April 29, 2021 – Oak Park’s online block party registration portal is set to reopen on Mon., May 3 at www.oak-park.us/blockparties, with the first available dates to be May 29 – 31. The last date for hosting a block party this season will be Oct. 31.
COVID-19 restrictions will be in place based on local public health guidelines, including wearing masks and proper social distancing. Restrictions could change with conditions and as more residents become fully vaccinated, public health officials say.
Residents must download the required petition and gather the signatures of their neighbors before submitting a request through the online portal for a specific date. A block party requires a petition signed by at least 10 separate addresses on the block, or a majority of residents on a smaller block.
The number of block parties will be limited to 20 per weekend in 2021, with each block allowed to host one party.
Block parties will be limited to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with Mondays available on May 31, July 5 and September 6, which are Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends.
“I know everyone is anxious to get back to their normal activities, including block parties,” said Oak Park Public Health Director Joseph T. Terry, who issued guidelines for allowing Village residents to once again host block parties.
“But the risk of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19 remains real. The more interaction you have with others beyond your own household and the longer that interaction lasts, the greater the risk of becoming infected and spreading this highly-contagious virus.”
Terry said that being outside is the best option for reducing risks in a group setting, adding, “But it won’t eliminate the risk altogether. So the same basic rules apply – keep your distance, wear a mask and wash your hands often.”
Block party participants who are not from the same household are urged not to share foods and beverages with others, including via pot-luck style offerings. Single-use plates, utensils and napkins also are encouraged as are single-use condiment packets.
Other guidelines include keeping tables and people from different households at least six feet apart, wearing face coverings when not eating or drinking, and wiping down frequently touched surfaces with a disinfecting solution as recommended by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Bounce houses and petting zoos are prohibited, and the Village will not offer tree walks or Fire Department visits as part of block parties this year. However, information on how to host a green block party will be available if requested.
Block party organizers also are asked to help keep participants safe by providing hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol and setting up temporary hand-washing stations with water, soap and paper towels.
People who have any COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive or come into contact with someone who has tested positive, should stay home and not participate in a block party, public officials stress.
For more information on organizing a block party, call 708.358.5700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to read the official block party guidelines