Our neighborhood ice cream social was a smashing success! Being the new kids on the block =), I had no idea if people would show up. Plus, it started clouding up right around 7 and I was afraid rain would keep them away. Instead, it cooled things off and made sitting outside quite pleasant. Yay!
We invited 14 households (most being empty nester couples), and 26 people came. Even better, the shin-dig lasted a surprising three hours. (When Eric asked if we should state an end time on the invitations, I said, "Let's just see what happens." I never imagined everyone would linger so long--what fun.) People brought their lawn chairs and spread out all over our porch and lawn. We and our co-hosts provided the ice cream, drinks and dishes, and we asked our neighbors to bring a topping to share. Esther made her special caramel corn, and June brought homemade hot fudge sauce. Delightful and delicious!
I admit I was skeptical when someone suggested we play a "getting-to-know-you" game, but it went really well. We each were given a slip of paper and a pen, and we had to write down something unusual about ourselves. Then the designated emcee read each statement, and we tried to guess who went with which fact. Having just learned that one of our neighbors is the former owner of the local butcher shop, I couldn't resist writing down "I don't eat red meat!" It was a fun way to learn something random about each person.
Several people thanked us repeatedly for hosting such an event. Many of our neighbors have lived on this same block for decades, and they said they used to have block parties a long time ago. I hope our little social will be the first of many more neighborly get-togethers!