More than 100 events are expected to take place in Coon Rapids the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 6, as part of the annual Night to Unite celebration.
By early this week, 98 parties had registered with the Coon Rapids Police Department, according to Police Technician Kim Reinke, who handles Night to Unite registrations as part of her duties.
Registrations will be taken up to and including the day of Night to Unite, Reinke said.
“The earlier we get the registrations the better,” she said.
Groups that register will receive a visit by officers from the Coon Rapids Police Department and/or firefighters from the Coon Rapids Fire Department that evening, Reinke said.
According to Tom Sharon, Coon Rapids Police Department community policing officer who is coordinating the Night to Unite program, 15 police officers have signed up so far to make Night to Unite visits.
As well as police officers and firefighters, paramedics from Allina Health will be stopping by some of the gatherings, Sharon said.
There are large gatherings planned at several Coon Rapids apartment complexes, Reinke said.
These include Pondale, Garden Oaks, Wellington Ridge, Summit Oaks, Heritage Heights, Robinwood, Crest Oaks and Oak Grove.
In addition, two churches are planning gatherings: Presbyterian Church of the Master on Northdale Boulevard and Chapel Hill Church on Hanson Boulevard.
There will also be a Night to Unite party at The Element Teen Center, which is located at Riverwind Recreation Center on Northdale Boulevard, and at the Camilia Rose complex on 118th Avenue and Xeon Street.
This year’s theme is “All Things Online,” which focuses on the city’s new online crime mapping, Internet safety, identity theft and social media safety.
According to Reinke, materials included in the hosting event bags given to organizers of all the registered gatherings focus on the city’s Night to Unite theme.
“The bags are chock full of goodies,” Reinke said.
These include blue hats instead of the usual T-shirts and a mouse pad, she said.
Neighborhood gatherings often begin at 5:30 p.m. but it is up to each individual group to set start and finish times.
Specifically, Night to Unite is designed to:
• Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness.
• Generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs.
• Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
• Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Night to Unite features a variety of activities that include block parties, cookouts and parades.
Donations to Night to Unite activities have been made by Dairy Queen on Coon Rapids Boulevard, Target Corporation, Nickolodeon Universe (Mall of America), Coon Rapids Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Chili’s of Blaine, McDonalds on Foley Boulevard, Eddingtons, Connexus Energy and CenterPoint Energy.
To register online, go to the city’s website at www.ci.coon-rapids.mn.us and look for the Night to Unite link under News and Events.
In addition, people can also register their event in person at the police department at 11155 Robinson Drive NW.
Once registered, organizers can pick up the free event hosting bag at the police department.
For more information, contact the Coon Rapids Police Department at 763-767-6481 and speak with Sharon or Reinke.
Peter Bodley is at