Following a 2020 postponement due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, National Night Out is returning to Burbank at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3.
The annual event, which is always held on the first Tuesday in August, consists of the Burbank Police Department and the Burbank Fire Department collaborating with local neighborhood members to put together a city celebration. Several neighborhoods will take part in the ceremony this year, and Johnny Carson Park will serve as a central gathering point for community members and participating BPD and BFD personnel. Social distancing and appropriate COVID precautions will also be encouraged at the outdoor event.
“It’s definitely good to be back,” BPD Police Lieutenant J.J. Puglisi said of the return of National Night Out. “We’ve had a great turnout in terms of people in the community that want to participate and have their own block parties. So we’re really excited about returning to it.”
Neighborhood excitement surrounding the celebration has been mounting amongst locals, including resident Ashley Erikson. Each year Erikson co-hosts a block party in her N. Evergreen St. neighborhood, complete with food trucks, yard games with prizes, live music, and character photo ops. For the return of National Night Out, six houses on this block will together host the party within their area. This will include welcoming new neighbors, celebrating the theme of “Hometown Heroes,” and giving back to the City of Burbank.
“It’s a great time to gather as a community and come together as a neighborhood, especially post-pandemic,” Erikson said. “We are encouraging kids to dress up as their favorite heroes, whether it be superheroes or community heroes. We are also collecting donations for local organizations like BTAC, Family Promise, and The Burbank Animal Shelter.”
National Night Out not only allows for a community-oriented gathering in Burbank but also provides the BPD and the BFD a chance to educate the public on their department functions. SWAT equipment, a canine unit, and a police helicopter are some of the features that local youth will get to learn about from BPD officers in attendance.
“[We’ll have] a lot of stuff for the community, and particularly the youth in the community, to be able to engage and learn a little bit more about what we do,” Puglisi said.
Since August of 1984, National Night Out has been celebrated by cities throughout the U.S. Each year, the goal of the gathering is to increase neighborhood togetherness, along with community and police collaboration. These interactions, as the BPD states on their site, ultimately make Burbank “a safer, more caring place to live and work.” While the majority of day-to-day police functions require addressing serious circumstances, National Night Out delivers a fun, enjoyable experience for officers of the department and the community members they serve.
“To have an organic opportunity to get out there and just mingle and talk to people and enjoy those face-to-face interactions in a positive environment is always… healthy for both the officers and for the community,” Puglisi said.