Knowing your neighbors comes in handy when you’re short a cup of sugar or need someone to water your plants.
But being friendly can pay off in another way — communities are safest when everyone knows everyone and they’re watching out for each other.
That’s the idea behind National Night Out, which will be held in its 33rd iteration on Tuesday.
The yearly gatherings, in more than 16,000 neighborhoods in the 50 states, can be anything from a block party to a festival to a parade or cookout, depending on the neighborhood.
But every event shares the same goal — to serve as a way for neighbors to meet each other, their elected officials and their local law enforcement officers.
Aside from cultivating unity and camaraderie, National Night Out also promotes crime and drug prevention awareness, anti-crime efforts such as community-oriented policing and community police relations.
“It’s really important to meet your neighbors,” said Traci Kelly, spokeswoman for Safe Streets, which helps sponsor the events across Tacoma and Pierce County. “The more connected you are in your neighborhood, the better informed and safer you are.
“Also, it’s just a good time — it’s a party.”
While Tacoma boasts several of the largest National Night Out events in the country, Fircrest holds the title of biggest event in cities with a population between 5,000 and 15,000. It and Gig Harbor are No. 6 and No. 9, respectively, on the same list.
Kelly encouraged people to go to their most local event to get to know the people living closest to them.
National Night Out in Pierce County
Here are the neighborhoods in Pierce County that will host a National Night Out event Tuesday:
Oak Tree Hill Group, 2604 S. 76th St., 5-8 p.m.
CBS Edison, South 60th and South Warner streets, 4-7 p.m.
Stewart Heights Neighborhood Coalition, East D Street between East 60th and 61st streets, 6:30-8 p.m.
Lincoln Neighbors South, 3625 Tacoma Ave. S., 6-10 p.m.
West End, North Visscher and 48th to 49th streets, 4-10 p.m.
Mercy Housing, 1709 S. G St., 3-7 p.m.
Larchmont, 205 E. 96th St., 5-8 p.m.
Outrigger Apartments, 6102 Sixth Ave., 5:30-7 p.m.
1500 block of North Anderson Street, 1518 N. Anderson St., 3-10 p.m.
Fern Hill Alliance, Safe Street Fern Hill Park, 88th and Faucett, 6:30-8 p.m.
900 South Ridgewood Avenue, 921 Ridgewood Ave., 4:30-8 p.m.
Capital Heights, Pine Street, between South 15th and 17th streets, 6:30-9 p.m.
57th Street block, 1521 S. 57th St., 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Lincoln West-Jenny Reed, South 37th and M streets at Tacoma First Nazarene Church, 5-8 p.m.
Lakeside Landing, 1414 S. Mildred, 5-7 p.m.
L Street Neighbors, 1602 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 5-9 p.m.
Highlands Condominium Complex, 6110 N. 15th St., no times listed.
Birney Baker/Pac West/South Wapato, 1231 S. 76th St., 5-8 p.m.
Hillsdale Neighbors Safe Street Group, 130 E. 70th St., 6-8 p.m.
Mason Avenue, 3808 S. Mason Ave., 6-9 p.m.
Salishan Community, 1724 E. 44th St., 4-8 p.m.
Shaska, 1651 S. 90th St. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Hilltop, 602 N. Sprague Ave., 4-7 p.m.
First Creek Neighbors, 3513 Portland Ave. E. 6-8 p.m.
1415 N. Anderson St., 5:30-8 p.m.
Gray Gables Condos, 1617 Division Ave., 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Hilltop Mardinas, South G Street between South 15th and S. 14th streets, 5-9 p.m.
Eighth and I neighbors, South Eighth and I streets, 5-9 p.m.
Lincoln Area, 3844 S. D St., 6-8 p.m.
North Slope Historical District, 1215 N. K St., 6-8 p.m.
Alley Party Alley, between North Cedar and North Alder, 6-8 p.m.
Jefferson Block Watch Group, 4101 N. Monroe, 5-7 p.m.
Firmoor/DeLong Firlands Drive, 5-8 p.m.
HAC, 21st and South Sheridan Avenue, 21st and M Street, 23rd and South Sheridan Avenue, 5-8 p.m.
Spring Hill Safe Streets, South 55th Street to Pacific Avenue to D Street, 5-10 p.m.
North 26th Street and McCarver, North 26th and North Starr streets, Old Town, 6-8:30 p.m.
Rhododendron Park, Prairie Ridge 6:30-8 p.m.
Cushman Street Bryant Neighbors, between South Seventh and South Eighth streets on Cushman, 6-9 p.m.
North 33rd Street and Proctor, 3719 N. 33rd St., 6-7:30 p.m.
42nd and Orchard, 5109 N. 42nd St., 5-7 p.m.
Sunrise Homeowners Association, 15807 134th Ave. E., 5-9 p.m.
Block Watch Group, 14514 77th Ave. Ct., 6-8 p.m.
The Ridge at Glacier Creek HOA, 8010 134th St. Ct. E., 8-9 p.m.
Fircrest Police Department, 555 Contra Costa Ave., 5:30-9 p.m.
117th & A, Parkland 102 S 117th St Parkland 98444 5:30:00 PM 8:30:00 PM
Team Fife Street Neighborhood N. 12 & N. 14th on N. Fife Street Tacoma 98406 5:30:00 PM 8:00:00 PM
351st block, 35110 82nd Ave. S., 7-11 p.m.
Palmer Lake Beach Club, Palmer Lake Beach, 24th Street KPS, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Prairie Ridge HOA, 14205 215th Ave. E., 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Rhododendron Park, Prairie Ridge, 6:30-8 p.m.
Source: Safe Streets
A list of National Night Out events in Pierce County can be found on the Safe Streets website at bit.ly/2aal1l4.