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BLOCK PARTY GUIDE

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Block Party Goal

To get to know your neighbors better.

Organization

 

Someone needs to step up as the Party Organizer/Captain/Chair/ or Co-Captains. (Very possibly you, since you are reading this Guide).

You WILL need a group to work with you.  You won’t be able to do it by yourself.  While one person can do multiple roles, no one should try to do it all.  Some functions for which you may need volunteers:

 

  • Chairperson (Event Coordinator)

  • Vice Chairperson

  • Treasurer

  • Marketing – Invitation door knockers

  • Liaison to Aurora’s Housing and Community Services

  • Activity Coordinator

  • Food Coordinator

  • Clean up Coordinator

 

The first step in planning a block party is to choose a date and location.  Use this group to find a date that works for most so that it can be on the Invitation.  This way you're guaranteed to have at least a few families in attendance. Most block parties are held in the afternoon to evening. Don't plan the event for a holiday weekend, since most people will already have other commitments.  Plan the party far enough in advance so people can put it on their calendars and you have enough time to organize it all.

A key role in this group will be door knockers to get the invitations out.  They should go door to door to visit your neighbors handing out an Invitation Flyer for the party.  From the Social Committee’s experience distributing Welcome Bags to new neighbors, it sometimes takes 3 return visits before you find someone home.  If they have a video doorbell, talk to the camera, hold the invitation up to the camera, and tell them you’ll stop back later.  Some people monitor their doorbells, and they may answer if they “know” who you are.  We guarantee you will have better turn out if you are able to talk to neighbors, rather than just leave a flyer at the door. 

You may need to explain the block party concept to some who may never have been to one before. 

Take a signup sheet (see Template at end of this document) asking who can attend, what they can bring, and would they volunteer to help in some respect.  Ask what food they can bring, but understand that they may not be able to decide on the spur of the moment.  Be sure the Invitation Flyer has contact info for the Organizer and/ or the Food Coordinator so they can get back to you later with their decision.

Another option is an online application:  www.signupgenius.com

Costs

 

The cost of a block party varies. Block parties can be thrown with little to no cost at all if everyone pitches in. An elaborate party with caterers, musicians, inflatable water slides, and helium balloons would be pretty pricey.  But it is up to each block to decide how elaborate they want to get.  Most block parties will have at least some expenses, such as printing invitation flyers, Human Bingo Boards, name tags etc. 

The city of  Aurora’s Housing and Community Services has three separate grants that you can apply for to help fund Neighborhood Block Parties and Gatherings.  These grants are intended to foster a sense of neighborhood, and can be used for other gatherings, large or small, which contribute to that goal.  It doesn’t need to be a traditional type block party.

 

If the below grants do not cover the costs (or grant was not awarded), survey the neighborhood and ask if each household would be willing to chip in $10 or so towards the party. As the organizer, make sure money is available before purchasing supplies. Without proper planning, you could end up footing the bill in the end.

How to Organize a Neighborhood Block Party

Aurora Neighborhood Mini-Grant Program

 

Meg Allen is the Neighborhood Liaison for our HOA

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Each of the Grant Application forms asks if your community group is enrolled in the Neighborhood Registration Program.  Answer “Yes”, because the HOA, as a whole, is already enrolled.

Know Your Neighbor Mini-Grant

 

The Know Your Neighbor Mini-Grant provides a $100 gift card towards a small neighborhood block party or clean-up event, giving resources to support connections and bring neighbors together.

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Grant Details:

● Grant recipients will receive a pre-loaded $100 King Soopers gift card for events such as block parties, potlucks, ice cream socials, etc., or a $50 Home Depot gift card for neighborhood clean-up events. Religious, political, or personal/private events will not be funded.

● This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocated funds are used

● Submit applications at least two weeks before the scheduled event

● Eligible expenses may include food and supplies needed for a neighborhood gathering. Alcohol, cigarettes, and any illegal substances are not qualified expenses.

 

Grant Eligibility and Application Requirements:

● You must be a resident or property owner in the city of Aurora

● A block or neighborhood may only receive funding for a Know Your Neighbor Mini-Grant once per year.

 

Application

Apply today. The application will remain open until funds for this effort are used.

 

Other Requirements

● Upon completing your event, submit two to three photos to your Neighborhood Liaison

Additional Details and Requirements

 

Printing Assistance Mini-Grant

 

The Printing Assistance Mini-Grant covers the cost of flyers and posters to help promote a neighborhood event. This grant is open to Neighborhood Registration Program participants registered in the Aurora Neighborhood Registration Program. We provide in-house printing assistance for flyers and posters to publicize neighborhood events.  

 

Grant Details:

● Receive up to 25 (8.5x11) flyers in color or 500 (8.5x11) flyers in Black and White or 10 (11x17) color posters or 20 (11x17) black and white posters

● This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocated funds are used

● Please apply at least three weeks before your materials are needed.

 

Grant Eligibility and Application Requirements:

● You must be a resident or property owner in the City of Aurora

● A block, neighborhood, or group may only be awarded a Neighborhood Printing Assistance Grant once per year.

● Provide the print-ready file to your Neighborhood Liaison by email 

● Materials will be available for pick-up at the Aurora Municipal Center; the date and time will be coordinated with the resident.

Additional Details and Requirements

Application

Apply today. The application will remain open until funds for this effort are used.

 

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Small Neighborhood Activity Mini-Grant 

 

The Small Neighborhood Activity Mini-Grant offers up to $250 to develop more sustainable neighborhood groups and organize a larger-scale neighborhood event(s). This grant is open to the Neighborhood Registration Program participants and offers up to $250 to develop your neighborhood group and organize neighborhood events. Examples include entertainment for a festival, neighborhood t-shirts, neighborhood sports tournament, or even supplies for a front lawn happy hour with neighbors. 

The deadline to apply for this grant is Sept. 15.

Grant Details: 

● Up to a maximum of $250 each based on the grant application and budget estimates.

● No match required

● Grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis (unless payment is requested to a vendor directly) and are provided first-come, first-served.

● Applicants must complete the Small Activity Mini-Grant Application and budget forms and be awarded before the expenditure of funds

 

Grant Eligibility and Application Requirements:

● You must be a resident or property owner in the City of Aurora, and your group must be a participant in the Neighborhood Registration Program.

● A block or neighborhood may only receive funding for a Small Activity Mini-Grant every other year.

● Upon completing your event, submit your itemized receipts, reimbursement request form (provided only to approved applicants), and two to three digital photos to your Neighborhood Liaison. Find your Neighborhood Liaison at auroragov.org/PropertyInfo.

Additional Details and Requirements

 

Application

Apply today. The deadline to apply for this grant is September 15.

 

Grant Reimbursements:

Grant funds must be spent, and the related receipts and reimbursement request form must be submitted to your Neighborhood Liaison by October 31, 2021. Receipts should include all expenditures, showing itemized costs.

 

Locations

The Street – The traditional type of Block Party, where a street is closed and the festivities can take place in the road, requires a Block Party Permit from the city of Aurora.  

Block party permits are only required if neighbors want to block off the city street with barricades for a neighborhood event. Permit applications need to be submitted at least 14 days before your party so staff can review your request and work with you to make any required changes. Street barricades will be made available free of charge to approved applicants to ensure parties can be held safely, and are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is a limited number of barricades available each week.

Aurora's Block Parties website

Neighborhood/HOA Support - City of Aurora (auroragov.org)

Locations that don’t need a Block Party Permit.

 

Your own Front / Back yards, Driveways, and Garages

So long as the events don’t spill over into the street a Block Party Permit is not required.

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Aurora City Parks 

There are three  Aurora city parks within the Conservatory:

  • Switchgrass Park

  • Blue Gamma Grass Park

  • Willow Bend Park

 

You should not need a Temporary Usage Permit from the city of Aurora unless your event:

  • is open to or advertised to the public

  • has a commercial aspect

  • requires exclusive use

  • exceeds the park’s capacity 

 

Parks Permits

 

Thus we don’t expect Park Permits will be needed for most Block Parties. and you should be able to use those grounds for free.  Do not expect exclusive use of the park however.  The shelters at the community’s parks are not reservable in Aurora’s system.  They are first come, first serve.

 

 

HOA Playground & Shelter next to the pool

These are owned by the Home Owners’ Association.  Again, no reservation system in place, so this also will be first come, first serve.  Please be considerate of other residents if you decide to use this area.

Metro District

The Tot Lot, located on S. Lisbon Way between S. Nepal Way and E. Dartmouth Drive. It is maintained by the Conservatory Metropolitan District.  Again, no reservation system in place, so this also will be first come, first serve.  Please be considerate of other residents if you decide to use this area.

 

Frontier School Grounds

The use and possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs by any person or group on Aurora Public School District property is strictly prohibited.  If your party is going to be alcohol free and you want to make use of the grounds, please call the school at 303-693-1995.  

APS Facility Rental Application

APS Facility Rental Policy

 

HOA pool  

Another off-the-street option could be a Block Pool Party, although it is an expensive option.  Homeowners may reserve the pool between 5 PM and 9 PM, excluding holidays or holiday weekends. Pool parties are limited to 50 guests and reservations must be made through Westwind Management Group. 

The Homeowner is responsible for the cost of additional lifeguards and at least 2 must be on duty at all times. One lifeguard is required per every 25 attendees, regardless of whether or not they are planning to swim. The hourly expense per lifeguard is $25. Payment must be paid to the Pool Management Company for pool parties.

 

<< Restrooms are a consideration that you don’t want to overlook
at any of the above locations, including driveways / back yards. >>

Insure a thorough clean-up to keep our community looking great!

Program Ideas

The makeup of the neighborhood will guide your selection of programs.  Blocks where most folks are retirees may not have a bike parade like a block with lots of kids.

 

“Get to know you” type activities, even in long established neighborhood, are great because there are always new people moving in, and you may even learn something new about a neighbor you have known for years.  (see Bingo Board at the end of this document.)

 

Skits or talent shows are another type of activity.  If they prove popular, we could even do an HOA Talent Show at the end of the summer, featuring the best of the Block Party entries.

 

Think of games that foster co-operation and community, rather than competition. Activities such as balloon art, music, dance, face painting.
Plan on a theme (Hawaiian, Country Western, Baseball, etc.)

 

Here are several websites that offer additional ideas and suggestions:

Socially Distanced Ideas

Fires

If the activity involves recreational fire (bonfires, open-pit burning, etc.), a separate  Operational Permit is required and must be obtained from the Aurora Fire Department and submitted at least 10 days before your event. Call 303.326.8999 to learn more.

Block Party Guide in PDF Format

BLOCK PARTY TEMPLATES

          Download Word Version                                                              PDF format

Block Party Invitation Templates                                       Block Party Invitation Templates

Block Party Volunteer Role Template                                Block Party Volunteer Role Template

Block Party HOA Bingo Template                                     Block Party HOA Bingo Template

Block Party Signup Template                                            Block Party Signup Template 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Block Party Guide Contents