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RACINE — Tonight’s the night! National Night Out (NNO) marks its 32nd year bringing neighborhoods together at 36 sites throughout the city.

The annual event is coordinated locally by Racine Neighborhood Watch Inc., a nonprofit that today is marking 40 years of promoting community-center crime prevention.

The NNO celebration kickoff starts with a 4 p.m. ceremony at Cesar Chavez Community Center, 2221 Douglas Ave, including a birthday cake and appearances by McGruff the Crime Dog and local dignitaries. The party there continues into the evening with free food, games, giveaways, face painting, bounce houses and an outdoor movie.

National Night Out events around Racine

Other NNO events, hosted by the Racine Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services run from 5 to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center
    • 1134 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
  • Tyler-Domer Community Center
    • 2201 12th St.
  • Humble Park Community Center
    • 2220 Blaine Ave.
  • Dr. John Bryant Community Center
    • 601 Caron Butler Way
National Night Out
Neighbors enjoyed picnic fare at a National Night Out (NNO) site in West Racine last year. To find an NNO event in your neighborhood, call 262-637-5711. – Credit: Paul Holley

More local NNO events – ranging from block party potlucks to neighborhood cookouts – are planned for Community Orienting Policing (COP) Houses, churches and private homes. Racine Police Department, Racine Fire Department, Racine County Sheriff’s Office personnel, along with the McGruff mascot, will stop by the locations throughout the evening.

Organizers are expecting as many as 4,500 NNO participants this year, according to Susan Feehrer-Laack, Racine Neighborhood Watch’s interim executive director.

To find a National Night Out event in your neighborhood call 262-637-5711.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...