By Jen Reynolds with files from Robin Stevenson
Photography by Luis Albuquerque
From the print edition, May 2012
The outdoor bash my neighbours and I plan each summer is something all of our families look forward to every year. Our palooza started off as an event for the residents of our small urban street, but now going into our fifth year, it keeps growing to include friends who live nearby. It has become so popular that area residents plan their holidays around it, and we’ve found that since we started our street party, our area has become safer and more fun. Knowing our neighbours and developing strong friendships has made many of us decide to stay in our century-old houses and renovate, thus improving the value of our homes and community. One real estate agent told us that mentioning our annual bash is one of the selling features that interests his prospective buyers.
When it comes to the planning of our big day, having a strong core group of volunteers with designated duties is essential. On our street we form committees to look after the activities, entertainment, food, the set-up and cleanup, and the planning and permits. Everyone is willing to invest a bit of time—it’s not reasonable to expect one person to do it all. A group with diverse talents, including artists, designers, planners and really great cooks, is what makes our party a huge success. There’s still lots of time this spring to plan a festival on your street; here’s how to make it happen.
Thinking of throwing your own neighbourhood bash? Download our street party tool kit to get started, and check out the tips below.