Creating community through neighborhood activities and volunteer projects.

Believing that strong communities create a stronger city, Mayor Michael B. Hancock is proud to launch Denver Days, a new citywide effort to help neighbors get to know each other and get involved with their communities by throwing block parties, organizing service projects and hosting neighborhood activities. 

The city has paved the way for our 2nd year of Denver Days, which begins August 2 and runs through August 10, by streamlining the process and providing a tool kit to help make it easy. See some great event ideas below to get you started today! If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at denverdays@denvergov.org

“When I finally got to know my neighbors, my house became a home.  - Harold Brewer, Skyland resident

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    Preserve Your Event in History

    Reserve your place in history and archive it online with the Denver Public Library's Creating Your Community social archive.

    Throw a Block Party!

    Prepare your block party with the help of our handy tool kit. It will give you tips on organizing, creating committees, managing budgets, creative activity ideas and more. You can also download and customize our full-color Denver Days flyer for your event.

    Creating a community within your block/street/neighborhood
    Knowing your neighbors, and them knowing each other, creates a strong community. Organizing events such as block parties – interacting with those who live closest to you – begins to build a whole new sense of belonging and camaraderie that will foster a happier, healthier place to live.

    These goals include:
    • Fun: Neighbors who socialize more tend to have more fun, especially as their comfort level grows with one another.
    • Safety: By having a sense of community, neighbors are more apt to look out for each other’s family and property as they feel more of a connection to each other.
    • Community Action: When action needs to be taken within the community, mobilization efforts will be much more efficient.
    • Dispute ResolutionDisputes may arise between neighbors, but those with a better sense of one another can usually resolve their issues much more quickly and in a low-key manner.

    In other words, a neighborhood that is a community is far more powerful than a neighborhood that is a collection of families and houses.

    Types of Parties
    Before getting started planning a party, you will want to consider what kind of party is the best fit for you and your area.  One key factor is how large the party will be, as that impacts the permitting requirements, location and other logistical needs (e.g. bathrooms). 

    Here are a few options, based on the capacity of you and your committee:

    • Block Party (Suggested for up to 50 people)
      • Potluck Style: This is the simplest (and least expensive) method of organizing a party, and the easiest to coordinate without contact information for your neighbors. 
      • Catered: This is easier if you know many of your neighbors but could be feasible if your flier indicates that you will collect a small amount from every person who comes to eat.
    • Neighborhood Party (Suggested for 40-250 people)
      Parties for an entire neighborhood usually require renting a location or obtaining a permit for a picnic area in a park to ensure enough space for everyone.  These parties also require more coordination, so having a committee of at least 4 or 5 people can make a big difference.
    • Regional Party (For 100 or more people)
      Larger parties for an entire region or 100 or more people obviously have their own requirements, including but not limited to insurance, permits for public locations and a larger organizing committee.  For larger parties, you may also need to arrange and pay for trash and/or recycling pickup.

    Please Note: If you want to hold your party at a park or close a street, see the 'Appendices on Park Permits and Restrictions' or 'Street Closures Procedures.'

    Leadership: How to avoid doing everything yourself
    All it takes to create a successful party is ONE PERSON deciding to play a leadership role—that of Party Captain. Party Captains don’t have to do everything themselves. In fact, once you get the ball rolling, you may do very little. Here are some ideas for the leaders you will need and some of their key tasks:

    • Party Captain:
      Defines the vision, identifies a location, recruits leaders
    • Potluck / food leader(s):
      Decides menu, organizes food placement, seating, tables and other equipment
    • Entertainment / Activities Coordinator:
      Plans entertainment, location, equipment, supervision and talent
    • Communications leader
      Communicates with the neighborhood, organizes, posts and distributes fliers
    • Fundraising:
      Plans and organizes donation needs, coordinates donation items and donation goals, and controls and records funds
    • Committee Logistics:
      Focuses on the event's "Big Picture," manages set up and clean up of the event, and plans and records attendee registration

    Order of planning and organization
    Planning a party should start about two to three months before the event. This doesn't mean that there is two months worth of work to do, rather that some things (like block closure requests) need to be handled well in advance of the actual party.

