Highland Park’s very first Neighbour Day block party

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Welcome to Highland Park!

Neighbour Day is an inspiring and easy way to make our community even better. The second annual Neighbour Day happened on June 20, 2015 and over 70 official events happened throughout the city. Many communities, like Highland Park, hosted their very first block party this year. 3 Things for Calgary reached out to 3 different communities (Erlton, Highland Park and New Brighton ) to share how their day was organized, what it means for Calgary, and what’s next. For more information on how to host your own Neighbour Day (or any day for that matter) party, you can check out the City of Calgary’s helpful information page.

So, once again, welcome to Highland Park!

Q: What inspired you to participate in Neighbour Day?

A few of us were together having drinks while our kids played one night. And we got to talking about how much fun an old fashioned block party would be. Some of us have known each other for years, others are getting to know each other. But there are many new faces and families on the street as well as many more kids. We knew that our street, like many other streets in Calgary, was in transition. When Neighbour Day was announced, we decided to just go for it and started planning.

Q. Neighbour Day has struck a chord with Calgarians. Why do you think that is?

I think many people miss the days of the past when neighbours talked, connected, and really got to know each other. People really value a sense of community and Neighbour Day is the perfect opportunity to create that sense of community.

Q: In the interests of inspiring others to take action in support of making Calgary even better:

What was easy about organizing your Neighbour Day event?

Everything was easy because we had a lot of support and a lot of help. Once we knew everyone was on board, it made the whole thing a lot of fun.

What was challenging?

It was a bit challenging to figure out who to include (people beyond our block) and where to draw the line. Deep down we knew that having a smaller “street party” would offer greater opportunities to get to know one another.

Q: What’s your advice for people who might want to host a Neighbour Day event next year?

Just get the ball rolling and don’t overthink things. Also, don’t rely on email to engage people. Go door to door with invitations so that people can get excited about the event.

Q: What’s next? In other words, has your Neighbour Day event resulted in any new community actions or events?

We’re sure that this will be the first of many block parties. Everyone had a great time and said they look forward to the next one.

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