Top 10 reasons to plan a block party

  1. Have fun! You don't need a special reason to celebrate.
  2. Create an opportunity to get to know your neighbours.
  3. Establish new friendships.
  4. Increase the sense of belonging in your community.
  5. Share resources or interests. Think carpools, babysitters, gardening or book clubs.
  6. Build pride in your neighbourhood which encourages everyone to take care of it.
  7. Promote a safe and caring neighbourhood where everyone looks out for each other.
  8. Ensure you are there for each other in case of emergency.
  9. Learn who might need a little extra help from time to time.
  10. Meet some of the long-standing neighbours who can share some of the history of the place.


Planning your neighbourhood Block Party

Getting Started

  • The idea of a neighbourhood Block Party is to bring neighbours together, so the first step is to talk to your neighbours.
  • Consider creating a flyer to explain what you want to do, find out if neighbours are interested and suggest possible dates.
  • Enlist as many neighbours as you can to help out. Allowing people to play a role gets them involved and excited about the event.

Choosing your style

Will you host a barbecue, potluck or picnic?

  • For a barbecue, the organizers usually purchase supplies and neighbours share the cost and bring their own food for the grill.
  • Potlucks provide a great variety with everyone bringing one dish to share.
  • Picnics are usually a 'bring your own thing' affair.

Your invitation list

  • Start off with a smaller event rather than a large one - it can always grow in future years, it's harder to shrink it.
  • Use natural neighbourhood boundaries where possible, and be inclusive within that area.

The perfect location

Use a common public space rather than private yards if possible. This will promote shared responsibility for the event. Ideas for locations include:

  • public park or roadway
  • common room in a condo unit
  • identify a covered space or garage in case of rain

Using public locations in Colwood

If you and your neighbours have decided to use a public park or roadway for your Block Party, you will need to:

Go for a green event

Encourage everyone to help make your block party a green event:

  • Try to minimize waste when buying products
  • Provide recycling and composting bins
  • Choose locally grown foods and services
  • Encourage people to arrive on foot or by bicycle rather than by car

The role of the organizers

  • Make decisions about setting up the event
  • Complete the City of Colwood special event application
  • Act as the greeter at the event
  • Introduce people and help them make connections
  • Make sure cleanup is done after the event. Encourage kids to help by offering prizes.


  • Be mindful of the municipal City of Colwood Noise Bylaw.
  • Open fires are not permitted.
  • Consider safety when setting up tables and chairs, on the outside chance that emergency vehicles should need to access your street for any reason.
  • You may wish to post signs the day before the event to remind people to remove cars for the street closure.

What to do at the event

  • Visit and enjoy sharing a meal together.
  • Listen to some good music. Maybe you even have some talent to share in your neighbourhood.
  • Consider a few games and activities for kids and all ages.
  • Use this handy Ice Breaker Activity Sheet to encourage conversation and connections.