The Importance of Community
After the pandemic, many people were more than ready to get together! They were tired of being isolated and craved community. Because our neighborhood was growing so quickly, it was definitely time to bring everyone together!
Bringing together your neighbors? Here is an idea. Have a luau! We were asked to host and plan the neighborhood block party for over 70 people, so let me give you some tips that helped it go smoothly!
People will come together to help!
I found that there were around 20 people who were truly dedicated to putting in some hard work helping. I had neighbors helping with the pineapple flower centerpieces, neighbors putting up canopy tents for shades, neighbors going out to buy another canopy tent, neighbors who set up a volleyball net, and neighbors helping set up the food buffet. I had neighbors who helped blow up the balloon garland, and neighbors who helped tie down the photo backdrop. It was hot though! It’s challenging getting set up when you are dripping with sweat! I recommend not doing a summer block party since the heat can be unbearable. It was nice to have the help and kindness of neighbors in planning the event though despite the heat.
1. Don’t use your own money to pay for the block party. Be sure the community has voted and agreed on what funds can be used for the block party in advance before planning a block party. Your budget will decide what you can do.
2. Skip the food trucks since they are so expensive unless your HOA and the community vote on this idea way in advance.
3. Have a Google sign up sheet for items, not just food. Especially if you are planning on a summer party in the heat- see if people can bring chairs and tents for rest and shade. We were able to have everyone come together and sign up for food, chairs, tents, lawn games, trash bags, trash cans, coolers, ice, drinks, and such. Neighbors coming together to create the event builds more community. Enjoy the time planning with neighbors!
4. Have multiple zones. I use the word zone as in areas/stations for certain activities and age groups.
—We had one home area out front that was the zone area for the food buffet and eating with canopies put together under the shade. We wanted extra shade for this area. The drinks and coolers were placed out in front of some lawn games as well and additional seating areas. The photo backdrop was also placed in this zone.
—We had our home area out front that the was the zone area for kids with the inflatable waterslide, kiddie pool, water balloons, bubbles, basketball, playset, and sidewalk chalk. We also had the icecream truck set up in front of the kid zone.
—We had the next house area out front that was the zone area for the volleyball game and pickle ball. This attracted more teenagers.
5. Advertise the event with a Canvas Save the Date via email, but also take the time to print it out and hang it on the doors since not everyone checks or uses email, and you don’t want to miss anyone.
6. Clean up can be rough unless you have wagons and help! We used wagons to load everything back up and bring it to our driveway. Neighbors knew to pick up their chairs or canopies or whatnot in our driveway or the neighbor’s driveway. We were very tired and sweaty by the end of the day so wearing a straw beach hat was helpful! It was also thoughtful that a few neighbors were willing to help clean up and haul items back to their home or another neighbor’s home.
Again, even though a block party can be a lot of work, I do think it is worth it to bring your neighbors together and meet new people! The planning process brought people together and overall helped to bring neighbors together.