At least once during the summer, we throw a block party. Rain or shine, it’s always a great time. Do you know how to throw a block party? Here are some ideas on how to organize a great block party without going broke.

  1. Print up invitations on colored paper. You want it to stand out when you drop it off in your neighbors’ mail boxes.
  2. Pick a Sunday afternoon. It’s kid-friendlier, and it allows you to get your planning and shopping done on Saturday instead of rushing around to get it done and set up on a Friday or even Saturday night.
  3. Plan it out. Figure out what you can afford to provide (we usually provide BBQ salami, burgers, dogs and sausages). We also provide condiments and chip, but you could outsource that as well.
  4. Ask everyone to bring something. Not only does this cut down on the cost and planning for you, it helps promote community. Plus, you get to see who is the best cook on the block. (Offer a bottle of wine for the best contribution in each category – appetizer, sides, desserts – and watch what happens!)
  5. Use paper, plastic and put out plenty of garbage bins. If everyone keeps it clean during the party, there’ll be less to clean up afterward.
  6. Use name tags. It’s hard to remember 100 names, and name tags with the address on it gives people something to talk about.
  7. Think about your message. In the early years of our block parties, we took a few minutes to educate everyone about what was going on in the community – specifically, our village’s wayward plan to widen our street into a four-lane highway. If there’s something going on, make sure you figure out what you want to say, and then pick the right moment to gather everyone around.
  8. Get everyone’s email address and contact information. Who knows? If you make new good friends, you might want to get together at other times during the year.
  9. Enjoy yourself! Don’t get so caught up in the planning that you forget to hang out and enjoy yourself. This should be a really fun day for you, too. So go and enjoy your block party.

I’ll upload a photo of our block party a little later on today. Enjoy your day!

Don’t forget to check out our new Equifax Finance Blog for great personal finance information!