COVID-19 has forced us to reimagine how we hold some of our most cherished traditions, from high school commencements that have transitioned to car parades of graduates to major league baseball games with cardboard cut-out “fans.”
So it should come as no surprise that U.P. has been forced to reimagine how we hold one of our largest and most successful events, National Night Out. Always held on the first Tuesday in August, this “Neighborhood Night Out Against Crime” is a way for neighbors to re-connect with one another and allows University Place Police, West Pierce Firefighters, City staff and elected officials to come to U.P. neighborhoods and hear about local concerns and engage on ways to collaborate and make University Place the very best it can be.
You may recall that earlier this spring, National Night Out celebrations were postponed until the first Tuesday in October at the recommendation of the National Association of Town Watch (sponsors of NNO). But given the current restrictions in Pierce County, U.P. public safety personnel have decided to cancel the community First Responder caravan portion of National Night Out this year. “We routinely, year after year, visit 50 plus neighborhoods in University Place,” said Jennifer Hales, public safety administrator for the City of University Place. “But because there are so many logistical challenges under normal circumstances, we simply believe this cannot safely be done under the CDC’s current recommendations.”
But Hales says this does not mean that neighborhoods cannot and should not find an outdoor way to safely social distance and grill up some burgers and have some dessert. “Our University Place National Night Out event is the largest neighborhood National Night Out in Pierce County and is one of our most favorite events,” she said. “It’s one of the reasons why University Place remains such a desirable place to live and work and demonstrates our amazing community spirit. We truly hope that our neighborhoods will carry on the tradition—safely and responsibly—and be sure to share photos on social media, using the hashtag #WeAreUP.”