We read an article the other day about how that community spirit is on the decline, which brought a tear to our eyes I have to admit. We love the tight-knit bond people in a neighborhood have with each other. We love walking down the sidewalk and saying good morning to strangers. Only to bump into them again at the grocery store, the door open to a new friendship. We love our kids being able to play with the kids opposite. And so we go thinking: what would be the best way to rekindle that community spirit in a neighborhood?
The answer: a block party.
It may be a challenge to organize, but it’s such a fun way to bring people together, to introduce yourself to those around you, to make new residents feel welcome, swap recipes with other budding cooks, socialize with new friends and old and, yes, let your kids have that all-out water balloon fight they’ve been bugging you for.
That’s why we recently spoke to some local event professionals and asked them for their top tips on how to throw an incredible block party:
Themes Are The Way To Go
If you want people to turn up in force and with their party spirit bubbling out of them, you need to set a direction for the event and nothing does that better than a theme. It could be the thing that determines whether it’s a night or day thing, whether families should come dressed up, what color people should wear or what sort of food they should provide. It’s the secret to a successful bash.
Location is Everything
When it comes to the location of your block party, you want to use a house that’s slap bang in the middle. This will stop any divides happening or prevent a party from being a little more this than that. It will also prevent people from having the excuse, “it’s too far from home”. So, speak to the people in the middle and see if they would be up for lending you their driveway.
Get Your Permits In
There may be some regulations that prevent you from having the kind of party you’re hoping for. So always check with your local city or town hall to see if you require a permit to block off the road, what time you can have music on until, if you can grill on public property, restrictions to access and everything else. If you explain your reasons, most cities would be happy to grant you permission.
This is where your party will be a success or failure, so make sure you have loads of ideas at the ready. Bike decorating competitions, scavenger hunts with disposable cameras, hide candy in straw piles, have a water balloon fight, toss an egg, sack racing, set up a roller skating track – everything you can think of and more. So long as you have activities for kids of every age and adults of every kind, you’ll see people smiling all day long.