A fantastic way to get to know your neighbors, create lasting friendships for you and the kids and enjoy the summer weather is a Block Party! Here is how to throw one!
These parties are believed to be a WWI innovation, originating from the East Side of New York City. It is reported that back then, the entire block was roped off and members of the block who had been to war were honored with patriotic songs and a parade.
Block parties became quite popular in the ’70s and are still a fabulous way to get to know your neighbors and have the kids meet new friends!
Date and Time
Pick a weekend that does not conflict with a national holiday or religious holiday. Also make sure it’s not a big vacation weekend. You can hold a meeting with a few neighbors to get a consensus of which would be an ideal day or time and then use this same panel to help you plan and execute.
Since the party is held on the streets, the block is usually roped off and the traffic is redirected. To do this, a special permit is required. This is required to be filled in 90 days prior to the scheduled date of the party. Contact your local government body or council to find out the details of the same because every city has different rules for this one.
Pick a Theme
It is very important to decide the theme of the party―all further planning depends on this factor, may it be food, decorations, or entertainment. The theme is usually a potluck brunch or dinner. You will also have to decide what are the things that will be made available and what are the things that everyone needs to get on their own.
The invites have to be fabulous―no two ways about it. Make sure that each and every person is invited; there are no exceptions to this rule. Also, the invites have to be given at least a month in advance. The invites should have all the details of the party―the date, time, theme, activities, and any special instructions that need to be given―like bring a snack or your own chairs. The RSVP should be added to the invites as well.
A majority of the decorations will depend on what the theme of the party is. If there is no particular theme that is being followed, then you can look into putting up buntings, balloons, and streamers―this depends on the budget. Since it is a potluck theme, you will have to specify that they have to get their own chairs or any other dish that is needed. This will be cleared in the invites, of course. And whatever you do, don’t forget to put up a sign stating that the street is closed for the block party. It is also important to have barricades put up so that there is proper safety maintained and people can easily access the street.
Invite Local Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters
One of the highlights of a block party is to have the local police and fire department drop in. Some blocks even have a commemoration for local heroes like war veterans or celebrities. It is considered quite the fun to have these heroes grace the occasion. Many times, as a gesture of goodwill and to increase the camaraderie between the communities, the firemen will invite a young kid to come up to the truck and ring the alarm.
End Time and Clean-Up
Use the panel that helped you plan to also regiment cleanup. What trash is going where, separate recyclables, and figure out how the refuse are going to get to the proper places. It is also advised that you have a scheduled end-time. While there are bound to be a few late nighters that want to hang around, don’t surprise anybody when the music goes off. Keep the end time around when neighbors might like the neighborhood to be quiet.