Now in its 33rd year, National Night Out is a community police awareness-raising event held in both the United States and Canada on the first Tuesday in August (this year August 2nd). Just for fun, we asked our Contributors how they celebrate the event. Here’s what they had to say:

The folks in the neighborhood senior condo chip in for hot dogs and grill them; everyone else brings a salad or side dish to share. We have door prizes donated by local businesses and live music. This year I’m organizing a book swap as part of the evening, in an effort to create a more literacy-friendly neighborhood. Anita Dualeh

There are lots of dogs in our Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood, which my boyfriend and I love. We take our Jack Russell Terriers, Fonzie, and Puddy, to the National Night Out celebrations which always end up becoming a big dog party! Rachelle Gordon

National Night Out is a time for neighbors to set aside time and get to know one another! This year, I’ll be making it a point to take my dog for a long walk throughout my neighborhood with the aim of talking to as many people as possible. Hello, neighbors – I’ll be seeing you in August! Tara Massan

In a rural neighborhood with no formal National Night Out, our neighborhood maintains contact with and informs its members by regularly planning afternoon get-togethers. We maintain relationships and keep each other up-to-date over coffee and homemade baked goods. It doesn’t take much to help keep your neighborhood safe and aware! Whitney Grindberg

Our block is rather stodgy. We meet in the middle of the block. One family brings ice cream and the rest of us bring toppings. We adjourn early. The place to be is one block west, where my mother lives. They have games for the kids, great food, and fireworks after dark. Cynthia Sowden

Our NNO is for the birds. A small gaggle of my neighbors get together and follow a friend who’s a ranger into Bloomington’s National Wildlife Refuge trails, looking for our favorite birds. The kids race to see who can make a rainbow from birds they spot. Red on a cardinal! Yellow on a finch! Steve Johnson

National Night Out is a time to enjoy our beautiful country and better connect with the community.  I wouldn’t dream of spending it in my apartment, curtains drawn, playing Championship Bowling on the Sega Genesis and eating Cookie Crisp directly from the box. David Scheller