    2 – 3 Months Ahead:

    • Recruit leaders
    • Host first organizational meeting 
    • Define your territory and party size
    • Define the location
    • Create a budget
    • Start working on the “to do” list
    • Sketch out a plan for the event
    • Start getting the word out

    2 – 3 Weeks Ahead

    • Second organizational meeting
    • Second flier or outreach
    • Start collecting money
    • Create Day of Party timeline 

    Day of Party

    • Coordination meeting
    • Attendee registration
    • HAVE FUN!

    Park Permits and Restrictions

    If you want to use park picnic space, you will need to reserve it in advance through Denver Parks and Rec to ensure it is available for your party. A permit is required if you expect 25 or more people.  Most alcoholic beverages are not allowed in picnic areas in parks.  Check your location for details.  Learn more...

    Street/Alley Closures

    Public Works Permit Operations is your single point of contact for block party permits. The permit is free.

    In addition to the free permit, and to encourage neighbors to gather during Denver Days, the city is waiving its requirement for block party insurance. Applicants who still wish to purchase insurance for their event are provided with an easy way to do so. 

    Download block party guidelines

      • First organizational meeting (2 months prior to party)
        Come up with a time and location for the initial meeting and encourage neighbors to participate.
      • Getting the word out/inviting your neighbors
        Reach out personally to those you know, invite others with a flier that covers the basics: Who? What? When? Where? Why?
      • First To-Do List
        Take notes of the many ideas that come out of your first meeting so that you can put together a master to-do list, broken out into categories. Include specific tasks and the dates they need to be completed. 
      • Make a Budget
        Prepare a budget so that you know where you will be spending money and how much you have to collect.
      • Second organizational meeting (21 days prior to party)
        Cover things like what you've accomplished so far, problems that have arisen, what still needs to be done and what resources are still needed. Again, take notes and add them to your master list.
      • Collecting Money (21 days prior to party)
        If collecting money for the party, make sure to notify people in both your first and all following announcements for the event. You may even want to print tickets to keep track of who has already paid.
      • Second communication (14 days prior to party)
        Remind people about the party, the date and any updates on what has been accomplished so far. You can also remind them to bring something to the pot luck or request anything you may still need.
    • Hamburgers
    • Hot dogs
    • Veggie burgers
    • Brats
    • Cold sandwiches
    • Salads
    • Condiments
    • Watermelon
    • Chips / dips
    • Side dishes (good idea to know what each house is bringing so you don’t end up with 30 potato salads as all of your side dishes)
    • Desserts

    Party Day Organizational Meeting

    On the day of the event, party leaders should meet 3-4 hours in advance to get organized and begin set up.

    For event setup

    • Ask everyone who is loaning tables and chairs to bring them to the dining area
    • Set up tables and put on plastic table cloths
    • Set up all of the cups, cutlery, condiments, napkins
    • Set up bins designated for recycling; make sure they are clearly marked
    • Set up big garbage cans (place several heavy-duty garbage bags in the bottom of each can before you set up the first bag so that when the bag gets filled and removed, you have other bags ready to go)
    • Set up staging areas for kids’ activities
    • Set up the registration table
    • Set up the tents/umbrellas for shade
    • Identify people to assist with clean up following the event

    During the event:

    • Coordinate the emptying of trash cans – assign one person to each trash can
    • Coordinate a monitor for kids’ staging area in half-hour rotations
    • Coordinate who will cook food, if applicable

    After the event:

    • Send thank you cards
    • Send follow up information and reminders for activities or tasks after the event

    Host a post-event meeting
    A post-event meeting can be accomplished as informally as the first meeting. Let everyone on the block or in your community know when and where it is happening. To begin the meeting, set a constructive stage for discussion by pointing out the positives of your event. Allow others to chime in.  Then ask people what could be done to make it better next year. Try to keep the discussion positive by being open about things that did not work too well. Every suggestion, comment and criticism is a gift that will improve next year’s party.

