CHAMPAIGN – People can learn more about protecting themselves and their homes during a celebration Tuesday evening in Champaign.
The Champaign and Urbana police and fire departments and about three dozen other agencies will gather with the public from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Champaign's West Side Park as part of National Night Out.
Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch based in Washington, D.C., the event is expected to draw the participation of 10,000 communities in the United States and Canada.
Events include block parties, flashlight walks, cookouts and exhibits from local police and sheriff's offices.
This will be the fourth year for the event in Champaign-Urbana, according to Mable Thomas, neighborhood coordinator for Champaign Neighborhood Services.
"The theme is Family Home Safety," Thomas said. "We are working to make sure everybody is prepared for any kind of emergency."
Champaign and Urbana police and fire staff will be on hand, along with the UI police and Police Training Institute, American Red Cross, Carle Foundation Hospital's emergency department and the Metropolitan Computer-Aided Dispatch 911 service. The Champaign County Emergency Response Vehicle will also be available for tours.
Many other departments and organizations will also participate.
Organizers say they hope more than 1,000 residents will attend and get the latest safety tips and information.
Entertainment will be provided by Candy Foster and The Shades of Blue. Free hot dogs, popcorn and water will be available.
Free parking will be available at Regions Bank at University Avenue and State Street, just south of the park.