Oakland hopes to set block party record

July 25, 2011 11:21:03 AM PDT
City officials in Oakland are hoping to set a new record for National Night Out block parties this year, and are making a final push this week to meet their goal.

As of Thursday morning, neighborhood organizers had registered 431 parties for National Night Out on Aug. 2 -- more than last year at this time. The city is hoping to meet its goal of 500 registered parties by the end of this week.

"It's not just about the parties, but about neighborhoods building community block by block," Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement.

Participation in the national event has grown each year in Oakland since its inception in 2004, when 35 block parties occurred.

Last year, Oakland residents set a city record with 457 parties, and city officials are optimistic that they will break that record this year.

City officials have reached out to residents through bus shelter ads and door-to-door canvassing to increase involvement.

"National Night Out sends a simple, yet profound message: when neighbors know each other, neighborhoods are safer," Quan said.

The city will provide a small gift to party hosts who register.

Those interested in registering a party can visit www.oaklandnet.com/nno.