Applications to close streets for National Night Out due July 18

Neighborhoods interested in closing streets for National Night Out festivities in August must submit an application to the city by July 18.

The 23rd annual National Night Out parties will take place Aug. 1. Applications are free this year but must be received by July 18.

National Night Out organizers aim to build community, promote anticrime measures and strengthen a neighborhood's relationship with police during the annual event.

Hundreds of community groups are already gearing up for the occasion. Besides city blocks, National Night Out events can be hosted in yards, parking lots, garages and parks.

Last year's National Night Out festivities drew a record number of attendees with an estimated 46,000 Minneapolis residents participating in various block activities. The city was recognized with a National Night Out 2005 Award by the National Association of Town Watch, which sponsors the event. Over the past four years, Minneapolis has demonstrated higher turnouts than any other city in the country.

To register your event or apply for a street closure, visit www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/nno/ or call Minneapolis 311. Applications received after July 18 will be assessed a $100 late fee. Applications won't be accepted beyond July 27. Applicants may schedule a rain date for Aug. 2, but that must also be specified on applications. Streets can be closed between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. only.