Whether you already have good relationships with your neighbors or you are looking to build a better community with those in your neighborhood, a block party is a great way to make connections and have fun. Holidays like July 4th are great block party opportunities because most people will have the day off work and be looking for events where they can relax and enjoy themselves.
Planning a block party is a bit more involved than planning a typical get-together because it will involve more people, many of whom you might not know. Though there are only a few weeks left before July 4th, you can throw a successful event by following these simple steps:
Choose a Block Party Location
Block parties involve entire neighborhoods, which means your home probably doesn’t have enough space to accommodate everyone who will attend. Instead, you need to find a larger and more accessible location for your block party.
Traditionally, block parties take place in the street, which is closed to vehicle traffic for the duration of the event. To accomplish this, you will need to notify your city of your intention to host a block party, and you may need to acquire permits for loud music, food and drink.
Alternatively, you might choose to host a block party in a neighborhood park. Again, you might need to reserve the park for your gathering and acquire certain permits to ensure that your block party will not be disrupted by authorities enforcing laws and regulations.
Get the Word Out
Once you have a place selected, you need to make sure that everyone in your community knows about the impending party. You should take advantage of all methods of communication to provide your neighbors with essential information about the block party. Some ideas include:
Emails. Some neighbors diligently collect email addresses of those around them. You can connect with community leaders to access email addresses and send messages. Alternatively, you can begin collecting email addresses yourself by asking your neighbors when you see them.
Social media. Neighborhood social platforms like Nextdoor make it easier to reach all members of your community. You might make several posts about your block party leading up to July 4th to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to hear about the gathering.
Flyers. Sometimes, old-fashioned methods work best. You can post flyers about your event around your neighborhood, on telephone poles or streetlights, and you can slip flyers into door jambs or on car windshields.
Word-of-mouth. Up until the day of your block party, you should mention the get-together to every neighbor you see. As neighbors talk to one another, word of your event will spread.
Consider Food and Drinks
Every party, no matter how big or small, needs food and drink to keep guests happy. Even the most experienced chef will struggle to cook enough to feed and water an entire neighborhood, so you might need to consider some more reasonable alternatives. For example, you might make your block party a potluck, encouraging guests to bring their own dishes from home. Alternatively, you might ask neighbors to chip in for catering. In any case, you should try to be respectful of dietary concerns, offering diverse food and drink options to ensure everyone has something to enjoy.
Because there are so many people at a block party, there will never be a dearth of opportunity for new, exciting conversation. Still, you might want to arrange some activities to keep guests engaged. For example, every good 4th of July party has a fireworks display; you can buy wholesale fireworks online to ensure you have enough sparklers, snakes, helicopters and more to delight and entertain your whole neighborhood. Other activities you might consider include:
Yard games, like cornhole, ladder toss or bocce.
A projector screen, for outdoor movies like “Independence Day” or “Hamilton.”
An arts and crafts table, for kids to create patriotic crafts.
A 4th of July block party could be the social gathering your neighborhood needs to transform into a tight-knit community. With the right planning and preparation, you and your neighbors can make lasting memories and transform your area into a better place to live.