Dining          Events          A&E          Style          The Daily Mil          Blogs          Photos          Guides          Magazine
Smells like community spirit
How to throw a block party to remember in the Brew City.

Illustration by Toby Triumph
3 months before the party
If you’re not the alpha organizer in your neck of the woods, find out who is, and enlist his or her help. Every block has one, and they’ll feel slighted if they aren’t a central part of the fun.

Reach out to Germaine Speth (dpwspecialevents@milwaukee.gov), the point person for permits at the Department of Public Works, or visit city.milwaukee.gov/specialevents.gov to submit an application for a block party permit.

Get your neighbors to sign on to the plan. According to Speth, there’s no hard-and-fast quota, but the city wants you to make a “good-faith effort” to get the signatures of everyone on your block.

1 month before the big day
DPW will share your application with the Milwaukee Police Department and your local alderman, who you should consider reaching out to, as he or she will have final say on approval. That being said, you can expect green lights all around, so long as you followed the above steps and aren’t asking to barricade a major thoroughfare.

Once you have approval, finalize your plans. The city will set up traffic barricades, but that’s it. You’ll want to draw up a plan for food, seating, shade and entertainment, including a playlist (see below).

Divvy up responsibilities. Making the event a BYOB affair will cut down on headaches, as will assigning out potluck categories.

1 week before showtime
Remember the children. If you want to go big, reach out to a party store such as Willie Fun Events (williefunevents.com) to secure bounce castles, movie screens or a photo booth. Cheapskates might try a soccer ball or cardboard boxes. Kids love those things.

Think about cleanup responsibilities and ask for help before the big day so nobody is surprised – or vanishes – when it’s time to haul away the party’s rubbish.

Be considerate and, if requested, turn down your jams. “If there’s a problem,” Speth warns, “we’ll never issue you a permit again.”

You must login to post a comment. Login or Register

MOST Viewed
Droning On
POSTED 11/6/2014

Build-Out...And Up
POSTED 12/2/2014

Till Debt Do Us Part
POSTED 8/26/2014

History In The Making
POSTED 10/8/2014

MOST Commented
Not the Real Glenn Grothman
POSTED 8/26/2014

Brownie Points
POSTED 12/2/2014

September 2014 Reviews
POSTED 8/26/2014

Buying In
POSTED 8/26/2014

The Littlest Libraries
POSTED 8/26/2014