Alright, I finally have some tools you can use for August Night Out, plus some recommendations, based on my experience, on how to get the ball rolling on your own block party. The key to success is to not sweat the details and to just have fun!
Steps for a successful East Ballard block party on Tuesday Aug 4th
- Register your block with the Seattle Police Department by July 31st at https://www.seattle.gov/police/nightout/northregister.htm.
- Send us an email at email@example.com if your block wants to be an EBCA participating block.
- Invite your neighbors. We’ve provide an August Night Out Flyer template for you to use. If you don’t already have an email list, then post the invites in your neighborhood and/or hand them out door to door. I’ve seen neighborhoods that put big posters in their windows too. Be creative.
- Plan some activities. Street chalk, face painting, 4 square, etc. for the kids (ok, adults too!). Organize some live music or a boom box. You might be surprised to find some musicians on your block who may want to perform.
- Bring Food and Drink! A potluck is definitely the way to go. You may want to make sure you have utensils, plates, cups, and paper towels on hand, just in case. Have your neighbors roll out their BBQs too.
- Bring name tags. If your neighbors don’t know each other well, name tags are a necessity. You may want to encourage adding your house or yard description to the name tag, e.g. “Dawn – green house with lots of dandelions on the front lawn”
- Close down the street. We’ve found that blocking off the ends of the street with Yard Waste and Recycling cans works the best. If you don’t have caution tape to put between the cans, then duct tape works fine. You can then attach your flyers to the tape.
- Park cars off street for the night. If there a lot of cars parked on your street, you may choose to set up your event in a neighbor’s parking strip instead.
- Bring tables and chairs. You’ll need a couple of tables to set up food for the potluck. Please encourage neighbors to bring their own lawn chairs.
- Gather contact information for starting your own neighborhood mailing list and get your neighbors entered into the EBCA raffle for prizes from East Ballard businesses. Print out our Sign Up Sheet template to get you started. Later on, you can use this information to create an email list group for your neighbors to communicate with each other.
- Send copies of sign up sheets to EBCA. When the party’s over, send copies of your sign up sheets to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Blowing Sands Glass at 5805 14th Ave NW by Aug 11th to get your neighbors entered in the raffle. We’ll announce the winners by email and our website by Aug 18th.
I’d love to hear more tips on how to have a successful block party. Please share your ideas in our comments section below.