- Block party
A block party is a large public celebration in which many members of a single
neighborhoodcongregate, either to observe an event of some importance or simply for mutual enjoyment. The name comes from the form of the party, which often involves closing an entire city blockto vehicle traffic. Many times, there will be a celebration in the form of playing musicand dance. Block parties gained popularity in the United Statesduring the 1970s. Block parties were often held outdoors and power for the DJ's sound system was taken illegally from street lights. This was famously referenced in the song "South Bronx" by KRS-Onewith the line:
"Power from a street light made the place dark. But yo, they didn't care, they turned it out."
Traditionally, many inner city block parties were actually held illegally, because they did not file for an event permit from the local authorities "if needed". However, police turned a blind eye to them.
suburbs, block parties are commonly held on holidays such as Fourth of Julyor Labor Day. Sometimes the occasion may be a theme such a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" for a new family or a recent popular movie. Often block parties involve barbecuing, lawn games such as Simon Saysand group dancing such as the Electric Slide, the Macarena or line dancing.
In other usage, a block party has come to mean any informal public celebration. For example, a block party can be conducted via
televisioneven though there is no real block in the observance. The same is true for the Internet.
The block party is closely related to the
beach party. The British equivalent is the street party.
In many small towns, the local fire department may also participate in the party, bringing out trucks that they display for show.
Block parties remain a part of American culture. An example of a contemporary block party is the one held by
Ronnie Mundof the Howard Sternshow in July 2006. [http://www.marksfriggin.com/news06/7-24.htm#mon]
History of the block party
Block parties are reported as a
World War Iinnovation originating from the East Side of New York City, where an entire block was roped off and patriotic songs sung and a parade held to honor the members of that block who had gone off to war. ["Block Parties", The Outlook, 16 October 1918; reviewed 2008-09-20.] [Fiocco v. Carver, 234 NY 219 (1922)]
Dave Chapelle's Block Party
* [http://www.streetparty.net Streetparty.net] - For a detailed manual on how to plan a block party
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