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How to Host a Community BBQ

May is ‘BBQ Month’, and the weather couldn’t be more perfect for a little outdoor grilling. A great way to get your neighbours together and spend some time with the people in your neighbourhood, is to host a community BBQ. If you want to plan a neighbourhood BBQ this spring or summer, here’s some tips to do it right.

  • Poll the neighbourhood for participation, get the numbers right off the hop
  • Ask for volunteers, and designate people for: invitations/flyers, food, donations, permits, location, games/activities, cleanup, etc. Things will go a lot smoother if you get help.
  • When choosing a location, be mindful of what’s best for what you’re planning. Will you have it on your street, in a cul-de-sac, at someone’s property, at a park? Different places require different permits, especially if alcohol will be consumed. If you’re on someone’s private property you don’t need a permit, but City streets or parks you would need one.
  • Spread the word by getting help with invitations, set out flyers or knock on doors and make phone calls.
  • When deciding on food, you can either pool money from every household to get a budget for the BBQ and do communal grilling and food (hot dogs, burgers, etc.). The other option is to host a potluck and have everyone bring something. A money-saving idea is to ask local businesses in your neighbourhood to donate food.
  • Make sure you have enough bins for recycling and garbage. To keep things more eco-friendly, ask everyone to bring their own dishes and reusable cups.
  • Make sure you have some activities, perhaps a sports game or some kind of competition. Some communities go all out with bouncy houses or kid entertainment or live music. Again, depends on the location, timing and permits.

And if you need the perfect excuse to host a community BBQ, a reminder that June 17th is Neighbour Day in Calgary.

Held on the third Saturday of June, Neighbour Day is a time for Calgarians to celebrate our neighbourliness and strong community spirit by organizing community events such as front yard barbecues, garden parties, picnics, clean-ups or afternoon teas in a local park. [City of Calgary]

If you’re looking for tips on how to plan the best YYC Neighbour Day for your community on June 17th, the City of Calgary has some great tips on their website here.


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