additional events will take place in Plummer Park and at the West Hollywood Gateway, which do not require road closures. A complete list of events, times, and locations can be viewed on the city’s website at www.weho.org/nno.

For more information, please call Lily Campbell in the city’s Public Safety Department at (323) 848-6831 or at lcampbell@weho.org, or Janet Jimenez, Assistant to the City Manager at (323) 848-6376 or jjimenez@weho.org. For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.