Ottawa residents shouldn’t be surprised to see fire trucks, ambulances and police cruisers — emergency lights aglow — rumbling through their neighborhoods July 30.

Instead of racing to the scene of an emergency, the parade of lights is expected to wind its way through Ottawa as part of the 30th annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event.

Law enforcement officials are celebrating the night against crime a little early this year in Ottawa, because the Aug. 6 date of the national event conflicts with the local DARE camp, an Ottawa Police Department news release said.

Local law enforcement officers and officials from the City of Ottawa and Franklin County plan to visit some of the community’s neighborhoods, starting 5:30 p.m. July 30. Each neighborhood event registered with the city coordinator will receive a visit from the parade of lights — comprised of children’s favorite pieces of emergency equipment with their lights ablaze, the release said. To register a block party or for more information, email volunteer coordinator Ron Hughes at

The festivities are expected to include food and activities, the release said. McGruff the Crime Dog also is scheduled to be in attendance.

National Night Out is designed to:

• Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness.

• Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts.

• Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

• Send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and alert to criminal activity, the release said.

National Night Out is observed in more than 15,000 communities across all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world, the release said, with more than 37 million people expected to participate this year.

From 5:30 to 9 p.m. July 30, Ottawa residents are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors, members of their local governments and first responders, the release said.

Law enforcement officials are encouraging Ottawa residents to play host to their own special neighborhood events such as block parties, cookouts, games and youth activities.

“This represents a symbolic opportunity for Ottawans to join their neighbors