    Also talk to people one-on-one to get their feedback and ideas. Some people will feel more comfortable with this more private format. While there might be a little bit of constructive criticism, most of what you will hear will be great ideas for next year that may never have occurred to you. Take notes or you will forget half of the ideas!  Create a file of all the notes you've generated along the way and break them out for next year.  Make sure to get contact information for anyone who volunteers to help next year.

    What else needs to be done?
    Just after the party is a great time to begin conversations about what the neighborhood wants. People will be inspired to get involved in community projects with their neighbors. 


    Register your event and help us follow participation in this year’s Denver Days celebration!

    Organize a Service Project

    Service projects are a great way to help improve your neighborhood while at the same time building a sense of community. These ideas will help you get started today.

    Street or Alley Clean Up

    Hold a street or alley cleanup event. It can be as simple as walking around the neighborhood and picking up trash. Or you can request help from the City in planning your project and request supplies, such as trash bags. Please allow the city at least 10 days notice for such requests. Use the form below to request supplies or planning assistance. Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

    Gather together to report graffiti

    Walk the neighborhood and use the graffiti reporting form to write down incidents of graffiti on public property. Tell us the structure on which the graffiti is located (traffic signs, poles, private trash receptacles) and the location, by identifying the address or nearest cross streets. Return the form to the city to have the graffiti removed.

    If the graffiti is on private property, have the property owner complete a graffiti abatement authorization form authorizing the city to remove graffiti from the private property. Provide the exact address(s). The city will notify the responsible party and may assist in its removal. 

    You can also get involved in the city's annual graffiti "Brush Off" & litter cleanup event. Join nearly 200 volunteers of all ages to pick up litter and paint out graffiti vandalism along East Colfax Avenue! Take the challenge… come help Keep Denver Beautiful and spruce up the “Gateway to the Rockies”!
    Individuals, groups and families are welcome! Suitable for ages 5 and up.

    Download the flyer and share with your group or neighborhood.

    Promote Beautification Through Education

    Keeping our city beautiful and vibrant requires all of us to know how to keep it that way. You can print the below brochures and make them available at your neighborhood gathering. Or, place educational materials in bags and distribute door to door. Request doorknob bags from the city by completing the project request form. Please allow the city at least ten days notice before your event, if you are requesting supplies. Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

    Help your neighborhood be sustainable

    The city's Department of Environmental Health will be hosting quarterly Learning Community meetings starting late summer as part of their Sustainable Neighborhoods program in Denver. The meetings will be open to all neighborhoods and focus on a variety of sustainability topics with experts from City agencies and local nonprofits. This year’s participating neighborhoods—Chaffee Park-Regis, North City Park, and West Colfax—are designing and leading community projects focused on healthy living and eating, gardening, neighborhood beautification, energy reduction, walkability, access to public transportation, and much more! To learn more about the program and Learning Community meetings call 720.865.5477 or visit the Denver chapter's Sustainable Neighborhoods Program website.

    Participate in the Denver Energy Challenge

    This free program is administered by the City and County of Denver and provides no-cost energy advisers to Denver residents in order to help cut energy waste, reduce utility bills and improve indoor comfort and air quality. Contact a free energy adviser at 720.865.5520 or submit your information online at DenverEnergy.org, and see what measures make sense for your home.

    Certifiably Green Denver

    Educate your local businesses about Certifiably Green Denver. This free program administered by the City and County of Denver provides no cost sustainability advising to Denver’s business community. Advisers work with businesses in order to reduce energy use, conserve water and reduce waste generation through sustainable business practices. Encourage them to contact an advisor at 720.865.5457 or visit Certifiably Green Denver.

    Plant a Community Garden

    Gather your neighbors and plan out a space in your neighborhood for a community garden. Then reap the rewards of a good harvest to share with your neighbors and local assisted living facilities or shelters.

