How to host a block party in your neighborhood

Block a street from traffic and host a neighborhood cookout, an outdoor rollerskating rink, live music performance, or a Pride event.

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Invite your neighbors for a little midday fun.

Photo via Seattle Department of Transportation

In Seattle, we need only the tiniest excuse to go outside and enjoy the sweet summer air. But with Seattle’s block party permits, you can create a really solid reason to be outdoors for your whole neighborhood.

To help foster the city’s communities, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has created a free and relatively easy-to-use permit that allows Seattleites to block off traffic from neighborhood streets for anything like a cookout, outdoor rollerskating rink, live music performance, Pride events, or anything else you and your neighbors want to do together.

Here’s what you need to know.

What you’ll need to do

First, you’ll need to make sure your street qualifies. To avoid any traffic jams or major inconveniences to others, SDOT is keeping these permits open to just non-arterial streets. You can figure out what kind of street you live on using one of SDOT’s maps.

Then, of course, you’ll want to check in with your neighbors to make sure that they’re cool with the plan and get their feedback. SDOT also has special email templates and printable cards to send to your neighbors in case you feel a little shy about reaching out.

After that, make an SDOT account and fill out your permit.

A few more details

There’s a few things you’ll need to do and be aware of if your application is accepted — apart from all of the cool party planning, of course.

  • Make sure you have adults willing to hang out near the barricades in case neighbors, deliveries, or emergency vehicles need to get through.
  • You can invite food trucks, but make sure they fill out their own permit.
  • Make sure your event happens between 9 a.m. and dusk.
  • If you’re planning an event on a Healthy Street, the city has some extra resources they might be able to lend you.

Then it’s all just about prepping your signs and getting your party ready.

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