Jul 28, 2014
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Hundreds Hit the Streets for a 'Night Out' in West Hollywood

More than a dozen block parties are held around town for the annual campaign to promote safety and awareness in neighborhoods.

The smell of burgers on an open grill filled the air at Westmount Drive while a DJ spun '80s hits over in Norma Triangle. Neighbors came together in block parties, potlucks and caravans as part of the 28th annual  in West Hollywood on Tuesday evening.

The , sponsored by the city’s Neighborhood Watch groups, sheriff and fire departments, is designed to increase neighborhood spirit and strengthen relations between residents and safety personnel.

More than a dozen parties were held around town, each attracting hundreds of people. Local businesses donated food and prizes for the event. Attendees were well fed and won some great prizes, including gym memberships, artwork, clothing, gift certificates and more.

“This is something I look forward to every year,” said one person attending the West Hollywood West party held at the cul de sac at the end of Sherbourne Avenue at San Vicente. “Great to see my neighbors. It’s always a fun party.”

, who attended the Tri-West area party held on Rugby Avenue, echoed those sentiments. “I think this is the best turnout I’ve seen in 17 years,” Riley said. “There are people here I’ve never met. Some of them I’ve seen walking in the neighborhood. Some of the others, I’ve never seen before.”

At , the new pocket park that opened in February at 1343 Laurel Ave., hundreds of people turned out.

“We were packed,” said , one of the party organizers. “There were so many people there, you could hardly walk through the park.”

In fact, the turn out was so strong, Laurel Park ran out of food about an hour after the party started at 6 p.m.

“Before the party got started, we had so much food there, we were thinking we would have to give the leftovers to the sheriff’s department,” Allison said. “I could not believe that much food was gone so fast!”

The West Hollywood North party held on Westmount Drive just above , also had a strong turnout, which was a surprise to organizers who put things together at the last minute.

“This all happened in two weeks,” said Lynn Hoopingarner. “We weren’t going to do it. We didn’t do it last year, but the people at offered to cater it. They bought the grills and tables and served custom-made burgers. All we had to do was get the word out.”

Kitchen 24, a new comfort food restaurant, is scheduled to open in the Ramada Inn Plaza in October. David Dickerson, a partner in Kitchen 24, said they offered to cater the Westmount Drive party as a way to introduce themselves to the neighborhood.

Some parties closed down early, but others went well into the night. The Norma Triangle party had a DJ playing '80s dance tunes after everyone finished eating. A few brave souls were seen dancing, but most spent their time catching up with neighbors.

At Laurel Park, a large crowd was still on hand when park officials started turning out the lights to signal the end of the party at around 9:30 p.m.

West Hollywood City Councilmembers, Public Safety Commissioners and other city officials made the rounds to many of the parties, as did Sheriff’s Department Captain Kelley Fraser and other sheriff’s deputies.

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