School is out, the sun is shining and you’ve been itching to plan a neighbourhood barbeque to catch up with all the busy families on the block, and maybe to meet some of the new ones that moved in. But between finding an afternoon in downtown Toronto when most are available, and organizing the particulars, it’s easy to post-pone these kinds of events until the warm weather passes you by altogether. Below are some tips that will keep the party planning on track and make it a little bit easier on those hosting.
Most importantly, do not attempt to throw the event on your own. You’ll soon find yourself at the mercy of other people’s special requests, scheduling conflicts and in trying to accommodate everyone, you’ll have created a greater amount of work for yourself. If the idea of the block party is to engage the community, enlist some help from other neighbours and create a committee. This lightens the load through shared responsibility, and with every committee member taking charge of specific tasks and doing their own share, putting the event on won’t feel so stressful. Having a committee will also enable you to make concrete decisions faster, like setting the date and time.
Every great Toronto party also has a theme, it entices guests and encourages them to get creative about what they bring and what they wear, while giving your committee a jumping off point for everything from the decorations you choose to the food you serve. As well, decide if it will be a potluck, picnic, barbecue or if it will be catered by professionals. If the committee is providing the food, a reasonable ticket price to attend the event will ensure the its quality. If you choose to go the catered route, professional party planners will make certain the food arrives on time, is cooked and served promptly, and that there is enough for all attending. You can also provide your caterers with the theme, so they can prepare a variety of flavourful options.
If your heart is set on barbeque, caterers like The Food Dudes in Toronto specialize in providing that classic cook-out flavour, while bringing the picnic to you, allowing you to worry less. Request the style of barbeque you favour from Texas-style to Chicago-style, a customized menu will be created and all dishes will be prepared using the company’s brand-new smoker. If you prefer to have someone else do the barbequing while you entertain guests, their staff can also be made available to work the event.
Finally take advantage of the long and gorgeous days by planning an outdoor party that will go well into the evening, all while enjoying the best there is to find in food and in company. Every successful event has a strong team behind it, including all volunteers, committee members, and the reliable services of the staff providing food, beverage, décor and more. Don’t feel the need to go at the planning solo, rather focus on your forte, and allow others to take care of the rest.