‘Block Party in a Box’ Rolled Out to Elgin Residents
The City of Elgin announces its ‘Block Party in a Box’ is available for reservations. The ‘Block Party in a Box’ (BPB) is a trailer filled with all things necessary to host a block party and get to know your neighbors: tables, chairs, pop-up tents, entertainment and yard games, barricades and safety signs. The BPB is free to reserve, and City staff will handle drop-off and pick-up. The BPB can be reserved as part of the block party special events permit process at cityofelgin.org/blockparty.
The idea originated from Councilman Dustin Good, who had heard from residents that they wanted a way to improve their block parties without having to purchase multiple one-time use items.
“I’m thrilled to offer this new amenity to Elgin to help foster positive neighbor to neighbor interactions as much as possible,” said Councilman Good. "My hope is that Elgin residents throw block parties not just to celebrate good food, music and conversations, but to also use these events as a catalyst towards building stronger neighborhoods. These types of events have been intentionally used in other communities as a way to build camaraderie, greet new neighbors, share information and organize block cleanups."
The BPB was created to enable Elgin residents and local groups to host their own events, like block parties, without the added expenses of supplies such as tables and chairs. After research into what other communities have done and what our residents use most, Special Events Coordinator Kate O’Leary compiled a comprehensive list of equipment and supplies that ranges from street barricades to a portable projector and screen to volleyball and bocce ball sets.
“The idea was to remove as many barriers as we could for our residents,” said O'Leary. “The best way for us to do that was by creating this fully stocked mobile unit for our community.”
The BPB made its debut at the Eastside Neighborhood Garden’s event, Art Experience, in June. It was then featured in this year’s Fourth of July parade.
City staff also worked to make sure reserving and accessing the BPB is simple. Residents are required to complete a block party application and pay the $10 application fee in order to hold a block party; reserving the BPB is now a simple check box on that application with a $50 refundable deposit. Reservations for the BPB will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Staff will handle dropoff/pickup of the BPB. For weekend events, it will be dropped off on a Friday and retrieved the following Monday.
For more information and to complete an application to host a block party in your community, visit cityofelgin.org/blockparty.
SOURCE: City of Elgin.