How to Throw a Fabulous Independence Day Block Party
A block party is basically a neighborhood get-together. The name probably comes from including everyone on “the block,” and from the fact that you “block off” a section of the street to throw your party. Independence Day block parties are often held in the suburbs, and you’ll need to get permission from local officials before you do it. (You’ll need a permit.) If you’d like to throw a fabulous Independence Day block party, read on for some tips and suggestions.
First, decide whom to invite. It may seem obvious, but it bears mentioning – it’s not very polite to block off a section of a neighborhood street and not invite everyone who lives in that section! After that, though, it’s up to you whom you invite from around the community.
Once you’ve decided on your guests, you’ll need to let them know. One way is with flyers inserted into mailboxes or on car windshields. All you need is a printer and some paper. If you know all the guests’ e-mail addresses, you can invite folks online, too. Sometimes a combination is good – the e-mail can serve as a reminder.
For Independence Day, a cookout is traditional; but you probably don’t want to be cooking for your whole neighborhood. Guests can bring their own grills and set them up – guests can then bring their own food and grill it on the neighbors’ grills. Alternatively, you can have the block party catered if everyone wants to pitch in. Still another idea is a picnic or potluck approach – everyone brings something.
Tables can be rented or improvised with plywood, cinder blocks, and tablecloths. Guests can bring their own folding chairs.
Guests can bring their favorite beverages, and ice-filled coolers can be set up along or in front of tables. A big bowl of festive punch is a nice touch, too.
4. All Ages
It’s more fun to be inclusive, and it’s in the spirit of the American melting pot! Welcome elderly people as well as kids and young adults. More people will be able to come if they don’t have to find childcare, or if grandma or grandpa can come along.
Music is essential for a block party! If you can swing it, a traditional brass quartet could play patriotic songs. Or you can also hook up a stereo or CD player and let the music play. It’s a good idea to have a DJ or at least someone “manning” the CD player – you don’t want people mixing up CDs and getting things confused.
Once again in accordance with local laws, see if you can set off some fireworks, Roman candles, or sparklers at your block party.