This post brought to you by Char-Broil. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Faithfully Free.
Nothing is finer than summer in the Carolina's! We southerners really know how to throw awesome summer BBQ’s and neighborhood parties are just one of the many ways we celebrate. Planning the perfect neighborhood party can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Today I want to share some tips that will help you throw an amazing party your neighbors will be talking about all year.
Start planning your party for a few months in advance. It’s always a good idea to ask around for dates. Some neighborhoods host parties on holidays like Memorial Day and July 4th, but many families travel during these times so try to get an idea of who will be able to attend. While you can’t please everyone, you don’t want your party to be a total bust either!
Depending on the size of your neighborhood, and your availability, you may want to recruit some neighbors to help you plan and carry out your party.
If you are throwing a holiday party the theme is already set, if not you need to choose a theme. Will it be a “Hawaiian Luau” or maybe a “Southern Comfort” theme? Either way, pick a theme and plan around it. You don’t have to have a theme, but they can be lots of fun!
Once you've nailed down your theme, start thinking about food. What types of food would work well with your theme? You should plan to provide the “main dish” while asking your guests to bring a side, dessert, and/or beverages.
When planning events for the party send out an email asking neighbors if they have any ideas. Maybe someone knows a community service member who could bring over an ambulance, fire truck, or another cool vehicle. If it’s a farming theme consider hayrides for the kids. If it’s a sports theme maybe you can use neighborhood golf carts. The possibilities are endless, especially if you get together as a neighborhood to make these things happen!
If you want to keep it simple consider hiring a DJ, playing corn-hole or another fun activity (volleyball, swimming, kickball) for everyone to take part in. You can also provide jump ropes, hula hoops, and bubbles for the children.
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to start putting it into action. You need to prepare invites. You can send them by email, Facebook, and flyers (for neighbors you may not know). You can also post signs and flyers around the neighborhood. Be sure to include all important information in the invite. If you create a Facebook event you can have food sign-ups so everyone brings something different. This is also a great way to get people to RSVP.
Don’t forget to reserve important items like tables and chairs or have everyone bring their own chairs. If you need additional coolers, ice, trash cans, or even grills be sure to ask the community. The more affordable the party is, the more likely you are to host it again!
A week before the party starts gathering supplies. If you've asked the neighbors to supply plates, napkins, grills, or any other non-perishable supplies have them drop them off the weekend before the party so you know what you’re missing.
This is also a great time to break out the grills and make sure they are in working order. If you find that it’s time to buy an additional grill or replace your old grill because it just isn't cutting it, be sure to check out the new Char-Broil Kettleman Grill. This grill is loaded with features that will give you better control over your grilling experience (which is so important when grilling for guests!).
The Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal grill has temperature control, flare-up control, charcoal control, ash control, and even stability control. If you’re a “control freak” this grill is totally just for you! 😉 This grill also features a hinged, latching lid that never has to touch the ground during grilling which makes moving this baby around a breeze!
The day of the party should be a breeze if you have done everything ahead of time. Now all you have to do is start prepping the meat you’re planning to cook, throw up some decorations, and get ready to PARTY!
I hope you throw an amazing neighborhood party this summer! If you do be sure to send me some pictures so I can share your shindig on my Facebook page! We’d love to see how you throw down this summer!
Don’t forget to download my Neighborhood Party Planning Checklist here.