Region is well-prepared for National Night Out

National Night Out is Tuesday and, as usual, Modesto is more than ready.

Last year, it became the first city to win back-to-back first-place awards in the nationwide event that focuses on heightening crime and drug prevention awareness and strengthening neighborhood spirit and relationships between residents and law enforcement.

This year, there are more than 100 events planned throughout the city, in community parks, neighborhoods and apartment complexes.

From 5 to 9 p.m. at the Maddux Youth Center at 619 Sierra Drive, there will be musical entertainment, guest speakers, children's activities, information booths and refreshments.

There will be similar events starting in the early evening throughout the city's neighborhoods.

It's not confined, though, to block parties. At Meadow Lakes Apartments on the corner of Lakewood and Orangeburg avenues from 5 to 7 p.m., there will be a bounce house, music, food and a raffle for prizes. Last year, more than 300 showed up at the complex's inner quad to celebrate.

Modesto, though, isn't the only city taking part in the event's 25th anniversary. There's plenty going on throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley:

The Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children and the Ceres Department of Public Safety are sponsoring Ceres' Night Out at Whitmore Park from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be face painting, activities and games, bounce houses and refreshments.

Ripon's event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Ripon Commu- nity Center at Locust Avenue and Fourth Street. There will be free food, games, bounce houses and bingo.

Sonora police will hold a town hall meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Opera Hall, 250 S. Washington St..

Patterson will take part for the first time, with festivities including free hot dogs to the first 400 who show up and music from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Patterson High football stadium at 200 N. Seventh St.

Other local communities on the National Night Out's registry include Turlock, Riverbank, Oakdale, Escalon, Waterford, Manteca, Stevinson Ranch, Merced and Livingston.

In 2007, more than 35 million people in 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and Canada took part.

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