North Bend and Snoqualmie Celebrate National Night Out

In the 1970s, Matt Peskin, a resident of a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, spent several years volunteering for a local community watch program.

Peskin soon introduced a newsletter that represented the success within the organization and the volunteer work put forth by over one thousand neighbors. As he sought new content for that publication, he realized that hundreds of these local watch groups existed with no shared platform to connect.

In 1981 Peskin established the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). This group was created to “provide community watch groups the necessary information, resources, and assets to stay informed, interested, involved, and motivated within the community.”[1]

Photo credit: Susan Burk

Neighbors and law enforcement supported the group as it grew, and in 1984 the Association introduced the National Night Out campaign. The first annual National Night Out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states. It was a simple event with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their homes.

The event is now celebrated (in most states) on the first Tuesday in August. It has grown into block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits. Block watches, nonprofit organizations, companies, and police departments typically organize the events.

This year’s community event, organized by Snoqualmie Police Support Officer Pamela Mandery, was held at Snoqualmie’s Community Park and was open to residents of Snoqualmie, North Bend and surrounding communities.  

In attendance this year were representatives from the City of North Bend, Snoqualmie/North Bend Police officers, Ducks Unlimited, Eastside Drone Unit, dispatchers from the Issaquah Police Department, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife officers, troopers from Washington State Patrol, King County Search and Rescue, the Snoqualmie Fire Department, and an Animal Control Officer.

Fun was had by all at a dunk tank, bouncy house, petting zoo, coloring with Bre from North Bend and learning about miniature service horses. There was live music, food, face painting, balloon animals and a magic show.

“National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”[2]

It was a fun event; if you haven’t attended, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year!

[1] ​About | National Night Out (

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