Jon and Carrie Prough, area professionals and the parents of two grade schoolers have been hosting Neighborhood Night Out for about 5 years for their area. So this Epworth is about 3 miles from Downtown OKC proper, in an area that was originally built in the 1910's or so. Epworth has The Blue Door and United Way as an immediate neighbor.
Though Neighborhood Night Out is held in the Summer in other communities, it is held closer to Fall in Oklahoma in order to avoid the scorchers earlier in the year.
The Prough's area, Epworth, is just North of Oklahoma City University and West of the Asian District has had a resurgence in popularity in just the last year or so. Many newer residents are young families like the Prough's who want to live in vintage housing, in areas that allow them access to amenities and other young families. But older established residents also abound of varying ages, singles, couples and families.
Their Neighborhood Night Out 2013 event continues to grow, as does their outreach. They added a 3 language printed invitation this year, as they have neighbors who speak Vietnamese, Spanish and English.
They also had live music.
The traditional fare is burgers and dogs with piles of sides.
The event traditions are biking in the blocked off street, sidewalk chalking, pinata, bounce house and the infamous Mentos Science Experiment, where every kid gets the hands on experience of making the soda jump.
This year, Dr. Ed Shadid, the OKC City Councilor over the area, Ward 2 did come along with a staffer to the event. This was a surprise many. See his FB, edshadid.com or @twitter to follow along with his posts and others comments regarding his presence.
The Prough's Epworth Neighborhood Night Out 2013 is a clean example of Placemaking and Better Block strategies, that call on communities to interface with one another as neighbors first, on a first name basis and then improve other infrastructure and resources based upon those relational ties.