One of the great joys when we moved to our current neighborhood was finding that folks were running a block party on our street every year. We actually stopped doing it a few years ago because the volunteer support petered out, but in its heyday the block party was a solid day of fun for everybody in the family, and it was literally on our doorstep.
I found some pictures in our photo archive from 2004, one of the peak years of the block party. Here I am in front of our house with young Anna… can’t say why neither of us decided to smile for the picture:
I also look at that picture and think, “Hedges! We used to have hedges around our yard!” It’s been a few years now.
Nick got picked out of the crowd during a magic show to serve as a helper for the magician. Nick isn’t kneeling in these pictures… he’s just five years old:
Then we have miss Maria, who was entranced with all of the girly options at the party – face painting, flowers made of balloons, and hula skirts made of plastic grass:
Two funny stories about the block party.
First, we had a noise complaint come in one year because the DJ was playing his music pretty loudly. The funny thing is that the complaint came from a homeowner nearly a mile (1.6 km) away from our street. The sound of the party was carrying out from the neighborhood and across a valley, and apparently the folks on the other side of the valley could hear the music plain as day.
Second, every year the more boisterous partygoers would bring fireworks to set off at night in the intersection at the far end of the block relative to our house. One year we woke up the next morning to start cleaning up and found a Roman candle, previously lit but unexploded, in the bushes in front of our house. I can only guess that it misfired and landed there instead of exploding in the sky. I’m pretty grateful it didn’t set our house on fire.
(Okay, that second story wasn’t quite funny.)
We miss the annual block party now, but at the time it was an ideal way for us to get to know our neighbors, and it’s nice to be able to greet people by name when we pass on the street. Looking at the kids in these pictures, I simply can’t get over how much they’ve grown in five years’ time.