This year SE Tolman is having its first annual 4th of July Block Party between 52nd and 57th. I have lived on this block since 2000, since then there has never been a block party, and greeting neighbors was little to none.
This all changed when a new family moved to the block last June and reached across borders to introduce themselves. Their outward friendliness became the catalyst for homeowners that have lived on this block for multiple years to finally meet and become dear friends.
In the past year this block has become a community of neighbors and friends helping each other with gardening, providing meals, babysitting, dog sitting and much more. In the last few months I have met a massage therapist, a writer, a school teacher and counselor, a yoga instructor, avid gardeners, multiple musicians and many other interesting and friendly people. This 4th of July we hope to meet more neighbors and make more friends to enjoy this great neighborhood with.
Excitement for this block party has sparked some great ideas including a neighborhood BBQ and potluck, face painting, balloon tossing, pinatas playing instruments and so much more. Ideas for next year include a battle of neighborhood bands which we are very excited about.
Although the block party will not be barricaded this year due to lack of timing, we are hoping next year to do so. In lieu of officially closing the block, most of the party will be on homeowners properties as a roaming potluck with arts and crafts tables. Children at Play safety signs will be posted on both ends of the streets.
Block parties are a great way to meet your neighbors by having small events such as a luau, BBQ and even repair projects. A block party can be any event that that is no larger than 1-4 blocks for local residents and does not go past the 10pm hour. Amplified music is allowed but does require a permit from the City of Portland Noise Control Office. More information on block parties and permits can be found at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/.
Happy 4th of July everyone, Happy Block Partying . . . and Stay Safe!