Ninth annual National Night Out event slated for Aug. 2
By Morgan Bryce
Opelika’s ninth annual National Night Out will be held Aug. 2. The National Night Out event, according to information provided by its website, is “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.”
Along with coordinators Mattie Clark and Oscar Penn, Opelika’s National Night Out is co-sponsored by the City of Opelika, Breaking the Cycle Inc., Opelika’s Parks and Recreation Department, community churches, social clubs, the Opelika Housing Authority and the Opelika Police Department.
The event will begin with a march of local politicians, pastors and concerned citizens, which according to Clark, “is to show that we as a community, along with our churches and city leaders are united in saying enough is enough of our loved ones being killed. It is time to heal.” The march will begin at 5 p.m. in the front of Antioch Baptist Church, located at 605 W. Morton Ave., and will conclude at the Covington Recreation Center, where the night’s block party will be held.
Entertainment at the block party will include performers, children’s activities, police and fireman demonstrations, as well booths set up by community groups. Literature about crime and safety information will be handed out to attendees.
A crowd of more than 300 people attended the event last year, and Clark said she feels confident that more can be expected this year.
“I firmly believe we can beat the 300 we had last year. I’d love to see more than 500 here this year for the event,” she said.
With the outbreak of violence both across the country and in Opelika, Clark said she feels that the need for the National Night Out is more important than ever.
“With all that’s happened lately, we need to come together and show that we are one community. We need to respect our police and be a community that doesn’t tolerate violence,” Clark said.
For more information about the event, contact Mattie Clark at 334-319-0330, Oscar Penn at 334-663-5498 or Jasper Snipes at 334- 444-6513.