It's really not too difficult organising a neighbourhood barbecue in your own street. Many of Tawa's streets are cul-de-sacs which lend themselves to having a spot "out on the street" to get together. My own street, Brasenose Place, with 19 residences, is such an example. Not that other sorts of streets can't work out something - perhaps someone's front yard!
About three weeks before the event, I discussed the idea with three lots of neighbours, ones I knew reasonably well. They were all enthusiastic. Part of my plug was the simplicity of a few of us rolling our barbecues 50 to 100 metres to the top of our cul-de-sac and cooking and eating together. We'd invite the rest of the street to join us but, if no-one else wanted to, there would be at least three households dining together. Another two lots of neighbours were subsequently invited in person, the remainder by means of a flyer in their letterbox, 12 to 14 days before the event. Click on that flyer above to go to a Word document. You can adapt that to organise your own street barbecue.
The only other "promotion" I did was to plant a little sign near the cul-de-sac entrance 3 to 4 days before the event. That's shown above too.
The weather was ideal and 37 people took part in our street barbecue, 13 out of 19 residences. It was a great occasion, people speaking to others they'd never met before. One lot of new neighbours had the chance to meet others in the street. I expected things to have wound up by 7.30pm, but it was an hour later before the last of us headed indoors to catch the election results. And yes, the food was superb too!
I also started a neighbourhood list of names, house numbers, phone numbers, etc. Once that's been completed and okayed by everyone, I will distribute it to each participating household. Amongst other things it will enable us to keep in touch better and to "look out" for each other over the holiday period, etc.
The photos below record something of the occasion. Click on each to go to much bigger shots. We'll have another street barbecue on the weekend of "Neighbours' Day Aotearoa", 24-25 March 2012. Hopefully another 50 or so Tawa streets will be doing the same that weekend.
- Malcolm Sparrow