Block parties are so much fun! I love getting our neighbors together and sharing a meal. The kids run up and down the street, riding bikes, and the adults get a chance to visit in the fading warmth of summer.
This past summer, we added a weekly event to our annual block party. Every Friday night was TGIF, and we gathered around 6pm with an appetizer and a bottle of wine. I provided tables for the food, as well as lemonade for the kids. The adults chatted and snacked, while the kids enjoyed summer fun on the street. In the height of the summer, when it stayed lighter later, we would often be out until 8:30-9pm.
Last weekend was our official block party – we started about 3pm, had a bounce house for the kids, a BBQ set up for people to grill their own, and lots of potluck food to share. Here are photos of some of the dishes my neighbors brought, boy do we have some great chefs on this street!
Plan your own block party
Depending on where you live, it is not too late to plan your own block party. Find a couple other neighbors who want to help and divide the tasks – someone can send out the invitation (Evite works well for this); someone else can be in charge of the permit to close the street; one person can take care of nametags and contact list (block parties are a great way to meet any new neighbors); and someone else can be in charge of organizing tables for food and the BBQs.
If you want, chose a theme or leave it completely casual. Many a good block party has taken place on the 4th of July or Labor Day. A few streets away, neighbors organize their party close to Halloween and decorate pumpkins. Make it green and encourage neighbors to bring their own reusable plates and utensils. Serve beverages from a pitcher, or cans that can be recycled. And remind everyone to bring a chair and clean up after themselves!
About 4 weeks before the party, send out the invitations and find out if you need a permit to close the street. Decide if you are going to have a bounce house or other entertainment and make those arrangements. As the party gets closer, gather all your other supplies. The day of the party, recruit a couple neighbors to help with setup, and as new folks arrive, give them something to do.
Tell me about your block party! What is your neighborhood’s special celebration or tradition?