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East Multnomah County neighborhoods hosts a bevy of National Night Out block parties

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Face painting from a princess was a popular attraction at Kirk Parks National Night Out celebration Tuesday evening, Aug. 6.Kirk Park was filled with families enjoying a night out — with games, delicious food and a chance to get to know their neighbors.

The North Gresham Neighborhood Association was just one of many groups to host a gathering for National Night Out Tuesday evening, Aug. 6. Hundreds of community members across East Multnomah County came together for an annual event dedicated to heightening crime prevention awareness, strengthening community spirit and demonstrating unity between local neighborhoods and law enforcement.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Fourteen-month-old Charlie wasnt sure what to think about his sticker from Oregon Health & Science University during National Night Out.For Mike Elston, North Gresham Neighborhood Association president, the day is about more than a picnic.

"We are having people communicate — its more than a night at the park," Elston said. "People can find out they're not alone."

Kirk Park has been the site of National Night Out events since the late 1980s. There were resource tables from Multnomah County Soil and Water, the Latino Network, the city of Gresham, Family of Friends Mentoring, and information about funding efforts to bring a playground to the park. Food was donated by Albertsons.

National Night Out was observed across the region.

The largest event was held in Fairview, where the city pulls out all the stops for an evening filled with family fun.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - At Fairview Community Park children enjoyed plenty of activities, including a bouncy slide, during National Night Out. The 12th annual event took place at Fairview Community Park. The city closed down the streets, provided free food and live music performances, along with community resource booths hosted by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and Multnomah County Emergency Management. Children enjoyed a bounce house and other games.

In Gresham, residents enjoyed music and barbecue at Main City Park, 219 S. Main Ave., courtesy of the Historic Southeast Neighborhood Association. Residents also hosted smaller events for their friends and neighbors.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Fairviews event was the largest in the region, with resource booths, food and live music. Carol Rulla hosted a gathering at the end of her street at Southeast 28th Drive, while Kathy Hamlin and Gustavo Soares co-hosted a block party along Southwest 41st Street between Southwest Emerald and Southwest Eastwood.

Throughout the night Gresham Fire & Emergency Services sent a couple engines around to visit the parties, while Gresham Police officers also dropped by neighborhoods to hand out sticker badges and toys to children.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Main City Park had free food and live music during the national event.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Multnomah County Sheriffs Deputies handed out prizes during National Night Out Tuesday evening, Aug. 6.

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