Whether you can remember it or not, there use to be a time when people in a neighborhood or street all knew each other. There would be get togethers and weekend barbques. The children all played together and were safe to hangout in the culde sac at the end of the street until dark. The times have changed much since the early 2000s.
Are you trying (and so far failing) to meet the new neighbors on your block? Have your kids been asking you to host a legendary egg-toss contest? Whether your goal is to swap family recipes with the local moms or establish a couple of potential playdates for your kids with the family down the street, bringing the neighborhood together for a block party is a great idea!
The block party offers a possibility to combine anywhere from 15 to 100 households (or more, we will not set a cutoff!) and to catch up with those you haven’t had the ability to get together with in a while. Not to mention, it can help build friendships and a tighter community.
Start the custom in your community and get that block party going! Here’s how:
PICK THE HOT SPOT
Before you can host a block party, you are going to need to set a concrete date and place. Pick a location that will accommodate a great deal of people– particularly right on your block, but just if all of your neighbors are on board and if the town will allow you to close down the street (for security reasons). If not, you may wish to look into moving the celebration to a more communal area, such as a local park that’s preferably within walking distance. Remember, you will have tables, chairs, grills, coolers, games, inflatable bounce house rentals and more, so size and space are certainly factors.
You are also going to wish to pay attention to the weather report. If you live in an area where it often rains later in the day, plan the party for some time in the afternoon. Depending upon where you live, spring and fall are perfect months for outside block parties. In other parts of the country, summer season is the best bet.
Once you find out a date and a location, begin preparing ASAP. The further ahead your start preparing, the more time you will give friends and neighbors to prepare and mark their calendars.
MAKE CERTAIN IT’S LEGAL
It’s likely that your block party will be hosted on some type of public or commercial property. Contact the appropriate office at your local city hall to find out if you require a permit or any other special license for the space.
Most local governments will supply street barriers that can be picked up the day prior to or even the day of the party. Others may prohibit the use of a grill on public property and/or park grounds, so it’s always best to ask beforehand to prevent any possible violations or fines.
Once you become aware and understand the unwritten laws, it’s essential that you get the word out to the families in your area. All possible block party guests must understand the general and local government guidelines.
THINK UP A THEME
Setting a theme for your community get together provides the occasion instructions and help in preparing the celebration. Maybe you’ll want to have each household wear an unique color to make members quickly recognizable and to set each apart when it concerns neighbor vs. neighbor competitions (remember, the legendary egg-toss). Possibly you’ll want to embellish with flowery umbrellas, and host a limbo contest with a Hawaiian style!
A theme will help set the tone of the party, and after that the rest of the preparation will branch off of that.
FLEX YOUR DELEGATION MUSCLE
Wish to avoid stress? We feel you! Don’t hesitate to assign a few of the party planning duties to some friends and neighbors on the block:
– Ask a single person to make an invitation flyer
– Ask the kids if they would like to stuff invite leaflets into mail boxes
– Ask others to bring yard chairs and folding tables
– Designate somebody to handle the designs
Check to see if a few individuals won’t mind contributing a few of their yard games.
You may want to consider asking each household to bring their own beverages and/or ask every family to contribute a set amount to offset the cost of the food, entertainment/activities, and gifts for the children.
PROVIDE THE GRUB
You can’t host a block party without providing some great food! Luckily, you have a few options here:
You can host a dinner block celebration. Ask visitors to bring a preferred treat or side meal to share and guarantee the party has a wealth of tasty treats. When neighbors RSVP, ask if they would like to prepare and share a dish. As the organizer, keep a list of what individuals are bringing to make certain you don’t wind up with 8 pasta salads and no cookies.
Ideally, you would like to take the pressure off of everyone, including yourself, by getting the block party catered! You’ve put so much time and effort into the planning of the function, you don’t want to have to see everybody else have fun all day from behind the grill or buffet table. By delegating the food necessities to professional, you can guarantee that you will be able to kick back, relax, participate in the hula-hoop contest, and delight in every bit of the block party just as much as everyone else! Opt to buy a mix of cold and hot foods (such as salads, a sandwich plate, bbq meats, and grill essentials) for the block party, and explain to your catering service any special requirements or dietary constraints. Then, let the pros take control of and man the grill!
PROVIDE SOME FUN
Plan out an egg toss, water balloon battle, potato sack race, even get a piñata! The possibilities are limitless when it comes to fun, and entertainment at a block party doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg!
Keep in mind, the children aren’t the only ones who ought to be having a blast. Plan and work in a couple of activities for adults geared at starting the ball rolling in between next-door neighbors from opposite ends of the block. Set up a volleyball net and provide some enjoyable.
Keep these essentials in mind when preparing your block party and everything will fall in place without a hitch! In fact, you might erven want to get an area committee together afterwards to discuss what failed, what worked out, and what can be improved. Keep a record of names, contact details, civic departments, donations, costs, and so on. Before long, you may have begun a community tradition and can start preparing for next year!
Lastly, make certain to acknowledge people and groups who contributed their time, items, and knowledge to make the event a success.