Residents of Vistula Manor have a message for Toledoans: On Tuesday, they'll leave the light on for you.
Residents of the manor, a Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority complex at 615 Cherry St., will join several other Toledo groups in turning on their lights as part of the 21st annual National Night Out, a crime and drug prevention event.
And for the third time, they will open their patio to residents of the city for a Block Watch picnic.
From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., a National Night Out kickoff will be held at the Civic Center Mall. The festivities at Vistula Manor, which is located close to the intersection of Cherry and North Erie streets, will begin at 6:30 p.m, said LMHA spokesman Clifford Wright.
Participants will find live music, food, and a lights show at the manor, officials said.
In past years, about 200 to 300 people have turned out for the event, Mr. Wright said.
"The best part of the evening is when people really get together and realize Block Watch really blocks crime," Mr. Wright said. He added that interested city residents will be able to sign up for Block Watch at the event.
"Come down and see what Block Watch is all about," said Jo Ann Gozdowski, 66, who has been the building's Block Watch leader for several years. "[It's about] taking care of everybody."
About 160 to 170 people live in Vistula Manor, Ms. Gozdowski said, adding that many of them turn out for the event. That "gives them a chance to mingle" with city officials and neighbors, she added.
Expected at the event are Mayor Jack Ford, Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre, Toledo Fire Chief Mike Bell, and several other elected officials.
Other groups are hosting their own festivities.
Residents living near the intersection of Willard and Camden streets in East Toledo will go door to door, asking their neighbors to turn on their porch lights, and their Block Watch group will paint over graffiti in alleys in the neighborhood.
According to a National Association of Town Watch Web site, over 34 million people participated in last year's National Night Out.
Other communities holding National Night Out events this year include:
●Bryan, where on Tuesday the police department, in partnership with the Northeast Neighborhood Association and the Lady Eagles Auxiliary, will meet at Mattie Marsh Park between 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Live music will be provided along with a car display, and a K-9 unit along with a safety pup.
The health department and the Bryan Fire Department will be there with Andy the ambulance.
There will be door prizes and free food and drinks.
●Bucyrus, where tomorrow will be a kick-off at Aumiller Park in Bucyrus from 5 to 7 p.m.
It will feature a Bucyrus police cruiser, state patrol cruiser, ambulance, fire truck, and possibly a medical helicopter.
Officers will be on hand to discuss safety, and there will be live acoustic music. A blood drive will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the park, a spokesman said.
On Tuesday, there will be 23 to 24 neighborhood block parties around the city.
Residents will be able to block off parts of streets or have parties in their yards, starting as early as 5 p.m. Police officers will try to attend as many of them as possible.
●Oregon, where National Association of Town Watch sponsors National Night Out, which is focused this year on missing and abducted children.
The Oregon Police Division has partnered with the city's Wal-Mart to fingerprint children free of charge.
Officers will be conducting the fingerprinting of children at the Oregon police station, 5330 Seaman Rd. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and at the Oregon Wal-Mart the same day from 5 to 8 p.m.
●Northwood, where a community relations officer will be on a bicycle Tuesday night, a spokesman said.
Blade staff writers Christina Hall and Erika Ray contributed to this report.
Contact Lindsey Mergener at:
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