If you have to think and talk about some of the unsavory aspects of life such as crime and natural disasters -- and of course you have to, from time to time-- then why not carry the conversation to a pretty park, invite lots of nice people, and serve plenty of good food.
Altadena’s National Night Out Against Crime was a party. A party with a serious sub-text, but not so serious it didn't include games, prizes and barbeque.
The information booths and all the pamphlets were great, but as for the spoonful of sugar that made the medicine go down -- that would probably be the horses. Or the earthquake-simulation Shakey Quakey School House. Or maybe just the cake.