For the second year in a row, Hesperians headed out onto their parking lots, lawns and cul-de-sacs to take a stand against crime by turning up the music, firing up the grills and getting to know their neighbors.

National Night Out was celebrated throughout the Victor Valley last Tuesday, including four Hesperia neighborhoods.

"The crowds seemed a little bit smaller than last year, but the input from the community was bigger than ever," Mayor Rita Vogler said Wednesday. "There was a petting zoo at one of the [parties], a bounce house, a band played at one of them."

The neighborhoods participating this year included the Regency Apartments on C Avenue, Santa Fe Apartments on Sultana Street, the neighborhood around Live Oak Street and Timberlane Avenue and the neighborhood around Chase Street and E Avenue.

"We had a new one on Live Oak, and the people over there were just delightful. They were so grateful that their road was paved!" Vogler laughed.

Her favorite attraction was the band, Naked from the Beginning, which played at the party at Chase and E.

"That band, because it was our local kids," she said. "There's a young girl and three or four guys, young guys. They evidently practice every Thursday. They were pretty darn good."

Vogler and other city officials, including newly appointed Sheriff's Department Captain Lance Clark, toured the various National Night Out parties, meeting with residents about their concerns and discussing ways of improving the quality of life in the neighborhoods.

"I specifically went up to every adult I could find," Vogler said. "I also got some positive feedback, but I also got some stories, too. ... These are the people trying to make it a go of it every day. They get up and go to work and they shouldn't have to put up with [vandalism and crime]."

The conversations led to some possible new things to try in Hesperia.

"I also asked [City Manager Mike] Podegracz how they'd feel about cameras," Vogler said, "And they were all supportive of it. I can't put a deputy there all night. But they absolutely deserve to be able to go to work, put their day in, put their kids to bed and go to sleep and not have to wake up and wonder if their car will be there in the morning."

Nationally, National Night Out is organized by the National Association of Town Watch and sponsored by the Target Corporation.

Locally, Hesperia's National Night Out is organized by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and sponsored by local businesses. The list includes Target Corporation, P.F.F. Bank and Trust, Hesperia sheriff's station Citizens on Patrol, Garcia's Party Supply, Hometown Buffet, Von's Market, Los Domingos Restaurant, Stater Brothers Markets, Albertson's Market, Arriba's Party Supplies, Staples, B.O.N. Band, DJ Kev Dog, Angel's Party Supply, Avis, Club Ed, H & E Hardware, Confetti's Party Rentals, Madd's Pizza, Linda's Hallmark, Pasco's Pizza, Cardena's Market, High Desert Party Rentals, Isabel's Party Supplies and Bea's Party Ponies.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.