Tip Of The Month: Throw A Distanced Block Party

block party

As the weather cools, everyone loves getting outside and this is a great way to socialize while staying 6-feet apart 

Fall has arrived, and it’s time to party! This month, we encourage you to throw a distanced block party with your neighbors.

As with all of our neighboring experiments in the midst of this pandemic, we first and foremost want to be mindful of the health and safety of our neighbors. Because of this, we would highly suggest that you start planning your party by brainstorming how to do so with physical distance between neighbors and in compliance with what medical professionals and government officials are saying.

We recognize that every place is experiencing the effects of coronavirus differently, so this experiment is going to vary. But we cannot emphasize this enough: In your various neighboring experiments throughout this time, please always keep a good physical distance between you and your neighbors and adhere to the guidelines that are in place where you live. 

Now, with the health and safety of your neighbors in mind, you can plan the party! In doing so, we would make four main suggestions:

  • Ask your neighbors if they would like to plan the party, too. Chances are, other neighbors have either been wanting to plan a party, as well, or are simply willing to help, and working with those neighbors will help you to continue fostering relationships with them.
  • Plan your distanced block party outside. Temperatures are starting to cool, so this is much more feasible, and being outside allows everyone to spread out and have access to fresh air. This is also a fantastic time to utilize the physical assets on your block or street. Perhaps all of your neighbors have front porches, and everyone can hang out on their individual porches and interact from a distance? Perhaps there’s an empty lot or a big yard where neighbors can gather but still remain spread out from one another?
  • When inviting neighbors to the party, name exactly how physical distancing will be practiced. We have found it helpful to name right up front with our neighbors exactly how we will practice physical distancing during the gathering. We recognize that, due to various reasons, people are practicing distancing in different ways, and naming how distancing will be practiced at the party allows neighbors to decide if they are comfortable attending. Of course, please also invite neighbors in a way that involves physical distancing. This may look like inviting them in conversations from a distance, through phone calls or messages, or by taping invites to their doors.
  • Keep it simple! This has always been a rule for our block parties in the past, and the rule still applies now, Block parties are simply gatherings of neighbors, and while it is sometimes helpful to have an activity that neighbors gather around, don’t overthink the content of the party itself. In the time of coronavirus, neighbors will probably love to simply have a space in which they can catch up with other neighbors and process the pandemic in which we are all living.

In our neighborhood, we love to sing and play music together, so we have been throwing what we are dubbing “6-foot sing-alongs.” We simply invite neighbors to gather in a large front yard in order to sing and play songs together, and then we make sure that everyone knows we will be keeping at least six feet of distance between each of us and also that the gathering stays relatively small. Everyone loves getting to gather in some way, and they are such a fantastic reminder that we can all continue to foster relationships with one another in such fun ways throughout this time.

Happy distanced block partying, and happy neighboring!

From The Neighboring Movement at SoCe Life, Great Plains Annual Conference

Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2020