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Cambridge Increases Grants for Neighborhood Block Parties

Kids playing on the street
Neighbors Play Games During a Block Party

Block Party season is here and the City of Cambridge is increasing grants for block parties in 2024 to help more neighborhoods hold celebrations. Any block is eligible to apply for $300 in funding and free access to pop-up play equipment through the Block Party Resources Request Form.

Block parties are outdoor gatherings hosted by neighbors or community organizations for everyone who lives on the street. The initiative aims to address loneliness and promote community resilience by bringing Cambridge neighborhoods together to dance, play, and share meals.

Beginning last year, with Cambridge City Council support, the City made it easier to host block parties by:

  • eliminating the $25 block party permit fee, 
  • lowering the signature requirement to 25 percent of households on the block and 
  • shortening the approval process. 

In 2023, the City also offered free play equipment through the Play Streets program and a $200 award for the first time. These changes led to a remarkable increase as residents hosted three times as many block parties in Cambridge during the summer of 2023 than in the previous year. 
75 block parties received $200 awards, and 63 blocks joined the Play Streets program.

This year, the City has increased the funding to $300 and made it available to every block that applies. Organizers are able to use the funds to hire a DJ or buy food, nametags, or other supplies to personalize the party for their neighborhood. Visit www.cambridgema.gov/blockparty for more information on the permit and resources.

This initiative is a collaborative effort of Cambridge Public Health Department, Community Development, Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department, and Cambridge Arts, with support from the City Manager’s Office.

The City encourages making 2024 a year of unforgettable neighborhood celebrations and building community, strengthening connections among neighbors, and showcasing creativity to make a healthier—and more fun—Cambridge.

For more information, please view this recent Cambridge Life article or visit www.cambridgema.gov/blockparty.

Page was posted on 5/6/2024 3:04 PM
Page was last modified on 5/9/2024 4:39 PM
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