Four Weeks Before: Hold a planning meeting and select the event date and time. Some cities allow temporary permits to block car traffic on streets. Recruit a volunteer to contact your town for information. Also ask neighbors to sign up to help with event setup, decorating, activities, and food. Don't forget cleanup duty!
Two Weeks Before: Ask a volunteer in charge of food to contact families to confirm which dishes they'll bring and determine how many people plan to be there.
This party is casual, colorful, and kid-friendly. Buy balloons for neighbors to tie to mailboxes, lampposts, fences, and trees. Arrange food tables in a central location. Have children make table coverings with butcher paper and chalk. For a festive glow after sunset, set up garden torches and strings of lights.
Kick it off with a parade. Let kids and their pets dress up and wear silly hats, and decorate tricycles and wagons.
Invite the local police or fire department to visit and ask them to give safety demonstrations and tours of their vehicles.
Play front-yard mini golf. Let families create their own holes and award inexpensive prizes for best designs.
Rock the street with music. Hook up a CD player outside or splurge on live music that everyone will enjoy.
A potluck picnic is the best way to share good eats with friends. Invite neighbors to bring their favorite appetizers, entrees, salads, and desserts.