Sep 24, 2012

A Good Old American Block Party

My neighborhood Selwyn Park hosted an awesome block party this past weekend.  We had so much fun putting it together and it was great to meet more of our neighbors.  Here are some highlights from the party and some pointers if you want to coordinate a block party in your neighborhood.

1.  Get help - here is a picture of our organization committee.  You may not need this many people but find others to share the work load.  You are going to want different people focusing on the following:  food, volunteers, marketing, games, decorations, entertainment and raffle (If you want to do a raffle).  I was in charge of games, decorations and the raffle...volunteers sort of got lumped in there a little bit too.  It was a lot.  I think next year I will probably just do the raffle and decorations.

2. Music is a must - get live music if you can.  It really makes it so much better.  If you can't get live music, a great play list is key!

 3.  Decorations on the cheap - don't spend a lot of money here.  Get creative.  We made this homemade bunting for the tents and tables from fabric from a neighbor and twine.  Borrowed twinkly lights and homemade luminaries from jars and paper finished our decor.

Here is our food tent and tables before we put everything out.  I will never buy these tablecloths from Party City again...I got the cheap paper ones.  I am going to figure out how to make inexpensive fabric ones next year.  Burlap maybe?

We hung our paper luminaries from these Shepherd's hooks and placed them on the tables.

4.  People dig a raffle - we had a group of people that secured all kinds of great raffle prizes this year from local businesses.  We had over 35 items and then we grouped them into packages.  So below you can see the bags with descriptions on the outside.  These represented each package and guests could put their tickets in the prize of their choice.  If they really wanted something they could put all their tickets in one.  People loved this it lessened the number of items we called out.  We had 14 "packages" in total.

5.  Make it Family Friendly - the great thing about this party is that it is for people of all ages.  This year we were able to secure these red barricades that you can see in the back.  We set this up for a kiddie area for the young kids which was popular.  We had sidewalk chalk, corn hole and other games for people to play.  Here is Reed with his little buddy Ethan.

6.  Have good food - whether its potluck or catered, food is important.  We have done a combination in the past.  This year we had a select group that made the main dishes - BBQ, sauces, Cole slaw, baked beans and chips.  Then we had guests bring drinks or dessert for a free raffle ticket.  It worked out pretty well this way.


7.  Use Your Venue to Connect Neighbors to Projects - a block party is a great time to tell neighbors what your neighborhood association has been up to and how they can volunteer and get connected.  We had this great display board with information about what we have accomplished in the past year and what we are planning in the upcoming year.

It was a an awesome party this year!  Can't wait until next year!


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