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The Block Party

Posted by Chill Editorial Staff on
June 28, 2010

by Becky Dumais

In this day and age of wired up relationships, computer connections and online networking, it seems like we’ve almost forgotten the fine art of face-to-face socializing. Our days have become so entrenched with “special projects" at the office that we’ve neglected to take the time to hang out, relax and be ourselves. Growing up, most of us knew the neighbours; but how many of us can say that now?

Think about the place where you grew up: those long-lasting friendships that carried you through public school, high school and beyond. What’s the status of your current ‘hood? Do you have a standing tee-off time for your Saturday foursome? Do you collect each other’s mail or feed the cat when someone’s away? Sounds downright cozy. Not you? Maybe you scurry inside when the next-door neighbour opens his front door. Either way, it sounds like it’s time to hang with the neighbourhood and make friends with people whose tools you can borrow, because they’re likely better than your own.

The block party, or neighbourhood bash, can be as impromptu or organized as you want. Some of the best times can be had when you call over the fence – or follow the smell of those incredible barbecuing ribs, with a couple of cold ones in hand.


1. Planning
A proper block party takes about three months to plan. First, pick a date and location. Take a quick poll of some neighbours (especially any friends) and see what works for them – that way you’ll at least know they’ll be coming. Then rope them into being on the planning committee. Just make sure it’s not on a long weekend.
Choose a location that will accommodate a large number of people, chairs, grills, coolers, tables, etc. Make sure the location is accessible to all invitees, and don’t block off driveways or traffic on through streets. If you plan on putting up any barricades, you might need a permit from the city.

2. Cost
Expenses can be low if everyone brings their own supplies, chairs, games and food. Hiring caterers, musicians, table/chair rentals means adding on a cost-per-family fee, which should be indicated on the invitation. If each family has to bring $20 (or whatever covers the cost of supplies) collect it in person at the same time you confirm attendance.

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AUTHOR: Chill Editorial S... RATE
TAGS: Entertainment, Outdoor Adventures, Party, Fun, Summer

Things to Think About

> Have the police/fire departments been informed
> Are all necessary permits in place?
> Will there be enough food?
> Will it take place rain or shine?
> Will there be music/stereo & activities?
> Are there enough supplies for clean up?
> Buy more than enough food, if any is being provided for guests.
> Supply plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, if being provided.
> Get someone to take photos and post them on Facebook or Flickr.


Set up a large projector or rig a big white sheet, everyone pulls up a lawn chair and enjoys.

Incorporate the multicultural blend of the community and have something at the party from each ethnic group: food, games, music, dancing etc.

Each neighbour creates a mini-golf course hole on their front yard using anything from plastic tubes, wood, buckets or other materials. People can travel from yard to yard to try each hole where drinks or goodies could be supplied.

Put the kiddie pools and water toys on the front lawn and get the summer tunes going.

Keep the kiddie pools and water toys out then add Hawaiian decorations and accessories.

Pyrotechnics are a great way to celebrate Canada Day and let off some impressive fireworks for the neighbourhood. Check with the fire department/city/municipality for any regulations regarding fireworks.

If it’s going to be a hot day, it’s a good excuse to get your chest waxed and throw on a leopard print loincloth. Kids are bound to appreciate the jungle-themed décor.

Benefits of Block Parties

> They’re fun.
> You meet people and possibly make new friends (maybe even stumble upon someone you went to high school with and renew the friendship).
> It encourages the community to keep an eye out for one another.
> It promotes safety and helps prevent crime.

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