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Super-Easy Neighborhood Parties

posted in: Community, Fun Stuff

Neighborhood parties are the easiest of all parties to organize, I’m here to report.  For the recent party shown here, I printed and distributed the invitations a month before.  Then Noah in 2 Westway distributed most of the reminder notices a week before the party, and people took care of everything else – bringing food, drinks, and chairs.  Oh, and I helped set up the badminton and croquet sets.

party in 5 Court Ridge Road


But here’s the best part:  for this party, no home needed to be cleaned! Because invitees were residents of five adjoining courts, they could all go home to use their own bathrooms.

party in 5 Court Ridge Road

party in 5 Court Ridge Road



In the case of 5 Court Ridge, where the party took place and which had 100% attendance at the event, the party was also an opportunity to welcome its newest resident – Lindsey Dodson, shown here with her friend Elliot.

Bigger, Better, even Easier Parties?

According to Steve Oetken, Greenbelt Museum docent and tour-giver,  Old Greenbelt was organized by court and by superblock with the goal that both would be units of neighborhood identity and cohesion, so next year we may ramp this up and invite the whole superblock.  That’s about 14 courts, everything west of Westway.

I say the more the merrier, and the better chance of having live music, which was once a big part of 6 Court parties – until the key people moved away.  In my former neighborhood (in Takoma Park) we had block parties that drew 80-100 people and a wild assortment of live music – from fiddle to bagpipe to whole rock bands – and it was the highlight of the year.

To make parties of any size easier, it’s a big help if someone in each court volunteers to spread the word, especially via email to those who use email.  Over the winter we’ll try to enlist folks to be their court communicators for purposes of partying – and for who knows what other good purposes?  Neighborhood email lists are very useful, and very neighborly.

Thanks to Kathy Labukas for the use of her great photos!

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com.

3 Responses

  1. Lola Skolnik
    | Reply

    It was amazing how many people I met who live across the street and I had never met them before! Thanks for organizing, Susan, and thanks to everyone for making this a fun and delicious event. Can’t wait til next time.

  2. Susan
    | Reply

    Tim, reading this reminded me that Noah helped get the word out about the party, so I added that to the story.
    So about next year, let’s do it!

  3. Tim Cohen-Mitchell
    | Reply

    Great article, Susan. Thanks for making the party happen. I am so bummed I was out of town. Next year – definitely!

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