OMG! It was more than I expected by far! I was concerned at first after what it meant to get a permit that I would feel overwhelmed with facilitating the Block Party, but I rose above my doubts and soldiered on and knock on every door that was required and found doors that I didn’t know existed and neighbours I have never met. ( lived in this neighbourhood for 30 years!. I had 100% positive response. We got approved for the permit and the next step was to reach out to other people who received grants for their block parties. Susan Rome and Faye were two that stood out and who helped me clarify what were the significant elements of a successful block party. One that I didn’t consider was the happiness of the facilitator. I was on the path of burnout, so I simplified the activities and focused on the two main areas potluck and music as a way to bring people together. Yes there was a gift exchange, collaborative artwork, bubbles, hula hoops, glitter tattoos and sidewalk chalk.
What I didn’t expect was the amount of dogs! Next time there will be a dog parade!
So many lovely pooches who brought in an element of joy to the event since they were all so well trained and happy to be part of it. I was able to hire a jazz quartet and a singer. They were both young and up and coming and were so talented and entertaining. We lucked out big time! So many of the neighbours came to me to tell me how much they appreciated that the block party happened. It seemed there was such a need for coming together and celebrating. There was diversity in age and cultural background. Newly arrived neighbours and ones that have been around longer than 30 years. People who owned home and some who lived in basement suites. I stood there at one point and just marvelled over the event. It was everything I imagined and so much more. We all know our neighbours just a bit more now and some a lot more. I am so ever grateful for this as I know that If I am in need ( not just a cup of sugar) but medical or another time sensitive concern, I know I can all up a neighbour to help me. Apparently statistically neighbours are faster to respond than friends or family.
Will I facilitate this again? You betcha I would! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to put on this event. It was meaningful and a lot of fun!