    You can learn more about growing community gardens at Denver Urban Gardens or Denver Botanic Gardens.

    Adopt-a-Spot

    If you want to make a longer-term commitment to keeping an area clean then Adopt-a-Spot. The Adopt-a-Spot program requires a 12-month commitment.

    Propose a site with your neighbors or the city can suggest one for you. You can learn more about the Adopt-a-Spot program on our website.


    Request a speaker

    • The Keep Denver Beautiful program of Denver Public Works supports residents and businesses in maintaining attractive, safe urban environments. The mission is to enhance the visual appearance of Denver by addressing problems of graffiti and litter through volunteer projects and educational programs. If you would like a staff person from Keep Denver Beautiful to speak to your neighborhood organization, contact Keep Denver Beautiful by calling 3-1-1.
    • Denver’s Department of Safety can make police officers and firefighters available for safety talks.
      Contact Daelene.Mix@denvergov.org for more information.
    • The Department of Environmental Health’s Certifiably Green Denver staff is available to present to local businesses on ways to reduce environmental impact and overall operating costs. Call 720.865.5457 or visit www.Denvergov.org/CGD.
    • The Department of Environmental Health’s Denver Energy Challenge staff is available to present on ways to conserve energy at home and talk about city resources available to help residents cut energy waste and save money at home. Call 720.865.5520 or visit www.DenverEnergy.org

    Host an indoor or outdoor repair party with your neighbors. You can help fix anything from mailboxes and old fences to squeaky doors and scuffed floors. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

    • Go green and replace old light fixtures and light bulbs with CFLs
    • Fill gaps in leaky windows
    • Tighten the plumbing on toilets and sinks
    • Touch up the paint on walls and doors
    • Clean out gutters
    • Organize pantries and storage sheds
    • Remove scratches from wood floors and trim
    • Change air filters
    • Weed gardens and trim trees and shrubs
    • Wash windows
    • Clean the fireplace

    You can find more "fix-it" ideas at brightnest.com.

    GIVE Denver

    GIVE Denver needs your help to make sure hundreds of foster and at risk-youth start the school year off on the right foot this year. You can help in a variety of ways:

    • Adopt-A-Student: We’ll provide you with a list of school supplies to purchase for an at-risk youth. School supplies typically cost $50-$75 per student. Tell us how many student(s) your block would like to adopt by completing this Adopt-A-Student Form (Survey coming soon).
    • Donate School Supplies to GIVE Denver: Our volunteers will fill backpacks for any child that does not have an official Adopt-A-Student sponsor.
    • Donate your time to GIVE Denver: If you want to be part of a Backpack Making Party, let us know how many people can help and what date/time will work by completing this online form (Survey coming soon)
    • Make a monetary donation to GIVE Denver: You can mail a check to GIVE Denver, 1200 Federal Blvd., Denver,  CO 80204. Please make checks payable to GIVE Denver, Denver Human Services, with the memo of School Supplies. Or make a contribution via credit card.


    You can contact your Denver Neighborhood Resource Officer about your intent to start a new watch program. You can also try working with your Registered Neighborhood Organization to organize a watch program. 

    Use our interactive map to locate your neighborhood police station and visit our neighborhood crime prevention page to learn more about how to start a neighborhood watch program.



    Register your event and help us follow participation in this year’s Denver Days celebration!

    Host a Social Activity

    Hosting a neighborhood social event is a great way to come together year round. Below are some ideas to keep your neighborhood bonds strong outside of Denver Days:

    • Register for the First Lady of Denver’s Dance Competition
    • Organize a group walk or bicycle ride
    • Do a cooking demonstration
    • Host a dance, aerobic or yoga class
    • Tour a nearby historic district  
    • Host an outing to a local sporting event
    • Have a neighborhood art show/competition
    • Host a furry friends pet show/party
    • Organize 'Snow Buddies' for winter shoveling

    Register your event and help us follow participation in this year's Denver Days Celebration!

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