Perhaps you’ve recently moved to your neighborhood. You haven’t had an opportunity to meet very many of your neighbors yet. Planning a neighborhood Memorial Day party is a great way to do just that and have fun in the process.

Start planning at least a month in advance. This will give you plenty of time to go around the neighborhood, introduce yourself, and ask if they would be interested in the party. Get names and telephone numbers from each of them so you can keep in contact with them. Set up a planning meeting at your home or the neighborhood recreation center or club house if it has one.

Decide where the party will be held. Contact your city government to see if you must have a permit. This may be necessary if you want to close off the street and have an old-fashioned block party. If this isn’t possible, will the neighbor with the biggest yard allow you to have the party at their home?

Plan the layout of the party once you know the location. Where will the food be placed? How many grills will there be? Where will everyone sit? Will there be tables and chairs provided or will they each be responsible for bringing their own lawn chairs? These are all questions you’ll want to answer as soon as you can so you can let your neighbors know what is expected of them.

Set the date and time. Which day of the three-day weekend will the party be: Saturday, Sunday, or Monday? Once you have the what, when, and where, you can begin making fliers to hand out. Be sure to decide on an alternate date or location in case of rain. Don’t forget to ask everyone to RSVP so you know how many to plan for. This will ensure no one purchases more than necessary.

For the party itself, there will need to be food, beverages, paper goods, and condiments. Ask everyone to chip in so one family won’t be in charge of providing everything. Plan for everyone to either provide something for the party or be in charge of an activity.

Of course, if there are children in the neighborhood, you’ll also want to plan some games. Water balloon tosses, a game of Frisbee, croquet, or horseshoes are all activities both children and adults may enjoy. Be sure that if you choose a game or activity with water, you include that on the invitation or flier so everyone can be prepared.

Decorations don’t have to be elaborate. In fact, having tablecloths of red, white, and blue and a few patriotic balloons may be all you need. For those who choose to decorate more, try to keep your decorations so they can be used for the Fourth of July or used again next year.

Depending upon the location, do as much set up as you can the day before the party. If you have to wait until the day of the party, call everyone who is bringing something and ask them to meet you early to set up. This will ensure the party will go off without a hitch when guests start to arrive.

Once you know how to organize a neighborhood Memorial Day party, don’t let that stop you! Plan regular neighborhood get-togethers and you’ll soon find your neighbors are good friends. That’s the way it was in the past, isn’t it time it’s the way of the future?