Longer days and warm summer weather mean it is a perfect time for your neighborhood to throw a block party. Block parties are a wonderful way for neighbors to socialize and help to promote neighborhood security and a sense of community. Throwing a great block party is easy with some planning and teamwork.
1. It’s All in the Planning
Planning your block party is essential.
Your best bet is to involve neighbors to help. This will help share the load and can encourage more involvement. Four to six weeks prior to your event, invite a few neighbors over for a planning meeting and decide how to share duties.
You will need to decide on the date, time, and location. Block parties work well on a cul-de-sac or quiet street, but nearby parks, or a school property can be a great alternative.
Most towns or city governments require permits if you are going to block off traffic. Call your local law enforcement agency to inquire about what you need in your area. If using an alternate location, make sure you allow enough time to ask for permission for usage or to reserve space in a local park.
2. Get the Word Out
The easiest way to get people to your party is to distribute flyers to each home. Make sure to provide contact names, numbers, and email addresses to keep track of who is coming and to sign up for potlucks, coordinate activities, or provide necessary items such as chairs, tables, coolers, or lighting. Consider creating a page on a social networking site, such as Facebook, for your neighbors to find out the latest information on your event. A reminder right before the event is always a great idea.
3. Chow Down
Food is of course an important part of any block party, and there are a variety of ways to feed the crowd. Potlucks are a great way to get everyone involved and share the work. Neighbors can bring food from different categories such as entrées, salads, beverages, or desserts. Remember to follow safety tips to prevent foodborne illnesses! You may want to arrange a barbecue and collect some funds to pay for it. You might even consider having all or part of the meal catered and charge guests a fee to cover costs. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Hero sandwiches or fried chicken from local markets can be your entrée. Don’t forget napkins, plates, utensils, and coolers full of beverages.
4. Fun Activities
Planning activities that everyone can enjoy will help add to your block party fun. When possible, pick team activities to help neighbors get to know one another. You also want to make sure you plan activities that everyone can enjoy—kids and adults.
Older children can be involved in planning and monitoring activities for the younger kids. Traditional games such as tug of war, three-legged races, or a water balloon toss are fun for the whole family. Tables for
art projects, such as finger painting or name tag decorating, can help to make keepsakes of the event and are fun for the young ones. Sidewalk chalk drawing can help everyone exhibit their artistic tendencies. You may even consider hosting a talent show or karaoke. If you are holding your event at a park or school, you can take advantage of sporting facilities. A neighborhood pool might also be a good place to start your block party fun.
5. Clean it Up
You won’t want to get stuck with the cleanup chores following your block party, so make sure to include a way to share the duties in your planning. Ask neighbors to make their garbage cans available throughout the block and, if possible, hold your event close to garbage pick-up day. Ask that tables, chairs, and other equipment be removed
at the end of your event.
Remember, a little careful planning can make your block party a breeze.
Bring your neighborhood together and help create good memories for all.
Source: Workplace Options
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