National Night Out is Tuesday, Aug. 1, and at last count there were about 125 sites where residents, public safety personnel and elected officials will be gathering for an evening of fellowship.

Because most members of the City Council will spend the evening dashing from cookouts to block parties to ice cream socials, the Greensboro City Council meeting has been postponed to Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Greensboro city councilmembers usually have an unofficial contest to see who can visit the most sites. At the end of the City Council meeting on Wed. Aug. 2, during council comments, councilmembers will most likely compare notes about the different neighborhood events they attended.  And while no trophy is awarded, usually a consensus will be reached on who won first prize for attending the most events.

In the past, councilmembers with every intention of attending a large number of neighborhood events have gotten waylaid by particularly tasty cuisine at a neighborhood cookout or block party that considerably slowed their progress.

The City Council usually meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, but not in August, when National Night Out takes precedence.

National Night Out is celebrated annually and, as the name indicates, it is held nationwide, giving people an opportunity to enhance relationships with law enforcement and foster a greater sense of community. One of the big ideas behind National Night Out is that communities are safer when people know their neighbors and their neighborhoods.

National Night Out was first held in 1984 and was the brainchild of the National Association of Town Watch, an organization formed to open lines of communication between community watch groups.

The Greensboro Police Department has been a big supporter of National Night Out and over the years has received more than 20 national awards from the National Association of Town Watch for community participation.

National Night Out is currently celebrated by in 161 towns and cities in North Carolina and by 17,000 communities nationwide.