In a recent post, Angie wrote about the idea of starting a First Friday Party trend where neighbors and friends would get together on a regular basis for drinks and appetizers. The idea is a low-key party that is less about planning and more about connecting with friends and neighbors, face to face (rather than just on Facebook). Matt & I have been wanting to meet some more of our neighbors, so we decided to host a First Friday neighborhood party.
I used the First Friday Fiesta Invitation template available on Sparkler and invited everyone on my block. There were a few challenges to overcome, including not knowing how many people were coming (because I told people there was no need to RSVP – what was I thinking?) and overcoming my tendency to go overboard when planning parties (but the margarita machine was so worth it!).
A few of the highlights:
Frozen Margarita Machine–This was such a hit that every adult at the party had a margarita in their hand. Definitely renting this for our next party.
Self Serve Bar–With on the margarita machine the star attraction, we were able to keep the rest of the bar simple and DIY.
Bright Fiesta Décor–We used the free downloadable fiesta sign from Sparkler, bought an inexpensive piñata, paper lanterns, paper flags, a Mexican blanket, table runners, and colorful melamine platters.
Fun Music– We splurged on a new Sonos wireless speaker system and downloaded the Sparkler First Friday Playlist from Spotify. Having great tunes outdoors, where the party was, really created a festive atmosphere.
Homemade Churro Cupcakes– Our neighbor Molly, age 10, is a master cupcake baker and created these delicious (and pretty!) mini cupcakes for the party.
Busy, Happy Kids–We cleared out the garage for ping-pong, fixed the Foosball table, set up bocci-ball in the backyard, and bought an inexpensive tub of sidewalk chalk.
Neighborhood Map Board–Using Google Maps, I grabbed a screenshot of our neighborhood, enlarged it in Photoshop, added a title, and had it printed up and mounted. We provided colored pens and asked neighbors to decorate their house and write their names on the property. It was a great conversation piece!
Hanging out with Neighbors–The best part of the party, for sure, was the chance to see neighborhood friends and meet a few neighbors we didn’t know. It was also fun to be able to introduce neighbors that didn’t know each other and for the kids to make new friends.
Overall it was a big success and we received lot’s of appreciative comments, emails and even a hand-written thank you note, from neighbors of all ages.
If you’re thinking of hosting your own First Friday Party (or First Saturday Party, it’s flexible) we say “go for it!” Just consider asking for RSVPs, get a helper or two (thank you Angie for working tirelessly the day of party to help us get ready!), and be sure to take some nice party photos to share with neighbors and friends (and post in the Sparkler Party Gallery).