Common Ground Alliance members across the country found creative ways to remind the public and professionals about the importance of calling 811 before digging on this 10th annual 8/11 Day. Read on for national, regional and local efforts to spread the safe digging message.
PG&E and CGA Ring the NYSE Closing Bell
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) was joined by CGA President and CEO Sarah Magruder Lyle and other damage prevention stakeholders in ringing the New York Stock Exchange’s closing bell on 8/11 Day to promote the practice of calling 811 before digging. In front of a backdrop prominently featuring the eye catching 811 logo, safe digging advocates were broadcast closing the market on CNN, Fox Business Network and CNBC to earn significant national media attention for the call before you dig number.
811 Block Parties in Houston, Indiana and Kansas City
Several pipeline operators and damage prevention stakeholder organizations joined forces on August 11 to host the 3rd annual 811 Day Block
Party at Jones Plaza in downtown Houston. The Block Party attracted more than 1,000 attendees and promoted general awareness of 811 to people who live and work in Houston around the theme “Every six minutes an underground utility is damaged because someone didn’t call 811.”
More than 40 volunteers managed the interactive and educational activities, which included games, giveaways, handouts and media. The Houston Block Party was sponsored by Air Products, CenterPoint Energy, Dow, Enterprise Products, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, Genesis Energy L.P., Kinetica Energy in Motion, Lone Star 811, Page Southerland Page Inc., Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC, Texas811 and USIC.
Sunday, August 13 was 811 Day at the Indiana State Fair, and a group of dedicated stakeholders turned State Fair Boulevard into an 811 Block Party! Citizens Energy, Indiana 811, Marathon Pipe Line LLC, Miller Pipeline, NIPSCO, Paradigm, Tallgrass Energy, USIC and Vectren collaborated to staff five 811 booths and distribute more than 20,000 promotional items branded with the call before you dig number’s logo. The Indiana 811 Block Party featured complimentary 811 coolers, a mock excavation site, two excavators, road blocks and a street grip depicting underground utilities. Children enjoyed coloring on an 811-themed Monster Mural, while the social media-savvy were excited to find an 811-themed SnapChat filter while visiting the Block Party.
Following a popular summer concert series show, attendees were invited to join the Kansas City 811 Block Party at the Leinenkugel’s Patio inside KC Live! The Block Party featured entertainment, games, giveaways and, of course, plenty of educational materials to remind concert-goers and other members of the public to always call 811 before digging. The event was sponsored by APWA, Atmos Energy, Black & McDonald, BP Pipelines (NA), City of Lenexa, Ervin Cable, Forsa Technologies, Google Fiber, K&W Underground, Kansas Gas Service, Kansas One-Call, Kansas Pipeline Association, KCP&L, Missouri One Call System, Paradigm, Pipeline Association of Missouri, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Spectrum and USIC.
Other Member Initiatives
Indiana 811 and its partners, including American Electric Power, CountryMark, NIPSCO and Vectren, attended baseball games throughout Indiana, where they spread the word about calling 811 and handed out glow-in-the-dark 811 bracelets and other 811-related giveaways. The 8/11 Day events included a Fort Wayne Tin Caps game, which featured a fireworks display; a South Bend Cubs game, where 1,000 fans received an 811-themed garden gnome; the Evansville Otters game, where the first 811 fans received free popcorn; and the Indianapolis Indians game, where attendees enjoyed 811 giveaways and a post-game fireworks display.
Louisiana One Call is grateful to Lamar Advertising for its efforts in helping to make 8/11 Day such a success in Louisiana. The company very generously donated space on countless digital billboards across the state, creating more than 1 million media impressions to promote the safe digging message and heighten awareness of excavating and demolishing safely.
Miss Utility of Maryland/D.C. recognized 8/11 Day all weekend at major and minor league ballparks throughout the area. In partnership with PHMSA, the One Call center participated in 811 Night at the Washington Nationals game on August 11, and Miss Utility Night at a minor league Hagerstown Suns game. The celebration continued on August 12 at the 3rd annual Touch-A-Truck event at the Bowie Baysox stadium, where children and their families explored more than 40 trucks and heavy equipment, and on August 13 at the Frederick Keys baseball stadium, where the 811 Hot Air Balloon made an appearance.
North Carolina 811 celebrated a spectacular 8/11 Day around the state with several baseball games. Liaisons were at the Durham Bulls game, handing out baseball bottle openers to fans, as well as in the western part of the state at the Asheville Tourist game, along with pipeline operator PSNC. NC811 also secured media interviews with local TV news and radio stations.
OKIE811’s weeklong 8/11 Day celebration started out with a “Packed the Pool” event where the damage prevention team passed out fun outdoor trinkets to more than 200 children. Mid-week, the One Call center set up shop at Lowe’s and targeted excavators and home owners with safe digging information and a bandana to keep them cool as summer winds down. Finally, OKIE811 had a huge presence at the
OKC Dodgers game on August 11. OKIE811 employees filled the stands as their mascot OKIE threw out the first pitch. Game attendees received branded key chains, pencils, tattoos and t-shirts.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) supported 8/11 Day in a number of ways, including TV-visible, behind-the-plate 811 signage at an “811 Night” at the Washington Nationals baseball game, also attended by
Washington Gas and Miss Utility of Maryland/D.C. The two winners of PHMSA’s Call 811 poster and video contest came to D.C. for the day and were able to meet the department’s Deputy Secretary, Jeffrey Rosen.
Farmers and music fans from Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio travelled to the Peterson Farm in Assaria, Kansas for the 4th annual Peterson Farm Tour and live concert sponsored by the Pipeline Operators for Ag Safety (POAS) campaign on 8/11 Day. Volunteers from Black Hills Energy, CHS, Inc. and the Progressive Ag Foundation led activities designed to increase awareness of 811, underground lines, temporary line markings and ATV safety. At the end of their concert, the Peterson Farm Brothers debuted their latest original song “Call Before Ya Dig” and captured video from the event to incorporate into the music video released later in August. The POAS campaign has sponsored almost 40,775 local and national ads, email campaigns, events, social media posts and webinars reaching millions of individuals in farm and ranch communities since its inception in 2015.
Texas811 got out the 811 message in a big way again on August 11. For the third consecutive year, the Texas811 logo was visible for miles on the side of the 26-story Dallas Omni Hotel! This year, the One Call center shared space with a tribute to baseball Hall of Famer and former Texas Ranger player Pudge Rodriguez.
Virginia 811 (VA811) brought the 811 Hot Air Balloon to a Richmond area Lowe’s on 8/11 Day in partnership with the Richmond Department of Public Utilities to spread the safe digging message to DIYers and professionals stopping by the store that day for supplies. Later in the evening, VA811 hosted the 811 Balloon at the Richmond Flying Squirrels game. The One Call center also secured multiple local media segments focusing on digging safely.