Organizing a Neighborhood Block Party
Neighborhood block parties provide the opportunity for neighbors to meet and socialize with one another, build community spirit and build relationships that allow one another to identify those who live around them from others who do not.
Remember, it does not take a 50 or 100 people to make a block party successful. For as long as neighbors are meeting and interacting with one another, the event has been successful toward enhancing your neighborhood. Making the event a positive experience for the entire neighborhood will ensure future events continue to be successful.
To reserve Block Party Supplies contact the Office of Neighborhood Services [email protected]
Three Months Before
- Form a committee consisting of several neighborhood households and hold an organizational meeting.
- One member should become the primary contact person for the event – the go-to person for questions that arise during the planning, organizing, and arranging of the event.
- Another member to become responsible for reading the Assembly Permit Instructions (PDF) and obtaining the required Assembly Permit Application (PDF) along with any other permits deemed necessary such as insurance, health permit temporary ABC permit, temporary sign permit, etc.
- Another member should be responsible for organizing the food and refreshments. Potlucks are the easiest as most neighbors will want to contribute. However, you may want to solicit contributions to allow for the basics of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, etc. to be provided. Many area businesses are willing to donate toward these items if asked. Make arrangements for keeping beverages cool by having containers, chests, and coolers available and don’t forget the ice. Most neighbors will bring their own beverages and containers with their potluck dish if asked.
- Another member can be asked to organize the activities. Roanoke’s police, Fire/EMS departments welcome the opportunity to bring their vehicles for tours and safety demonstrations whereas other departments can educational activities and information to share. Providing music will undoubtedly liven up the event and don’t forget to include youth activities such as face painting and contests.
- And the most important member of the committee is the one responsible for the event’s set-up and clean-up! Solicit neighbors to provide tables, tents, sound system, etc and ask everyone to bring their own chairs. Don’t forget the need for trash and recycling receptacles and the bags that go in them.
- Send out invitations to all of the neighbors. This can be done as part of a neighborhood newsletter, postcards or flyers.
- Follow-up with Roanoke’s Public Works Director to make certain arrangements have been made for barricades to be set-up before the event to block off the street for the party and to be picked up following the event, and also that Solid Waste staff have been advised of the need to pick-up any trash and recycling material generated.
- Make arrangements for toilet facilities, if necessary
- Publicize the party throughout the neighborhood via signs, emails, or phone calls. Please do not post signs on utility poles or place in public right-of-way for doing so is in violation of the city’s signage code and will subject them for removal and disposal. Going door-to-door adds a personal touch that will help get neighbors interested in volunteering for and attending the event.
- Confirm all arrangements have been made with Public Works, Solid Waste, and others scheduled to be involved in the event’s activities.
- Confirm arrangements for entertainment, food, refreshments, tents, tables and any other equipment that may be rented or borrowed.
- Bullhorn - if there will be organized contests and activities
- Clean up when you're done; consider making a game out of it by offering a prize for the one who picks up the most
- Coolers with ice - for storing perishable foods (Consider storing meats separately from other food to protect against contamination)
- Ice – there is never too much ice
- Make the event pleasant for those who attend as well as those who don’t. Be courteous to all by not blocking driveways and being aware of the noise and time of day
- Name tags - they may seem geeky but they make it easier than trying to remember everyone's names or doing self-introductions
- Shade – the more the better
- Tubs with ice - for chilling beverages