The block party is a wonderful way to create better relationships with your neighbors and create a stronger-knit community. Aurora allows neighbors to temporarily block off their streets.
Barricades are available without charge from the Neighborhood Services Department on a first-come, first-served basis with a $75 refundable deposit.
Educational services from the Aurora Police Department are available, as are promotional materials through the city of Aurora. A City Neighborhood Block Party License is required for the event (click on the button at the top of this page to complete the application online). Applications are generally available from May through September.
If a group wishes to hold their event in a city park, a permit may be obtained by calling 303.739.7213.
A Temporary Use Permit is required if the event organizer does not reside on the block where the party is taking place and/or if food or merchandise vendors are present at the event.
For more information, please call 303.739.7280 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Get to know your neighbors!
Successful Block Party Ideas
Get everyone involved. Ask your neighbors to join in on the planning. They will provide great suggestions for the block party. Help get the word out on the block. Build up interest by handing out flyers and recruit people to help get the block party set up.
Get the word out early. Advertise early and often. Give your neighbors two months notice so they can schedule their activities around this date.
Tell your neighbors on the flyer the kind of activities that are planned, to make it exciting and spark their interest such as free food, face painting, bicycle rodeo, sidewalk chalk painting and raffles.
Invite a representative from the police and get to know your Police Area Representative (PAR). Invite your ward council member. This may be a great opportunity to start a Neighborhood Watch group. Your Police Area Representative can help.
Solicit donations from local businesses. This is their chance to make their advertising dollars work for them. Good will goes along way. Many businesses are willing to provide gift certificates, donate store items that can be raffled, provide coupons for refreshments.
Create a block map. Make a master copy of your block map for everyone on your block so they can keep in touch. Find out about the talents and resources of the neighbors on your block.
How to organize your own block party
Block parties are great fun and a terrific way of getting to know your neighbors. Block parties have been recognized as a very positive and powerful way for people to connect on their blocks to build stronger, healthier, and more cohesive communities. One of the most important things to remember when organizing a block party is that it should be visible. The best way to do that is by closing off the street to traffic and having it in the street or having the party in someone's front yard or a series of front yards.
- Start talking to your neighbors about having a block party.
- Canvass the block and find one to two other people to help you. Kids are great resources!
- Have a planning meeting with others who are interested.
- Choose a date, time, and place (one to two months' notice).
- Create a flyer.
- Determine if your city or county requires permits, insurance, barricades, notification of police, etc.
- Identify volunteers to pick up permits, barricades, food, etc.
- Invite neighborhood police officers.
- Invite your city council representative, county commissioners, and/or other elected officials.
- Contact local paper for coverage if desired.
Recommendations for a Successful Block Party
- Choose a shady spot in the street.
- Have a barbeque, potlucks are great, too!
- Have games with prizes for children and adults, i.e. chalk art is great to draw in the street.
- Feature entertainment by residents.
- Take lots of pictures.
- Have sign-in sheets for participants.
- Barricade rental (if required)
- Permit and insurance (if required)
- Food and beverages
- Entertainment and decorations
- Take up a collection on your block.
- Ask area businesses and supermarkets to contribute.
- Have a bake sale on your block.
Quick Tips to Remember
- Don't organize a party alone. Ask a few neighbors for suggestions and tell them how they can help with as little as one hour of their time for delivering flyers or party set-up/clean-up.
- Advertise early and often. Two months' notice gives people the opportunity to schedule their other activities around the date.
- Announce there will be free stuff - food, music, face painting, prizes - to help boost attendance.
- Visit the businesses in your neighborhood to ask for donations. Grocery stores often give free food or supplies.
- Have a few small, but nice, door prizes from local record stores, restaurants, theaters and flower shops.
- Invite neighborhood kids to help plan the party. They can provide information on what kids want to do, what they'd enjoy eating, and what they can contribute to the event.
- Take pictures and show them around at all future parties.
- Have a party theme to make the party memorable. Examples include an open house where everyone starts at one house on the end of the block and visits each home and parties that are held to support a cultural, ethnic, or annual municipal celebration.