The adage "Rome wasn't built in a day" dates back to the 12th century. Though the saying is now nearly a millenium old, its message, namely that time is necessary to create great things, is as true in 2020 as it was in 1190.
Building great communities takes time, but that process is often escalated when community members take collective action to make their towns or cities happier, healthier and safer places to live. One great way to make community-building the collective affair it needs to be is to plan activities that all community members can engage in and enjoy. The following are four community-building activities that can attract all members of the community.
1. Fun run/walk
A community fun run/walk is great for singles, families, children, and the elderly. These events typically draw crowds who will either participate in a 5K run or walk (roughly 3.1 miles) or spectators who cheer them on. The event typically begins in the center of town and then circles back so everyone begins and ends the day in the heart of town. An added benefit to this type of event is that participants usually run or walk for the benefit of a charity. Community organizers can choose a locally-based charitable organization to make the event even more community-friendly.
2. A taste of the town
A taste of the town event is a great way to entice local foodies to get out of the house and enjoy some delicious foods prepared by local restaurants. Host this outdoor event on Main Street or at local park or school and allow local restaurant owners to set up food trucks or stands so community members can sample their most delicious dishes. This is a great way to bring the community together and promote local businesses.
3. Music festival
Encourage local musicians to showcase their unique talents with a community music festival. Invite a local radio station to host a show at the festival and encourage local bars and restaurants to set up tents or food trucks so music lovers can enjoy some food and beverages while they watch their neighbors perform.
4. Field day
Many adults fondly recall school-wide field days when they were in elementary schools. Communities can capitalize on those fond memories by organizing community-wide field days that encourage participation from all residents. Categorize events by age, so residents young and old can compete, and group size, so families and singles can compete against one another in events like three-legged races or horseshoes.
Community-building activities can be fun and effective ways to strengthen neighborhoods and foster strong relationships between residents of all ages.