Fewer than a dozen Pratt Night Out parties have been registered with the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce. If you haven’t received your invitation for the 8th annual event on Aug. 5, maybe you should be the one to organize a party. There’s still time, but it’s growing short.


Fewer than a dozen Pratt Night Out parties have been registered with the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce. If you haven’t received your invitation for the 8th annual event on Aug. 5, maybe you should be the one to organize a party. There’s still time, but it’s growing short.

About 20 parties were held last year and the highest number was around 30, according to event coordinator Carol Mott.

The party can be whatever its planner wants it to be. Grill some burgers, ask the neighbors to bring potluck, slice a cold watermelon or dish up some ice cream. Set out a wading pool for the kids or sprinklers in the street. It can be held in the front yard, back yard, non-major street, neighborhood park or indoors for those who prefer air conditioning.

The Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce and Leadership 2000 Plus is sponsoring the event in coordination with the 25th annual National Night Out. The national program speaks a lot about crime prevention aspects of the neighborhood gatherings, Mott said, and getting to know what’s normal for your area to recognize activity that is out of place. It’s also a time to strengthen ties with neighbors and to let children know there are people looking out for them and encouraging them.

People don’t sit on their front porches, Mott noted, and although they may intend to get better acquainted with their neighbors, many don’t. Pratt Night Out is the excuse for one of those “old time get-togethers.”

Representatives of law enforcement, the fire department and emergency services will visit each party, as well members of the Leadership 2000 group. The list of parties will be finalized on the morning of Aug. 5 to ensure a friendly visit from a policeman, firefighter or emergency service personnel. If there are children in the neighborhood, they will enjoy seeing a fire truck, Mott said, advising that special arrangements should be made.

In its first year, National Night Out had participants from 400 communities in 23 states. In 2007, more than 35 million people participated in 11,310 communities in all 50 states.

NNO has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in the fight for a safer nation, according to its sponsoring organization.

Planning Guide

• Register your party by calling the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce at 672-5501 and receive a packet of information and yard signs.

• Streets that are not major streets can be blocked off. Call the city office at 672-6446 to make arrangements for barricades to be delivered the morning of the party.

• To arrange for a fire truck visit, call the Public Works Department at 672-3866.