Nothing kicks off summer quite like an awesome celebration with your neighbors! Community is so important and you never know when you’ll need to lean on those around you. Show some love to your neighborhood this year with these tips on how to plan a block party.
Is a block party allowed on my street?
Before you begin, it’s important to be sure what is and isn’t allowed for your celebration. Many communities require a permit for a block party and may have various restrictions on noise ordinances, large gatherings, etc. To be safe, make sure that you’re covering all of your bases. Your best bet is to check with the Homeowners’ Association, city hall, and the local community board before any final details are set or invitations are sent.
If you’d like to block off the street for the party, you will probably need a petition with signatures from the residents of your neighborhood. This is something you’ll need to discuss with your local city hall for further instruction.
Who should I invite to the block party?
Throwing a block party is a wonderful way to meet your neighbors! After you’ve had a chance to pick a date, it’s time to hit the street. If you’ve lived there for years and know every member of every family, you know exactly who should get the party invite. If you’re new, all this takes is a friendly introduction. Go door-to-door and introduce yourself to your neighbors. Let them know your plans for a neighborhood block party and ask about their interests and the ages of family members. This is a great time to get a few helping hands on board if you don’t want to plan the party alone.
Try designing a flyer about your ideas for the block party and ask your neighbors if they’d be interested in attending and/or helping. Be sure to get volunteers’ contact information so you can reach out quickly when it’s time! You’ll also need a fairly accurate headcount to plan for the right amount of food and entertainment, so be sure to keep tabs on the number of people interesting in attending. It may be a good idea to create a Facebook event that includes the date and other info as the event gets closer.
Planning your block party food and drinks
Food is a great way to bring people together! Deciding the best route to take with your menu is the first step. If your budget allows, hire a caterer or food truck so you can just relax and enjoy yourself at the block party. A bartender is another fun addition to the party to keep the summer cocktails flowing.
If hiring a caterer just isn’t in the budget, this is your chance to enlist the help of your community. See if some folks would be willing to bring their grills for the party. Having a bunch of small grills is better than no barbecue at all! Call it a potluck and ask neighbors to bring their signature dish, or turn it into a “Cook Off” or “Bake Off” if you’re feeling competitive. Do you think your grandma’s apple pie is better than my grandma’s apple pie? It’s on!
Planning to cook for a large crowd can be challenging, so here’s a handy guide for knowing how much food to buy and cook. Even if you’re just planning on hot dogs and potato salad, give yourself plenty of time for making lists, shopping, and prepping your meal plan. (Don’t forget to recruit help when it’s time to set up and clean!)
🍿 Make it extra special: Book concessions like popcorn, cotton candy, or snow cones for the block!
Block party entertainment ideas
Block party planning is all about having a good time with your neighbors! Take it from a potluck to a party with some creative entertainment ideas to rock your block.
Everyone loves music, so shake up your street with a concert. Most performers can provide their own sound equipment, so all you need to do is have a good time. They can also work with you to create a family-friendly setlist that will be a crowd-pleaser. Gather in a cul-de-sac or rope off some of the street and let the jammin’ begin! Some great choices for block party music include:
Add some flair to the block party with visual performers like jugglers, stilt walkers, or hoop dancers. These performers are great for ambient entertainment that can stroll the sides of the party rather than being “main show” attractions. People can still mingle and talk while being entertained!
🔥 Pro tip: Check on your local ordinances when it comes to fire performances before booking.
Fun for the kiddos
With all the little ones running around, it could be fun to hire some kid-friendly entertainment for your block party. Since you’re outside, bubble entertainment is a perfect choice for kiddos. Balloon twisters and face painting are classic and simple forms of keeping the little ones busy! If your budget is a bit higher and you have lots of children who will attend, consider a petting zoo or a party inflatable!
🖋️ Make it extra special: Have a caricaturist set up to draw goofy portraits of your next-door pals to keep as a party favor!
Organizing a block party is the perfect way to kick off summer, observe special holidays, or just enjoy the beautiful weather with your community! With a bit of planning and working together with your neighbors, you’ll be on your way to celebrating on your street. 🎉
Ready to book something awesome for your summer block party? Find the best at GigSalad.
Megan is the Director of Customer Experience at GigSalad and has gained 9+ years of insight on what makes a great event on both sides of the booking process. Her favorite things include books, true crime podcasts, coffee, hiking, puns, and making people laugh.