Conway residents are invited to participate in the National Night Out celebration from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Pine Street Community Park.

According to Conway Police Department Public Information Officer Chris Harris, this year’s event will include free food and drinks, face painting, sidewalk chalk drawing and the Conway Fire Department’s "water curtain."

Target, a national and local sponsor of the annual event, will be providing volunteers and partial funding for this year’s activities. CenterPoint Energy will provide food, as well as volunteers to man the grill.

Conway residents are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 27th annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out provides an opportunity to meet neighbors, strengthen the community and fight crime, Harris said.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug awareness, generate support for and participation in local anticrime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know the neighborhoods are organized and fighting back, Harris said.

Last year’s National Night Out campaign had more than 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and Canadian cities involved. In all, more than 36 million people participated in National Night Out 2009.

Harris said National Night Out emphasizes the vital importance of citizen involvement and a partnership between law enforcement and the community to help make the city safer.

(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at stephanie.fischer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)