The City of Lacombe is rolling out their Block Party program again this summer in order to create a more communal experience throughout the City.
“We encourage neighbourhoods to get together and have a neighbourhood block party to get to know each other,” Sonya Beauclair, City administrative assistant in Recreation and Culture, said. “We know that when people know their neighbours, they are more likely to look out for one another and create a safer community.”
This year, the City has revamped their registration process in order to create a streamlined system that will encourage people not only to have block parties, but register them as well.
“In the past, we have done three draws in June but this year we are doing one in June, July and August,” she said regarding the $100 prize block party organizers are eligible for.
Beauclair stressed that block parties are entirely a creation of the communities they are in.
“There is no minimum cost,” she said.
“They can do it as a potluck within their neighbourhood; they can have their neighbourhood chip in to go out and buy supplies for a big barbecue and if they really want to go all out, they could even hire a caterer.
“The cost is dependent on what they would like to do.”
The City is hoping to create more inclusive and welcoming neighbourhoods through the program
“It helps people feel more at home in their own neighbourhood because their neighbours are their friends,” she said. “You can have that extra community within your neighbourhood.”
Beauclair said the block party kit has everything communities need to get started.
“The kit has the applications you need to fill out to register your block party. It also has some information to help plan the event. With the draws, they do receive $100 to help purchase supplies and they can put that to whatever they want to help put on the party.
“Maybe they want a big cake to celebrate or maybe they want to buy burgers for everyone — they can use the money to their discretion,” she said.
Last year, there were seven registered block parties but Beauclair said that several groups did not register.
“That is why we are changing it up this year so people can have them in June, July or August,” she said.
“We want to get people registered and that is why we are extending the draw.”
Along with the kit, the City will also allow communities to block off a portion of the road for their block parties.
“You still have to keep a lane of traffic open in case emergency vehicles or anyone else needs to get by,” she said.
“They can get barricades from the City and then barricade half the road.
“All the information is online at lacombe.ca/blockparty and we are just finishing up revamping the kit to make it simpler to register,” she said. “Once they have filled out the forms, they can submit them to me.”
She added, “We do have an activity kit which comes with games people can book out as well.”