Everyone is invited to the dance.

The National Association of Town Watch sponsors National Night Out each year on the first Tuesday of August. The evening is designed to bring neighbors and neighborhoods together to help become aware of and address issues of crime and substance abuse.

Several neighborhood groups and block clubs held get-togethers on Aug. 4. The 1800 See-Ward Neighborhood Watch and the Brummel Park Neighborhood Watch each planned a neighborhood walk. 

There were block parties for the 1500 Washington Neighbors, the Hillside Neighborhood Watch and the Smith Park Neighborhood Watch. Penny Park neighbors watched “Akilah and the Bee” on the City’s mobile movie screen. The Evanston Animal Shelter Association planned a community party at the shelter, and the Hidden Park Neighborhood Watch planned a neighborhood meet and greet at Dobson/Brummel Park.

The evening at Church and Dodge combined the music, food and dancing of a traditional block party with the necessity of addressing social issues. Representatives of the Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Curt’s Café, Evanston Cradle to Career and the Evanston Police Department distributed information and answered questions.

With lighted candles, those in attendance read silently the names of 118 Evanstonians who since 1980 have lost their lives to violence.