Block Party

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Community Block Party Program this Summer! We loved seeing neighbours get together to share food and fun, build friendships and celebrate our community.

A special thank you to Dynamic Equipment Rentals, PoCo Freshmart and the Downtown PoCo BIA for sponsoring the program, and to the Port Coquitlam Firefighters Hot Summer Nights team for their support!

We look forward to more celebrations in 2023!

Why host a Block Party?

Throwing a block party is a terrific way to meet your neighbours, build a sense of neighbourhood, show your PoCo Pride, and just plain have fun!

For many generations, block parties have served as a way for neighbours to meet each other. You do not need to live in a single-family home to be involved in a block party. Block parties can take place in common spaces in townhouse complexes, in front of apartment buildings or in a park. A block party is simply a group of neighbors working together to organize a gathering in their neighborhood.

So what are you waiting for? Gather a couple of neighbours, set a date, and invite others to join in!

Top 10 Reasons to Hold a Block Party

  1. To have fun — no excuse or reason is needed to celebrate.
  2. To increase the sense of belonging to the community.
  3. To organize a neighbourhood Block Watch or Neighbourhood Preparedness Program.
  4. To meet your neighbours – knowing who belongs to the neighbourhood increases the ability to identify strangers or safety concerns.
  5. To make connections within the community, such as exchanging skills, recipes or gardening tips.
  6. To welcome someone new to your neighbourhood.
  7. To organize a babysitting co-op, share walking to school duties or find new friends for your children.
  8. To plan a campaign for traffic slowdown, better lighting, a new neighbourhood park or other resident concerns.
  9. To close the street for one day for neighbourhood activities such as rollerblading, street hockey or dancing.
  10. To meet some of the longtime residents in the neighbourhood and learn more about your neighbourhood’s history.

Planning Your Block Party

Follow these easy steps to plan a successful block party:

1. Make a Plan

Engage a few neighbors to plan the party. Try to think of the planning process itself as an opportunity to have fun and make some lasting friendships. Try to involve neighbors you don’t know well who may know other neighbors you don’t know well. Don’t stress over planning – sometimes the most casual gatherings are the most fun.

Choose a Location. Decide where you want your block party to be held. The City can provide barricades to close off cul-de-sacs, complex entrances or a local road if you want to hold activities right on the street. When considering Block Party street closures, safety is the priority. If you are on a major or busy street, including collector or arterial routes, a nearby park may offer a viable alternative with the consumption of alcohol now allowed in many City parks. Learn more at portcoquitlam.ca/alcohol-in-parks.

Choose a Date. Try to pick a date 3 to 4 weeks in advance to allow plenty of time for planning, receiving approval for a Block Party street closure, purchasing supplies and inviting the whole neighbourhood.

Decide on Activities. You may want to include some games and activities to add to your gathering. Icebreakers and lawn games (such as cornhole or ladder ball) are a great way to get people mingling. The Block Party application also includes the option to request a visit from the Port Coquitlam Fire Department through the Hot Summer Nights program, giving participants an opportunity to check out a fire truck and learn about home fire safety.

Decide on Food. What is a party without food? A potluck is a great way to share the work and experience a variety of fares and flavors. You may want to encourage everyone to label any homemade dishes with ingredients to help your neighbours navigate allergies and food restrictions.

2. Get Neighbours’ Permission

Block parties applying for a street closure require at least 3 neighbors from 3 different addresses to co-sign on your application and for all residents of the street to be invited. Make sure that you have full names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your co-signers before filling out a Block Party application.

3. Apply Online

Now that you have the basics for your Block Party figured out, it’s time to apply for a Block Party permit. Please apply for your permit at least two weeks before the date of your gathering – the earlier, the better. City staff will follow up with you to review the conditions of holding a Block Party, as well as provide you with your permit and instructions for picking up your barricades.

Note: It is your responsibility to ensure adequate insurance coverage, when required, is in place for your block party. Block Party Permits do not include liability insurance. 

Block Party Request Form

4. Arrange to pick up your barricades

Your Block Party permit letter will confirm your approval for a road closure and include information about any additional restrictions you should be aware of, as well as instructions for how to pick up your barricades.

5. Deliver Invitations

Once your event is confirmed, it’s time to invite your neighbours! Download our Block Party invitation template here or our printer-friendly Block Party invitation template here.

Try to deliver invitations at least two weeks before the party to allow people time to plan. Invitations are most effective if they are delivered in person. You may also want to put reminders in people’s mailboxes about a week before the party.

6. Set Up

If you are closing off your street for your block party, please ensure you have picked up your barricades in advance, following the instructions outlined in your permit. Please ensure that you have access to a truck or van capable of transporting barricades.

7. Observe neighborhood courtesies and the City’s rules and regulations for street closures

Make your block party a positive experience for all of your neighbors, even those who choose not to attend. Make it easy for neighbors to get out of their driveway and through the street. Remember to keep noise levels low after 10 pm.

Capture your block party!

The City would like to see neighbourhoods capture their Block Parties this year. Take some photos and tag the City on social media or send them to blockparty@portcoquitlam.ca.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Call for Sponsors

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Sponsors can support additional activities that will add fun to gatherings, including bouncy castles, face painting, games and balloons.

Email our block party team at blockparty@portcoquitlam.ca or apply to sponsor below!

Contact

Rob Loxterkamp
Recreation Specialist, Volunteer Services & Neighborhood Development
Tel 604.927.7953
Email blockparty@portcoquitlam.ca