tackling the block

The best part of living in Mt. Lebanon for us are our neighborhoods, so block parties top the list of our favorite activities for the summer. Permits are inexpensive, only $25, and cover the delivery of barricades and volleyball posts (nets can be picked up from the rec center). Register for your permit online.block party curran

Planning a block party may seem daunting – some block parties are decades-long traditions with planning committees, bounce houses, and the like! But don’t be intimidated. You can have a block party just by passing out flyers or knocking on your neighbors’ doors. Last year was my first year leading the charge on my street, and here’s how I did it: blockparty

1. Pick a date by polling several families on the block. You won’t please everyone, so if you do ask the whole block, make sure you get a few options! Summer has the best weather, but you may also consider waiting until school is back in session. People are more likely to be home.

2. Notify the neighborhood either by calling, emailing, visiting, or dropping a flyer off at everyone’s doors. I went the flyer route. You can write something up and make copies or check out images online to create a fun invitation. The most important part is to give people notice early!

3. Ask for help! Make sure you ask people to contribute food, drinks, etc… To keep it simple, I asked people to bring a side dish and what they want to drink, and we provided hot dogs and brats for the grill. I know some blocks organize a common menu and collect money. I don’t want to scare people away with an “admission fee” our first year, so I’m sticking with a pot luck.

4. Call the Fire Department to schedule a fire truck visit! Other fun ideas: bounce house rental, pinata, water balloon toss, kiddie pools, a sprinkler, etc…blockparty3

5. Hope for good weather Mt. Lebanon automatically gives you a rain date, but hopefully you won’t have to use it!

Have fun and get out and visit your neighbors this summer!

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