Summer is slowly coming to an end. Before the days grow shorter and the late night sunshine fades you may want to consider throwing a block party. Not only are block parties fun but they allow you to connect with new neighbors and strengthen relationships with those you are already friends with.

Permits & Teamwork

Before jumping into planning it is important to take care of two major items. First find out if you need to have a permit. You can find out by contacting you local city or town hall. It would be a total bummer if you planned the party only to find out you aren’t allowed to have it. Once you get the green light start recruiting. Throwing a good block party requires a team effort.

Create a flyer explaining your desire to throw the party and ask neighbors to volunteer. Once you have your team of volunteers delegate responsibilities so you have someone managing the following:

  • Food & Drinks: Coordinate the menu and volunteer list
  • Entertainment: Music, games, etc
  • Communication: Have this person set up a Facebook event or email change to keep everyone in the loop
  • Set Up & Clean Up/Decor: In charge of set up and break down in addition to plates, cups, napkins, utensils.

Food & Drinks

There are two routes you can take with planning the party menu. You can charge a fee and have it catered or you can decide to do potluck. If you choose the latter have the person in charge of party communications send a sign up sheet to the block and ensure you have a good balance of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. For entrees it may be a good idea to have a few volunteers for grill duty. You may want to consider charging a small fee to cover the cost of the meat. Another idea…make it BYOG. (bring your own grill)

Bring Your Own..

While on the topic of “bringing your own, here are some things you should remind your guests to bring their own:

  • Lawn Chairs
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Fold Up Tables
  • Alcoholic Beverages (remind party goers that underage drinking will not be tolerated)

Entertainment & Activities

Music is a must. Decide if an iPod is sufficient or if you want to have a brand or DJ. Whatever you decide be sure you plan to set it up in a place that has plenty of room for dancing!

Because this is a family fun event be sure to plan something for all ages. Relay races, hoola hoops, and eating contests are all fun possibilities

Have a Back Up Plan

Sorry to be a debbie downer but with the rainy summer we have had I have to say it. It might rain on your party day. Have a back up plan and decide if you will have a rain date if it does happen to be a rainy day.

Block parties take some time and effort to plan but they are a great way to bring the community together for fun and relaxation. It also sets up a sense of security by allowing others the opportunity to familiarize themselves with people they may have never seen or talk to.

If it goes well it might become an annual tradition! Enjoy!

Cover Image Via Flickr North Charleston