Whether you know it as National Night Out or Night to Unite, it's all about one thing: fostering community and building partnerships with your neighbors and local law enforcement to help keep neighborhoods a safe place to live.

This year, neighborhood parties will take Tuesday, Aug. 7. Parties can be registered with local police departments to have police, firefighters and other local officials visit during the evening.

Registration for neighborhood celebrations in Rosemount is open through July 27. For those in Farmington, police officers and firefighters can be requested for visits to neighborhood get togethers through the end of the month.

More information for Farmington: www.ci.farmington.mn.us

More information for Rosemount: www.ci.rosemount.mn.us

Giving back

Officials visiting neighborhood parties in Rosemount will be collecting donations of personal hygiene products to help families of Dakota County who are in need. They are looking for items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and toilet paper.

Rosemount's event is part of Night to Unite. Residents are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights, and spend the evening outside with neighbors. Many neighborhoods will be host a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, visits from

Farmington' participates ih National Night Out,. This event was created to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention, and generate support for police programs.

Both events occur annually on the first Tuesday of August.