In the Fall of 2013 we had a crazy idea. What if we could create new rhythms of neighborliness centered around the four seasons? These rhythms could be easy on ramps to get to know new neighbors, and regularly reconnect with neighbors we already knew. Generally holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are centered around our friends and family, but maybe these new neighborly rhythms could be a creative way to build relationships with those we live next to. They might even be a fresh catalyst for the belonging and safety that many crave on our city blocks.
Six years ago we started with what we called a Citywide Pumpkin Potluck. The idea of the event was to put out a call via print and social media to find local residents that would be interested in bringing their block or complex together for a party. One way we thought we could make it easier on the hosts or co-hosts was to design a ‘Pumpkin Potluck Kit” The kit included a custom flyer to pass out to neighbors, name tags, yard signs for marketing, and a sign in sheet to help keep the party going long after. To our surprise eight neighbors ended up hosting our first Pumpkin Potluck, which was a huge success for us!
To keep the new neighborly rhythm going into the 2014 winter, we launched a Citywide Breakfast and in the Summer we launched our first Citywide Ice Cream Social. We have had over 100 hosts participate around the city in both of these popular events. It has been a natural way for many neighbors to stay up to date and connected to their block and neighborhood.
Next year we will be launching our Spring event, which is a Citywide Progressive Party. The party could be a breakfast, brunch, dinner or block beer hop. It is up to the hosts to create their block theme and vibe. What we like about this citywide event is that the party starts at one house or apartment and progresses on to two or more other homes or floors. We think this citywide event is going to be a hit as it progresses.
If you live in another city or country and are interested in bringing these ‘rhythms of neighborliness to your city. Please reach out to us. We would love the opportunity to share this idea with you and your city!
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org