1000 x 90

Block Party of the Year Returns To Boone Aug. 6 National Night Out Bringing Communities Together Across the US

By Sherrie Norris

Watauga County residents will be among over 38 million people in 18,000 communities across the country, including U.S. territories and military bases worldwide, coming together for National Night Out 2024.

Easily considered the biggest block party anywhere, and happening in most locales on the first Tuesday of August, the event will once again unite individuals and families from all walks of life for one evening of celebration.

Watauga County will be no exception as on Tuesday,  Aug  6, the upper parking area at Watauga High School in Boone will once again be transformed  — for two full hours, 6 p.m. -8 p.m. — into a mecca of entertainment, awareness and community spirit at its best.

According to Lt. Casey Miller of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department, who has taken the lead on this event since bringing the idea to the table in 2019, National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie “to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work.” 

Miller is grateful for Kat Eller with Boone Police Department, who is once again helping him coordinate the event, and both are happy to welcome Yolanda Robertson and WAMY to the leadership team for ’24. 

NNO was introduced in 1984 through an already established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and volunteers across the nation. The first annual National Night Out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states. And it has continued to grow steadily ever since.

“Together, we are making it happen here in our hometown,” Miller shared, while explaining that this local event is co-sponsored by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and Boone Police Department, with the help of many other local agencies, organizations and local businesses.

Nationally, the celebration is sponsored by NATW (National Association of Town Watch), 7 Eleven CARES Foundation,  ADT Home Security, Starbucks, Associa, L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) and Swank Motion Pictures.

It’s a perfect time, Miller said, for neighbors to join together and get to know better their law enforcement officers and other public servants, and to learn about other available resources that many might not be familiar with. 

While many neighborhoods across the country have their own smaller celebrations with various festivals, parades, cookouts, etc.,  this particular venue has proved to be successful for the Boone area, Miller said, and is one of the most anticipated events of the year — with hotdogs and drinks, bounce houses, live entertainment, kids crafts, displays of emergency vehicles, booths representing local/partnering non-profit organizations and so much more. 

And, one of the best parts about it all  — it’s free and open to the public, thanks to the support of sponsors.

“We invite everyone to come out and join us and get to know your local law enforcement and first responders,” Miller said. “We will also be assisted by local non-profit organizations that help our community every day.”

Founder and National Project Coordinator of NNO, Matt Peskin said, “This is a night for our nation to stand together and promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement. When law enforcement and the community work closely together, some amazing things can happen.” 

Watauga High School is located at 300 Go Pioneers Drive in Boone.

For more information, visit natw.org.

To learn how you and your business/organization/agency can participate or assist with sponsorship, please email casey.miller@watgov.org or call (828)264-

Scenes from National Night Out in Watauga Country 2023. Photos by Sherrie Norris