Great block party ideas

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This is how your neighbor looks when in pirate mode
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Get the neighborhood gang together for a blow-out block party

A block party is a wonderful idea regardless of whether you have known most of your neighbors for 20 years and, even better, if you do not know some of your neighbors as well as you would like. There are lots of great block party ideas to choose from. A block party is a great way to welcome newcomers and bring them into the fold. A party is a perfect ice breaker.

Keep supplies and decor casual but attention grabbing. Consider having a theme party, which is an enticing way to get the attention of your neighbors and make them want to show up to see what in the world is going on with their wacky neighbors; however, do not require too much out of the newbies other than their attendance. You do not want to overwhelm them.

Establish the block party as an annual event and have a different chairman each year. Turn it into a friendly competition. See who can outdo each other's block party ideas with imagination, creativity, fun party supplies and uniqueness.

Think about having a rubber duck race. This is a great block party idea. The only requirement: Someone in the neighborhood needs to have a built-in swimming pool. Purchase weighted, rubber duckies, number then, sell them for $5 each (price is optional, you do not have to charge anything if you do not want to) to your neighbors and hold the Father of All Duck Races in a swimming pool. This is great fun and, although generally conducted in a creek, since this is a neighborhood block party a swimming pool will suffice.

Have several racing heats. The winners of each heat will square off in the final race. Let the duck owners name their ducks. Wages can be bet, all of which can go into the money pool. There should be an official referee, who determines who the winner is and there should be rules, of course. No duck doping! The owner of the winning duck wins the money, which he can keep or contribute to an agreed upon future neighborhood project.

Host a scavenger hunt, which is another great block party idea. Come up with a list of bizarre items that must be found within a certain period of time; create teams and send your revelers out and about to collect the items. Whichever team collects all of the items first, and the crazier the items that are hunted the more fun and challenging it will be for the participants, and returns to the fold wins something. That part we will leave up to your imagination.

What about another version of a scavenger hunt: the treasure hunt. Ask your neighbors to deck themselves out as pirates. If the pirates do not behave, make them walk the gangplank into the pool. When your neighborhood guests arrive for the pirate party, hand them a treasure map and be sure to talk in pirate slang. Try out these expressions: Poop deck, futtock shrouds, shivers me timbers, monkey jacket and Davy Jones locker.

Serve drinks in leather cups, called a Black Jack, or make drinks out of sugar, nutmeg and watered rum. This is a bumboo. Grog is the name for water and rum and hogshead is the large barrel that contains the booze.

If you really want to get fancy, write the clues in rhyming couplets to make it doubly confusing for the treasure hunters. Give them an eye patch and a spare parrot if you have one on hand and send them on their merry way.

Hire a local band and dance under the stars. Your block party ideas can start with picking an era to feature: The Big Band ear, the 1960s, the 1980s, or whichever you prefer and suggest that your guests dress in appropriate garb, but let them know this is optional. No points are deducted if you show up in regular street wear. Hang party decorations that match your musical era.

Have a progressive dinner. Start at one house where hors d'oeurves are served and then move on to the next house for salads and on to the third for the main course and to the fourth for dessert and to the last for drinks. Incorporate a theme into the affair: Make it Mexican night or Home on the Range night, or whatever strikes your fancy.

The options are endless. Have a wonderful time with your new and old neighbors!

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