Welcoming new arrivals to the neighborhood and neighbor visits used to be common practice, but more and more they seem to be fading into the past. This can lead to feelings of isolation, and make it hard to make local friends, especially after moving to a new place. But throwing a block party can help pull a neighborhood together and create lasting friendships between both adults and kids. Here’s how to make sure that everyone involved has fun.
Obtain Permission to Shut Down Your Street
The location of a party can be a deal-breaker right from the start. The ideal location is a home or group of homes centrally located in the neighborhood or along a street. It becomes logical then to shut down the street to traffic. This allows adults and kids alike to have fun without the worry of traffic and accidents. However, to accomplish this legally, the planner generally has to check with local law enforcement and ask for permission at least one month ahead of time. Some areas may require you to get signatures from residents. You will need to provide your own barricades, but there are no rules on exactly what type of barricades or signage is required as long as it’s easy to see.
Make Arrangements for Food
What’s a party without great food? Planners can organize digital sign-ups, throw a potluck or even hire some food trucks to handle everything. Generally, it is a good idea to verify an approximate guest count to convince a truck owner the expense is worth it and to ensure that enough food will be provided. For community-provided food, a shared digital sign-up can help organizers determine that all the bases are covered. Even if your road is closed, be sure to check the local laws regarding alcoholic beverages for public events.
Make it Enjoyable for Kids
Planning children’s activities for your party is a great way to get the neighborhood to turn out. Having organized activities helps kids to have fun with each other and generally liven up the event and create buzz. Just make sure parents are aware of the level of supervision they will need to provide. There are tons of ideas for ready-made kids’ entertainment, including pool parties, inviting fire or police vehicles, face painting, crafts, bounce houses or outdoor movies.
A block party can be a big endeavor, but with proper planning and foresight, yours can be a massive hit. For anyone thinking of ways to get their neighborhood to come together for a good time, a well-planned block party can become a much-anticipated annual event.
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