Diane Studstill was busy blowing up balloons Monday afternoon to get ready for Tuesday’s National Night Out party in her neighborhood.
At the juncture of Evers Place and Atwood Drive, the smell of grilling hotdogs and hamburgers will draw a crowd of about 120 people if the block party is like last year’s.
Studstill is chairwoman of the Neighborhood Watch group in her community that’s nestled between Log Cabin and Mercer University drives.
The group has a donation basket at the quarterly meetings that collects money to pay for the food, favors and prizes.
“We’re going to have registration and give away some school supplies,” said Studstill, who has been helping organize the party for a half-dozen years.
For four of those, she’s been helping Judy Gordon, the crime prevention coordinator for the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office who was the former Neighborhood Watch coordinator for Macon police.
“It’s amazing nowadays how many people don’t know their neighbors,” Gordon said.
Around barbecue grills, picnic tables and games for the children, the public mingles with Bibb deputies and firefighters.
The event finds “everyone just having a relaxed time and everyone learning so much about crime prevention,” Gordon said. Knowing more about neighbors helps folks know when something is amiss.
Tuesday evening, people are encouraged to turn on their porch lights, get outside and meet their neighbors.
The day kicks off at 10 a.m. at many child care locations across Macon. Then an 11 a.m. news conference at Terminal Station will give local leaders a chance to stress the benefits of neighborhood networking.
Other events stretch from 4-6 p.m., but the bulk of the celebration runs from 6-8 p.m.
The nationwide event began 30 years ago to promote the public’s involvement in crime prevention.
Gordon has seen event organizers foster a spirit of community through the planning.
“They have reached out to other neighbors, asking for help and not trying to do it all on their own,” she said. “It’s brought forth more unity because more people are finding out about National Night Out. Even the business community is coming out to help. Just having people all say they want to be part of it is exciting.”
Events are planned in the following locations:
Bibb District 1
10 a.m. Childcare Network, 1987 Wood Valley Road.
12:30 p.m. Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Blvd.
4-6 p.m. McAfee Towers, 1212 Gray Highway.
6-8 p.m. Locations:
Belvedere Manor, 3003 Truitt Place.
East Macon Gym, 3326 Ocmulgee Blvd.
Kings Park Substation, 3321 Mogul Road.
Lakeside Hills, McCall Road at Ashlin Avenue.
LaTanya Village/Rockland Apartments, 2295 Recreation Road.
Rosa Jackson Center, 1211 Maynard St.
Shirley Hills at Highland Hills Baptist Church, 1370 Briarcliff Road.
Willie Billue Community Center, 1103 Eastview Ave.
Bibb District 2
10 a.m. Joshua’s House, 2045 Felton Ave.
4 p.m. Baltic Park, Hightower Road.
4-6 p.m. Bowden Homes, 2301 Houston Ave.
4-6 p.m. Pendleton Homes, 3401 Houston Ave.
6-8 p.m. Locations:
Lynmore Estates at Countryside Baptist, 667 Carmen Place.
Lynmore Circle, Antioch Road, Lynmore Avenue, District 2 Office, 2654 Houston Ave.
Memorial Gym, 763 Long St.
Bibb District 3
10 a.m. Childcare Network, 3940 Northside Drive.
5-7 p.m. Clisby Towers Seniors, 2087 Vineville Ave.
5 p.m. Ingleside Manor, 478 Monroe Hill.
6-8 p.m. Locations:
Vineville Seniors, 2009 Vineville Ave.
Bartlett Crossing/Cherokee Heights, Lizzie Chapel Church at 1180 Bartlett St.
Bellevue Concerned Citizens, Bellevue Baptist Church at 4041 Mumford Road.
Northbrook Concerned Citizens, 1956 Northbrook Drive.
Bibb District 4
6-8 p.m. Locations
Beaumont Heights Entrance, Williamson Road
Berkshire/McEvoy/Canterbury, 1453 Berkshire Drive.
Bloomfield Methodist Church, 5511 Bloomfield Road.
Bloomfield Gym, 4115 Lions Place.
Colony West, 5284 Bloomfield Road.
Frank Johnson Gym/Freedom Park, 2227 Mercer University Drive.
Key Court Concerned Citizens, 721 Key Court.
Summerhill/Evers/Atwood, Evers Place at Atwood Drive.
Travis Boulevard Concerned Citizens, 3544 Travis Blvd.
Source: Bibb County Sheriff’s Office