Following on from my previous post, “Taking hospitality to the street”, I just wanted to let you know our Neighbour’s Day 2016 celebration was a great success. Yipee!
There was, however, a very tense moment at 2pm, one hour out from the start of our party, when the sky went dark and rain came down heavily. We had a rain-date for the following day but with all the preparations already done I really didn’t want to have to call it off.
If you live in Auckland, have ever been to Auckland and/or are familiar with the Crowded House song, “Four season’s in one day” – you will know that when it rains at 2pm and you have a function at 3pm, there is actually a strong possibility that the sun will come out and the rest of the afternoon will be fine.
I prayed wholeheartedly during the heavy rain and showed my faith by continuing to put up decorations. Thankfully, by 3pm, the sun came out, the tables dried up and we were ready to welcome our neighbours.
People started arriving with food and drinks, with music on, the party began. Conversations and connections were made easily. Lots of stories were shared particularly from longer-term residents who had seen lots of changes over the years.
One couple that were unable to make the party because they had a family celebration that day, sent me a wonderful email about their 56 years in the street. A gorgeous 80-year-old couple that have lived in the area their whole lives.
There were lots of littlies there who had great fun with pavement chalk, doodling away and creating perhaps, the longest ever hopscotch. Lots of these little ones hadn’t met before so great news for them and their mums with future play-dates lined up in the street.
At the end of the afternoon, everyone agreed it had been a great success and the plan is to do another one towards the end of the year.
I loved getting to meet so many of my neighbours and the best part for me was moving away from my normal hospitality anxiety into an experience that was easy and fun. The simple approach of having it out on the street, everyone bringing a plate of finger food and something to drink is most definitely the easiest way to entertain. In fact, I would go as far as to say, I wish I could do all my entertaining on my front kerb. It was that good!