Do you know what to do in order to throw a 4th of July Block Party?  Well, I'm not a "Pro" myself, but I have had a little bit of experience in the party area.  That makes me an expert doesn't it?

First things first!

1. Notify the neighbors!- This is probably the most important part of the Block Party.  Nothing will kill a party faster than your "friendly" neighbors calling the Po Po on you in the first hour of your party.  Make sure to invite them over as well.  You might even find a little bit of help.

2.  Food- If you feed them, they will come.  This is one of the other most important rules to having a Block Party.  Good food and lots of it.   Plan a menu with your participating neighbors that will satisfy all kinds of appetites.  BBQ(burgers, brats, hot dogs, ribs, chicken).  Do not forget the sides either!  Sides are very important.  Especially corn on the cob. Mmmmm.  Or Potato salad.  I do like potato salad.

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3.  Decorate!- This is the fun part!  Make you Block Party a "Themed" one to invite even more fun(and trouble, depending on the theme).  Try doing a "First 4th Party" or a "Revolutionary" party for extra fun.  I've always wanted to do a "Pirate" themed party myself.  ARGHHHHHH!  Decorations only help to make the atmosphere more festive!

4.  Seating- Have plenty of seating for all of your guests.  Have them bring their lawn chairs, kitchen chairs or blankets even.  Provide the ones that you have on hand as well.  When the fireworks start, you want to be ready to sit back and watch the show!

5.  Drinks- Have lots on hand for all tastes.  Depending on if your's is a "Kid" friendly event or not(this should be decided in the beginning) you should still have beverages for all.  From pop, juice, water, tea to the adult beverages. Wine, beer, possibly a little stronger spirits for the ones that would like to part-take in a more celebratory way.

6. Good Music- Key to any good party, anywhere.  Great music!  It doesn't need to be out of a thousand dollar stereo, but it does need to be something that everyone can get along with.  Try putting you stereo outside(weather permitting) and rotating through different kinds of music.  You'll find this will help get conversation going with those neighbors of yours that do not know each other.  It's a great icebreaker!

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7.  Outdoor Games- Make sure your guests have something to do outside(weather permitting) or inside as well.  There's tons of games for outdoors like: ladder ball, horseshoes, bean bag toss.  What about a card game in the garage or house?  Or board games for young and old alike?  Keep them entertained!

8.  The Show- Be ready for the fireworks!  Let everyone know when they start, where they will start and help them find the best view for their own party of people.  This makes you a good host.  A Block Party host that they themselves will want to mimic.  Which is good.  This means that next year, they will host the party and then you will get to be the guest!  Phew!

Well there, you pretty much have it!  Now you know how to host a neighborhood Block Party with (hopefully) great success.  If not, well then I need to do more homework, don't I?