How to Throw a Mountlake Terrace Block Party

According to a recent report almost one third of American have never interacted with their neighbors. There are many reasons for that, which I won't get in to here, but there is something you can do to change that statistic, at least on your block: throw a block party. 

Having just been the the process of throwing our first block party, I thought I'd share my experience on just how easy it is to do in Mountlake Terrace. In order to close your street you simply need to apply for a free Special Event Permit with the City. Instruction on how to do so are here. The City will provide you with road closure signs and some cones to warn drivers that the street is closed. We had our block party on a Saturday so the City dropped them off on Friday and picked them back up on Monday. 

Google "block party ideas" and you'll get tons of time-consuming ideas for things to plan. There were three families doing most of the planning and since this was the inaugural event we wanted to keep it fairly simple. We made some flyers a couple week beforehand and passed them out around the neighborhood as well as put some on utility poles. We did splurge and rented a bouncy house (about $200) which was a big hit with the kids. We brought out some grills and invited neighbors to bring something to BBQ, something to share, and something to drink. One of our families had a projector and screen so at dusk we put on a  movie, Zootopia, for the kids (many of the adults enjoyed it as well.) 

We also invited the MLT police to stop by and were visited by two different officers who brought temporary tattoos and flashing safety lights for the kids. About forty neighbors showed up, we had way more food and drinks than we needed and everyone had a great time. Someone at the City that I talked to said that typically they maybe get one or two requests for block parties but more recently that has increased to around five or six. Will yours be next?