Planning Tips for Hosts

How would you like to improve the safety of your neighborhood, have a fun time with your neighbors, build community, and take part in a huge, nationwide program?

You can do it all at this year’s Night to Unite (NTU) celebration on Tuesday, August 1, 2023! This is the night to get together with your neighbors.

What is Building Community?

This is a simple but powerful method for people to improve their own and others’ living conditions. At its most basic, this is neighbors working together to create positive changes in an area – whether they’re trying to reduce crime, looking out for each other’s property, or getting involved.

Steps to make planning a Night to Unite event easier:

Step 1: Decide to get involved!

Already involved in a Neighborhood Crime Watch group? NTU will help keep your group active. This is important: neighbors who know each other and agree to watch out for suspicious behavior are a great defense against crime.

  • If you do not have a crime watch group, NTU is a good reason to get people together for the first time and start building relationships.
  • You can make your NTU event as simple or as elaborate as you like – anything from light refreshments on a neighbor’s lawn to a street party with food, music, games, and prizes. You can take part in this nationwide event in your own way.
  • You’ll be part of the biggest crime prevention event in Minnesota.

Step 2: Register your event

It is easy, just click here!

Elk River Night to Unite logo



Step 3: Plan your event

Design an event that fits your block. Your block is unique and your event can reflect that. Participate in any kind of event that suits you and your neighbors.

Have a planning meeting.  Even the simplest event requires some planning. Plus, if you don’t want to do all the work yourself - get some volunteers at the planning meeting.

How will you involve children? Kids bring great energy and enthusiasm to NTU events. Get all ages busy with your NTU planning this year. Involving children and teens can also have a great long-term benefit for your block. Recent research shows
that crime rates are lowest where young people and adults
share a close bond.

Where will you hold your event?

  • Lawn or park
  • Cul de SacNTU 2
  • Garage
  • Street

Decide the details:

  • Do you want to have refreshments?
  • Do you want to have entertainment?
         (What kind and who will provide it?)
  • Do you want to feature any special group activities?

Step 4: Invite your neighbors

  • Make an NTU sign and put it in your yard.
  • Make an invitation flyer.
  • One week before NTU, hand out the flyers to all of your neighbors. 
  • Tell everyone you see about the upcoming event.

Step 5: Have fun at Night to Unite!

  • Make sure to have Name Tags!
  • Post photos on your neighborhood social media page (get permission from parents/guardians for minors).
  • Gather email addresses of neighbors if you are an organized NW (Neighborhood Watch) group; if not, discuss starting a group.
  • Enjoy the event.

Step 6: Donate to CAER Food Shelf

Giving Back to the Community

During Night to Unite the Elk River Police Department asks neighborhoods to collect non-perishable food items in an effort to give back to the community we serve. If your group is so inclined, you may want to collect supplies at your NTU Party for:


12621 Elk Lake Road NW                                                                                     763.441.1020

Donations accepted:

  • Non-perishable food items
  • Paper products
  • Personal Hygiene items
  • Monetary donations

NOTICE: Please note on the registration form if someone from the neighborhood will be bringing the donations to CAER or if you want ERPD to pick up the donations the day after Night to Unite.