The process of trying to plan a block party can be an onerous one. There are lots of things to take care of and when time and energy aren’t in abundance there often isn’t an opportunity to plan a party when one might be needed most.
We’ve taken care of the mundane and time-consuming work required to plan a block party, leaving you with more time to enjoy the company of your neighbours.
Money. Who needs it? More expense does not mean more fun! You don’t need to drain your bank account to make your block party a success. Great block parties can be surprisingly inexpensive.
From food to activities, permits and entertainment, your block party will only be as expensive as you choose to make it. Plan smart and affordably, and remember: there isn’t anything wrong with being frugal.
Talk to your neighbours, local neighbourhood association, businesses, places of worship/faith and resource centres. There are many different people and organizations that will be more than willing to help out with resources and supplies for your block party.
People get hungry; this is a fact of life. This applies to people attending block parties as well. Because you shouldn’t need to break your own bank account to make your party a success, we have a few suggestions when it comes to arranging food for your block party:
• Your local supermarket or grocery store may be willing to support your block party by providing food.
• Make your block party a potluck. Have everyone who is coming bring something to share with others. Be sure to stay mindful of food allergies.
• If you’re looking to do the cooking you’re best to stick with things that are easy and affordable that can be made in large quantities.
• If you’re planning an event that takes place over a longer period of time be conscious of your food storage. You wouldn’t want any food to go to waste.
While the majority of your block party will be organic in nature, neighbours talking to one another, etc., it can’t hurt to have some pre-planned activities for the children (and young-at-heart adults) in attendance, to help keep everyone engaged and entertained.
Activities can include tried and trusted games like the egg toss, three-legged race or even bottle bowling. You shouldn’t let your budget be the limit to the types of activities your block party includes. There are more low-budget and hi-fun activities than you think there are.
Depending on the scale of your block party, the materials and equipment needed can vary greatly. If you’re planning a neighbourhood-wide event, you might need a stage and a sound system. If you’re planning something more local, at the street level, you might just need a few tables and chairs.
If you need equipment, ask your local community/resource centre, churches, or even funeral homes if they can help. Often times these sources are more than happy to offer what they can. Be sure to solicit help from your local social network, too. Don’t be afraid to ask!
It should go without saying but we’ll say it anyway: when planning your block party, safety should be your first priority (with fun being a close second).
Depending on the scale of your party and where you want it to take place, you might need to acquire a permit(s), insurance or other elements that will help to create some peace of mind. We can’t comment on every location or situation, so we encourage you to contact your local municipality or law-enforcement body to find out more about the laws, regulations, and rules in your location.
It has arrived – the day of your block party. So now what?
It can be easy to get stressed and overworked on the day of your party, and as a result you might not get to enjoy the ‘fruits of your labour’. To help you out we suggest considering the following:
Ask for help – you’re just one person and you can’t do everything. Don’t be afraid to ask your neighbours for help if you need it.
Let the small things be small – if an issue arises at your block party, don’t get too worried. If it is something big, deal with it appropriately and promptly. If it is something small, just let it be.
Enjoy – take some time to grab a burger, a beverage and enjoy the company of your neighbours. After spending lots of time and energy preparing your block party, you deserve it!
So you’ve finished reading this manual and you’re probably saying to yourself, “But this doesn’t include A. What about B? In my city we have to do C.” We know that this manual probably hasn’t covered everything that’s specific to your location or the type of event you want to plan, but we hope that it has pointed you in the right direction.
If you’re looking for additional resources to help you plan and execute your block party, we suggest checking out some of the following online resources: