Our inspiration for organizing the block party stemmed from our neighbours’ desire to sing around our communal holiday tree (communi-tree). We started the communi-tree in 2020 and held our first winter celebration around the tree last year in 2022. It was such a blast that we were asked to recreate it again this year. A small group of enthusiastic and dedicated neighbours got together to plan the party based on last year’s schedule of events. We talked with other neighbours to see what they would like to have happen this year and made sure to include the suggestions.
The project witnessed active participation from a large percentage of households on our street, including home owners, renters, and even employees from a local business on the street. The event served as a catalyst for meaningful connections, breaking down social barriers, and creating a shared sense of identity among our neighbours. We sang, answered trivia, and crafted ornaments for our communi-tree together. All were welcome and our communal participation strengthened our community bonds.
To sustain the connections forged during block parties, we plan regular street closures so that we can all come together at least once a year. We also keep all of the ornaments that our neighbours have decorated for the communi-tree and we put them all back up each year to keep the memories alive and strengthen our community bonds.
Through this project, we learned the importance of collaboration, effective communication, and adaptability. We recommend future organizers prioritize community engagement, leverage local resources, and remain flexible to accommodate diverse interests and needs.