A city-sponsored National Night Out celebration won’t be happening this year on Mercer Island amid coronavirus concerns.
The festivity, which is celebrated both nationwide and on Mercer Island, typically happens on the first Tuesday of August — which, this year, falls on Aug. 4.
While an Island-wide effort won’t coalesce this year, the city of Mercer Island is encouraging its neighborhoods to meet virtually or have individual celebrations in lieu of a grand-scale gathering.
National Night Out began in 1984, and is backed by the U.S.’s National Association of Town Watch. The nationwide event seeks to raise awareness of community policing, whether related to drug prevention programs, neighborhood and town watches or other anti-crime groups.
This isn’t the first time Mercer Island has had to forgo a large-scale, city-supported National Night Out get-together. In 2019, there wasn’t a community-wide celebration on Mercer Island due to a lack of funding; at the time, residents were encouraged to host their own celebrations as a result.