Night to Unite

2023 Night to Unite - Tuesday, August 1st

Annually, on the first Tuesday in August, neighborhoods across the nation celebrate, get to know one another, and help keep their community crime-free with Night to Unite parties. You get to decide how to celebrate. Some neighborhoods have:

  • BarbecuesNTU Logo
  • Ice cream socials
  • Kids' games
  • Music
  • Pizza parties
  • Potlucks
  • Or simply sit on the front porch and visit with one another

Members of the Cottage Grove Police and Fire Departments (including McGruff the Crime Dog and Sparky the Fire Dog!), elected officials, and city staff visit many gatherings as part of this crime prevention event. The event is sponsored by the Cottage Grove Department of Public Safety, the Cottage Grove Public Safety Board, and the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association (MCPA).

Night to Unite is designed to: heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for and participation in anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and public safety-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are committed to remaining organized and staying safe.

Get Involved

The deadline to register your neighborhood party with the City is Tuesday, July 25th; if you are interested in hosting a party please complete the registration form (PDF)

Here are some tips and ideas to help you have a successful Night to Unite party:

The Cottage Grove Parks & Recreation Department is excited to partner with Public Safety for the Night to Unite coloring contest! This year’s prize is a summer outdoor family fun package complete with sidewalk chalk, water balloons, sports balls, s’mores supplies and more!

Click here to print this year's coloring page. Entries are due Friday, August 4th. Completed coloring sheets can be turned in at City Hall. Parks & Recreation staff will randomly draw and notify a winner after the submission deadline.


Please contact the Cottage Grove Department of Public Safety at 651-458-2850 if you have additional questions on Night to Unite.

Backpack & Paper Products Campaigns

Participation in these campaigns is optional; the department of Public Safety will be in contact with registered party hosts regarding campaign details.

Fill the Backpack Campaign

We are also encouraging participation in the Fill the Backpack campaign. The idea behind this campaign is to provide needed school supplies to our area children. The Cottage Grove Public Safety Board will donate a school backpack to each Night to Unite block party that chooses to participate in this campaign. You are all encouraged to bring school supplies to fill the backpack. Backpacks will be picked up the following morning and donated to the Friends in Need food shelf. The school supplies will then be distributed to local families in need.

Paper Product Donations

An important part of our Night to Unite celebration involves giving back to our community. In addition to our ever popular Backpack Campaign we are encouraging citizens to donate paper products which will be donated to the Friends in Need food shelf (FIN). Paper products can include such things as: toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, diapers, etc. FIN is always in need of items like this and this donation will be much appreciated. We will pick up the donations from your doorstep the morning after your Night to Unite party and we'll deliver them to the Friends in Need food shelf.