'Bike the Block' parties replace traditional block parties

Village puts restrictions on gatherings

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By Maria Maxham

The village of Forest Park has announced its official policy on block parties this summer, with the spread of COVID-19 still a risk and gatherings of more than 50 people not allowed according to state guidelines.

"Bike the Block" parties will be allowed, according to Mayor Rory Hoskins, an alternative to traditional block parties the village is accustomed to. A block can get permission to put up wooden sawhorses to restrict through-traffic so kids can ride their bikes safely in the street.

According to a communication from the village, "While we fully appreciate the desire to provide recreational outlets for families, we are concerned that traditional block parties (with community food offerings, bounce houses, face painting, etc.) could lead to resurgence of COVID-19 transmission."

A block wishing to hold a "Bike the Block" party should be aware of the following guidelines:

  • No bounce houses
  • No face painting
  • Households agree not to share food in buffet or potluck style settings
  • Social distancing requirements will apply
  • Hand sanitizer must be available to guests
  • A maximum of 50 people may attend
  • A maximum of eight people may be seated together for eating and drinking
  • Organizers must agree to clean and sanitize chairs and tables at least every three hours
  • All attendees should wear face coverings at all times, except when eating or drinking
  • While eating or drinking, attendees should stay six feet away from people from other households
  • Sharing of food or drinks between households is discouraged

As in other years, block party organizers must obtain signatures of at least 75 percent of the households on the block, and the application and signatures must be submitted to the village at least one week in advance of the block party date. More information is available on the village website at www.forestpark.net/dfp/.

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