How to Throw an Autumn Block Party in Portland

Everything You Need to Know About Throwing an Autumn Block Party in Portland


If you’re ready to close down your street, fire up the grill, and get to know your neighbors over burgers and brats, we’ve got you covered.

We scoped out the block party permitting process and rounded up everything you need to know. 🎉

Do I need a permit to throw a block party?

Yes. If you want to block off the street, you’ll need a thumbs up from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. That process involves a little red tape, but this guide should help you cut through it in 10 minutes or less.

Do I need signatures from my neighbors?

Nope, not anymore. Just invite them and you’re good to go.

How much does a permit cost?

Nothing! The city used to charge an application fee, but that’s gone this year.

You might have to fork up money to rent barricades, but even that’s free in some neighborhoods. Details below. 👇

How much do barricades cost?

The city is currently piloting a free rental program in East Portland — and on June 1 it will expand to St. Johns, Southwest Portland, and a few other spots around town. Here’s a map of the neighborhoods where you can rent barricades for free.

If you’re outside the pilot area, you can pay $45 to rent barricades from Block Party Barricades. It’s an extra $30 to get them delivered and picked up. (There are other vendors in Portland, but we couldn’t find their prices online.)

How do I apply for a permit?

You can submit a paper application, but we think applying online is easier. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Fill out this event flyer and this street closure plan. Save both files to your computer. You’ll attach them to your application in the next step.

Step 2: Complete the online application. Annoyingly, you have to create an account to do it, but it only takes a few minutes.

Step 3: Wait for PBOT to review the application and get back to you. We’re told that takes about a week. If you want a status report, call 503-823-4003. We talked to Rod. He seems very nice.

What else do I need to know?

» You can’t go all Project X and set the neighborhood on fire. Block parties have to end by 10 p.m. (or at least move inside by then), and it’s still illegal to drink in the street, so booze should stay in the front yard.

» The block party belongs to the block. You’re expected to let all your neighbors know about it (that’s the point of the flyer), and you can’t invite the whole world to join you. If that’s what you’re after, check out the city’s community event guidelines here.

» Some hooting and hollering is cool, but if you want to invite a rock band to your party, there’s a separate application for that. Details here.

Throwing a block party? Let us know! Take snaps and share them with us and tell all your neighbors why they should sign up for Bridgeliner.

By Bridgeliner Creative Studio
The Bridgeliner Creative Studio helps clients big and small engage locals, through campaigns that use creative marketing, storytelling, events, and activations to build community, conversation, and impact.