Block party success tips
Follow these block party success tips to make sure your have a great time
Block parties are a fun way to bring the community together in a casual, social setting. The logistics are pretty simple, and once you get the ball rolling you may be surprised at all the helping hands.
Learning how to throw a block party is something you can figure out on your feet. If you keep things simple, organizing the event will come naturally. Never attended one before? Everyone on the block gets invited (if you live in an urban area). In a small town, the whole neighborhood just might attend.
Rule one of how to throw a block party: determine the location for this little shindig. You probably donít need a permit if the party will be held in your backyard, but if itís going to be in a street or parking lot you most likely will. To do so, call the city office and submit an application. Some places require a fee, and have restrictions on date and time.
Send out the block party invites as soon as the permit goes through so people have plenty of notice, and set a rain date just in case. Email invites work, too, but you risk losing people to spam filters.
Encourage everyone to bring a beverage and food.
Include your contact information and ask people to call or email so you can gather as many volunteers as possible. If they canít arrive early or stay late for setup or clean up, have them bring necessary things like chairs, tables, plastic table cloths and disposable forks.
Send party invites to the local fire and police departments. These types of friendly gestures help unite communities and make everyone feel proud of where they live.
Party Food and Drinks
The more variety of food there is the merrier. Expect people to bring plenty of salads. If cooking burgers and hot dogs on the barbecue grill is an option, try to coordinate so you have the right amount of protein, rolls and standard fixings Ė ketchup, mustard, etc. Chips, dips, fruit bowls and desserts round out the menu to please finicky eaters.
Itís a good idea to keep some veggie burgers on hand for non-meat eaters. Some localities do permit alcohol within the confines of a block party, but be sure to check your permit. Lemonade, iced tea, fruit punch and loads of water will make people happy.
When in season, head for your garden and pick pumpkins or watermelon to share.
The odds are pretty high that someone nearby will have speakers theyíll be happy to set up for entertainment. Make a party playlist with clean, upbeat music everyone will like. If you donít want to do it, recruit a volunteer.
Setting up a few activities adds instant entertainment and prevents adults from clinging silently to the food table. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, Frisbee, jump rope, relays and other simple games help keep kids up and moving so they don't get bored. Set out chairs in clusters so adults can chat in groups.
Or if it's planting season, offer kids packets of seeds to plant to make the neighborhood even prettier. Have a table with soil, small pots (or even egg cartons) and basic tools so they can plant the seeds to take home.
Party decorations tell the brain itís time to have fun (unscientific surveys say). A few cheap and easy decorations include balloons and streamers. See if local businesses will donate imprinted soda can cozies, Frisbees, or t-shirts, then use them as part of the decorations. That way you'll have less clean up, and everyone can have something fun to take home.
To make things feel a bit more grand put up a handmade crafty sign to welcome the whole block. Recruit some local kids to help out the day prior to the party, or make it with your kids.
The final thing to note in how to throw a block party is to think about bathroom logistics. This is not something to be left until the last minute. If the radius of your extravaganza extends beyond a block, collect money to rent a portable bathroom, or ask neighbors with the closest houses if people can use their rest room, and then make signs with arrows.
Throwing this event is a great idea! Being a host can be draining so be sure to eat and drink plenty of water on the day of.