Throwing a block party is a terrific way to meet your neighbors, build a sense of neighborhood, and just plain have fun! The City of San Leandro encourages neighbors to throw block parties and has put together this packet to make planning Block Parties easier. On this page you will find:
Step 1 Have a Planning Party. Invite a few neighbors over to plan the party. Think of the planning process itself as an opportunity to have fun and make some lasting friendships. Try to involve neighbors you don't know well who may know other neighbors you don't know well. Don't stress over planning the perfect party sometimes the most casual events are the most fun.
Step 2 Choose a Location. You may be able to close off the street in front of your block if you want to hold activities right in the street. If you want to close a street, you will need to get a free Application for a Block Party Permit. Complete "Petition For Street Closure" and submit with block party application. If you want to hold the party in yards and don't want to close a street, the City doesn't require permits or insurance. Remember that closing the street does have the advantage of making your party feel like a true block party rather than a private event.
Step 3 Choose a Date. Try to pick a date 4-6 weeks in advance to allow plenty of time for planning, notifying neighbors and obtaining a Bock Party Permit.
Step 4 Decide on Food. A party isn't a party without food and any other activities are just gravy. See Sample Menu and Recipes.
Step 5 Decide on Activities. To spice up your party, you may want to include some games and activities. Some block parties come at the end of a block cleanup, a block garage sale, or a day of tree planting; others have a theme such as Fourth of July or celebrating some real (or made up) neighborhood anniversary. See Fun and Games for ideas.
Step 6 Deliver Invitations. Deliver invitations at least a month before the party to allow people to plan and as a courtesy to neighbors with special needs (e.g. daytime sleepers, expecting deliveries) who may need to communicate with you. Invitations are most effective if they are personally delivered. You may want to put reminders under people's doormats about a week before the party. For an invitation you may want to use one of our included samples.
Step 7 Set Up. If you will be closing a street, you need to call Public Works one weekdays prior to the party so that they can deliver barricades.
Step 8 Observe Neighborhood Courtesies. Remember to make your block party a positive experience for all of your neighbors, even if they choose not to attend. Make it easy for neighbors to get out of their driveways and through the street. Keep noise levels low after 10:00 p.m.
Step 9 Have Fun!
The City of San Leandro defines a block party as an event, which uses a portion of the public street for the purpose of celebrating a special event or holiday. Block parties must be conducted as required by the special conditions for proper barricade placement and maintenance of emergency and other vehicular access. We know that the last thing you want to worry about when planning a party is government red tape, so we've made the process as painless as possible.