An evening of commingling with neighbors and public safety officers is scheduled on Tuesday, Aug. 2, with three public events and three private ones slated throughout Menlo Park, plus a community event in Atherton, in celebration of "National Night Out."
National Night Out is a nationwide campaign by the National Association of Town Watch, set the first Tuesday of August each year during which neighborhoods are encouraged to step out of their homes and interact with police, fire and safety officers, often during a block party-style event, according to the organization's website.
Menlo Park Police Chief Bob Jonsen said he has been working with the "Community Advisory Group on strengthening community relationships and on ensuring that the (event) is a positive interaction for everyone."
Events are anticipated to run from 4 to 9 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Menlo Park locations
• Hamilton Park and Mt. Olive Church on Hamilton Avenue in the Belle Haven neighborhood. This year, there will be food and games. The event is expected to run from 6 to 9 p.m., said Opha Wray, speaking for the Crime Prevention Narcotics Drugs Education Center.
• Cafe Zoe at 1929 Menalto Ave. in the Willows neighborhood. The event will run from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. or nightfall, according to Cafe Zoe Owner Kathleen Daly. The parking lot will be blocked off and the cafe will be giving away ice cream and offer food for sale.
Next door, Habibi's Salon will provide hair decorating activities, and there will likely be a bounce house and face painting, she said. Other activities may include games such as bingo, she said. In past years, this gathering has featured games, a dunk tank, and performances from an adjacent dance studio, Captivating Dance.
• Sharon Park, 1100 Monte Rosa Drive in the Sharon Heights neighborhood.
Atherton's annual National Night Out event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave.
Activities include a barbecue, contests, prizes, balloon makers and face painters, snow cones and cotton candy plus music and a jumpy house. The town requests reservations be made online.
Private events will also be held at the Menlo Park Gateway Apartments at 1345 Willow Road from 1 to 4 p.m., and on University Drive and East Creek Drive.
Activities were planned by community residents.
In the future, the Menlo Park Police Department is looking into implementing another initiative of the National Association of Town Watch, which would provide training for neighborhood dog walkers and joggers to observe and report suspicious behavior.