A block party is an easy, low cost and fun way to connect neighbors, but getting it started in the first place can seem like a daunting prospect. Vinings Village Area 7 held our first Block Party (in recent years) on September 21, 2014. In the course of organizing it, we learned that it is really not all that hard to do, costly or time consuming, and the event was terrific! Inspired by that success, we offer the following step-by-step guide. Your VVHA reps can help you get started.


  • Find out if there is interest in the neighborhood.

    • Ask your friends and others you know (or “run into” on the street).

    • Contact your Vinings Village HoA rep(s) and ask them to survey the neighborhood by email.

  • If you get a positive response, form a committee:

    • Count the number of houses and divide by ten to get the desired number of committee members. (e.g. 60 houses? Committee of 6 ensures a successful small event, as a minimum, and makes the workload very manageable.)

    • Solicit the participation of your VVHA reps.

    • Solicit any members of Vinings Village Civic Club (VVCC) in your area.

    • Ask your neighbors. (Include that as a question in the survey?)

    • Ask the people you recruit to ask others.

  • Get the Committee together and discuss general ideas about the party:  broad concepts (dinner? games? music? fire truck? etc.), location and date/time/rain-date; ask for someone to design a flyer and volunteers to distribute it. 

  • Some associations (VVHA, VVCC) may offer a small financial grant (limited reimbursement for certain expenses) to help. Contact them by email and ask.

  • Distribute a “Save the Date” flyer to every neighborhood household and use it to invite additional committee members.

  • 4-6 weeks before the party re-convene the committee and make a detailed party plan. An example for an outline:

    • What,when, who, where? (Confirm from 1st meeting.)

    • Expected participation = # households x % participating (estimate) x avg # people/HH

    • Budget = what Committee will provide & needs to buy/rent; how funded?

    • Communications= how will Committee members (phone, group text, email?)

    • Food = what Committee will provide; what neighbors will bring

    • Games & Entertainment

    • Music

    • Set-up

    • Clean-up

    • Final Invitation (distribute 3-4 weeks in advance)

  • Apply for a Police Permit if needed:  At least two weeks before, if you are going to block the street, including a cul-de-sac, apply for a Police Permit. (Easy to do.) Download the form from the Cobb County Site using the link below or look for Special Use Permit on the Site map tab at www.cobbcounty.org. Submit it to Police Captain Hawk Hagebak (or his successor) at P3 who will make sure it gets approved and will deliver (and pick up) any cones you might need.

    http://www.cobbcounty.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1751&Itemid=912

  • Ask VVHA rep to distribute invitation by email and send reminders as the date approaches.


The Area 7 Block Party was a great success both for adults and kids (had to take the last net down to finally get the kids to go home!). Due to generous funding from VVHA and VVCC, each committee member only contributed $11.50, a dish and a couple gallons of iced tea/lemonade, and there was an amazing amount of incredible food brought by our generous and culinary-gifted neighbors. Contact viningsvillage@outlook.com with any questions … Good Luck!



 
 
Building Community Neighbor by Neighbor


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