Night to Unite is Roseville’s version of National Night Out. It’s always held the first Tuesday of August. For 2017 the official date is August 1st. The Roseville Police Department does a great job with this event, so check out the City Website for more information: http://ci.roseville.mn.us/1945/Night-to-Unite. Be sure to register – you could win a catered dinner!!!
While Sherry is a pro at community building, Kathy’s first foray came in 2011. She jumped in with both feet and joined a Community Engagement Task Force. The actual results of the task force were mixed, but she met a great community organizer who encouraged her to hold a Night To Unite Block Party that year. Haden Bowen held her hand every step of the way for the first party, and this year will be the 7th annual party! Now Kathy wants to help others the way Haden helped her!!
What does it take to host a party? This is Kathy’s perspective:
Decide to “just do it”. At Do Good Roseville we always believe that whoever shows up is exactly who was meant to be. I will confess before the first party I did ask the one and only neighbor I had met before if she would sit in my yard with me so I wasn’t all alone if no one else came 🙂 When I gave out invites, 4 of my neighbors said they had always thought about doing it, but….didn’t. If you host it, they will come!
Decide if you want food and drinks. I suggest low key for the first one. I decided I could buy some ice cream and some lemonade, so I called it an Ice Cream Social. 7 years later, and we’re still doing the same thing because it’s so easy. Some years I put out a little jar for small donations to help cover the cost. Potlucks are another great option. Do what feels right for you!
I usually have a cooler with ice, a big bucket of ice cream and ice cream cones. You can go bigger and have bowls and spoons and toppings. One year I didn’t feel like scooping so I just bought some ice cream bars at Sam’s Club. I also have a big pitcher of powdered lemonade so I can easily make more if I need it.
Invite your neighbors. All you need is a simple invite to hand out or put on your neighbors’ doors. Because I believe this is sooo important, if you hold your first Night to Unite party this year, I will make a super easy to use door hanger invite for you FOR FREE!! Simply download an order form. Here is a .pdf version: Night to Unite 2017 Door Hanger Request final and here it is as a Word document: Night to Unite 2017 Door Hanger Request final. Just fill it out and send it to me!
Seating. You can tell people to bring a lawn chair. We’ve gotten fancy and now I get tables from a neighbor, but most of the night people just stand around talking.
Put a sign in your yard. I made a homemade sign and put it out the week of the party. You don’t have to do this unless it’s easy. Now I have a realtor neighbor who lends me her signs to use.
Remember – register your party with the City. If you do this, there is a chance the Police Department or Fire Department will visit your party! See the link above. The first year I forgot I had done that, and was very surprised when the Police drove up and stopped at my house!
ENJOY IT! Every neighborhood needs just one person who is willing to make the effort. Let that person be you. You’ll be glad you did!