How to Host a Block Party

Block parties are neighborhood social events and are a great way to meet your neighbors, enhance community spirit and build neighborhood unity. Neighbors bring food, tables and chairs, kiddie pools, etc. and spend an afternoon together getting to know and enjoy each other. For many residents, once a block party becomes established, it is an event not to be missed! Food, music, games and conversation are the main attractions.

Running a Block Party

Regardless of what you plan for your Block Party, getting a wide variety of people involved in the planning, staying organized, and keeping an open mind will help make the event successful. Here are some tried and true components of successful parties:

  • Hand deliver invitations and get your neighbors involved
  • Remember to include contact names and phone numbers for R.S.V.P.’s and a sign-up to bring food, coordinate activities, arrange for music, help set up or clean up
  • Nametags – it’s a lot easier than trying to remember everyone’s names or doing self-introductions
  • Invite the police and fire departments to visit and give tours of their vehicles—kids love this!
  • Organize contests such as an egg toss; a food-eating contest; three-legged races; potato sack races; basketball shooting contests; volleyball tournament
  • Food – potluck, group barbeque, or a combination (one side of the street brings the desserts, the other, side dishes, and all contribute to grilling burgers & hotdogs). Other creative options include holding a chili or barbeque cook-off

While a block party can be held in a backyard or in someone’s home, many neighborhoods close off a street to provide a large space for the party. The event should be registered with the local town government to totally close the area to traffic. The procedure for approval differs by town and is outlined below:


Pick up registration form at Clerk’s office in Town Hall
Fill-in event date (plus rain date, if any) and hours
Designate the area to be blocked off (street between # ___ and # ____)
Include your name, address and phone number
Collect signatures of approval from all residents within blocked off area
Pay $25 refundable deposit (for the barricades delivered and retrieved by Public Works)

Ground rules

Access for emergency vehicles must be maintained
No alcoholic beverages may be served on the public street
Music amplification should be held in check so as not to disturb nearby neighbors</

South Orange

Send letter of request to Village President at the Village Hall listing:
Date (plus rain date, if any) and hours
Area to be blocked off (street between # ___ and # ____)
Name, address and phone of contact
Signatures of approval from all residents within blocked off area
No deposit required
Emergency vehicle access must be maintained
Police Department sets up barricades

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