A Block Party is defined as a community sponsored, public event where there are no sales of goods or services. Block parties are limited to one block and one day. If you have always wanted to throw a block party but just didn’t know where to start, keep reading. This list will give you everything you need to know about throwing your very own Queens Block Party!
Submit Application & Petition
You have to submit your Queens Block Party application at least 90 days in advance of the event. The application process always begins with filling out the necessary form which includes information about yourself, the event date, time, etc. The application typically includes a wide variety of questions from whether you plan to have tents, celebrity appearances, etc. Once your application is submitted, the Street Activity Permit Office (or SAPO) will review it along with your community board and comment on whether the event warrants closure of that block. Most Queens Community Boards will also require that you get the consent of a certain percentage of residents via a petition so that’s a good idea to work on before hand. Below are links to the Street Activity Permit Office site as well as the Block Party Permit Application…
Street Activity Permit Office Home Page: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/cecm/about/sapo.page
Block Party Permit Application: https://nyceventpermits.nyc.gov/cems/login.aspx
A permit can close a street for up to 9 hours, although you can’t party later than 9 or 10pm. In addition, the block you choose to throw your party on must be in the neighborhood where you currently live.
Approval or Rejection
If you want to increase your chances of being approved, it is suggested that you contact your Queens community board first in order to get some guidance and (or) advice on the event. Getting your community board’s support from the beginning will help you as you move through the process. Keep in mind that in general, permits for parties on blocks that are located at busy intersections or on streets where buses run will most likely not be approved. In those cases, your community board may suggest an alternative street nearby or you can plan for that ahead of time and think of a few alternatives. Timing conflicts can be another issue so prepare to have some back up dates as well.
Queens Community Boards: http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/cb/queens.shtml
If your application is accepted by the Community Board, it will then go to the NYPD and FDNY for review. Each agency will review your application and check for any permitting issues like sound permits, etc.
If you set up and host the block party in your area, you or your team will be responsible for leaving the block the same way it was before the party. There are two ways to ensure this, you can either do your own pre and post party clean up, or, you can hire the Dept of Sanitation to bring in a mechanical broom, collection truck, etc.
Additional Information you should be Aware Of:
- A block party is a community sponsored, public event where there are no sales of goods or services. Block parties are limited to one block and one day.
- Applications must be submitted 90 days prior to the event
- Applicants must be a member of a block association and given permission by their neighbors
- Limited to one day and one block
- Rain dates are not permitted
- Event must be open to all neighbors on the block; not a private party (e.g. a birthday party)
- Cannot charge a fee to participate or fundraise
- You may not sell food or other goods and services
- Alcohol, vendors, commercial branding and sponsorships are not permitted at block parties.
- Depending on what you plan to have at your block party, you may require additional permits. All other agency permits must be obtained before SAPO can grant your street activity permit Examples include:
- Rides and inflatables, such as truck mounted rides and bounce houses require a permit from the Department of Consumer Affairs and insurance. The ride company that you hire should provide this documentation.
- Petting Zoos or other non-domesticated animals require a permit from the Department of Health and insurance. The stable or farm where you rent the animals should provide this documentation.
- Raffles or donations require a permit from the Human Resources Administration
- All amplified sound, such as background music, musical performances or speaking programs, requires a permit from the New York Police Department
- Generators require a certificate from the New York Fire Department. When generators are over 40kw they also require a certificate from the New York Department of Environmental Protection
Blog & Site Courtesy of George and Abigail Herrera with the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.