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Block Parties

Inviting neighbors to a Block Party is a great way to kick off a new BAT, re-energize an existing BAT, or just an excuse to connect with your neighbors! Sunday afternoons are often the best time to schedule one, but we’d love to hear what’s working for you!

If you are hosting for a large number of people or having an activity that will spill into the street, closing the street for a Block Party is very easy. Simply fill out this application form and submit it AT LEAST ten business days before the event to get a free block party permit (do it as far in advance as possible so you don’t run out of time).

Fire engine visit:  you can request it from Santa Clara County Fire Dept (do it AT LEAST 2 weeks in advance).  Call Community Education Office at (408) 378-4010.

Police visit:  Email with the details, proposed date and time, location, group size, age range and type of topics to discuss (again, do this ASAP as they have to plan coverage depending on who is scheduled to be on shift).

The first Tuesday in August) is National Night Out (If desired, please request a police department representative EARLY!)

If your BAT is located within a Neighborhood Watch group, invite the Block Captain to share info at the party about your Neighborhood Watch program and activities, to encourage more neighbor participation. (If you don’t already have one, it’s very straightforward to set up your Neighborhood Watch!)

Ideas for activities/themes:

  • potluck (appetizers, desserts, side dishes
  • trivia/ice breaker games (questions on name tags)
  • emergency preparedness (learning how to use a fire extinguisher, changing batteries on smoke alarms, etc.)
  • gathering information for a neighborhood directory (or distributing one!)

Sample email:

Subject: Block Party on [Day], [Month] [Day] at [Time]!

Dear neighbors in Block Action Team #XX: 
Please join us for a fun and afternoon/evening! Everyone in the family, including kids and well-behaved animals, are invited! Please bring a side dish and a beverage to share with the rest of the neighborhood.
While our main reason to get together is to connect with everyone in the neighborhood, we’ll also be
  • (fill in an activity here, or just keep it loose! If you do have anything like a sample emergency kit to display, or have invited city officials, police, or fire representatives, let people know!)
  • let people know if you will have kid-specific activities like games or crafts
RSVP by responding to this email with the number of people from your household who will be attending.
Can’t wait to see you!
[Leader/co-leaders name and contact information]