Take everything you know about tailgating. Now add a cul-de-sac.

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If you grew up in the South, chances are you attended quite a few block parties. There's a particularly casual air about them, as if everyone just ended up in the cul-de-sac with a bag of hamburger buns and box of store-bought sugar cookies in tow. But much like tailgating, or bridal showers, or porch parties (a similar, but different, sport), we take great pride in our neighborly gatherings. Some universal truths about block parties down South: 

Everything is a reason.

Including no reason at all. New neighbor, national holiday, good weather. People don’t need a reason to get together and eat hamburgers and sugar cookies.

Invitations are a must.

Word of mouth works just as well, but there’s just something about a cheery invite to hang on the fridge. Even if it’s just a week in advance, paper invites give a sense of organization to what should be a leisurely, laid-back event.

Everybody pitches in.

Typically one or a couple of people head up the party planning. Since inevitably things come up and commitments fall out though, it’s good to spread out the work. With a couple people bringing sides, a few bringing drinks, a couple folks responsible for bringing sweet treats, there’s bound to be enough to go around no matter what happens.

Nobody turns down a good game.

Block parties are actually just tailgaiting. In the street. That's right, with no football game or other main event. Block parties turn the socializing into the main event, which isn’t that really what some of us show up for anyway in the fall? So break out those tailgating treasures, like cornhole, spike ball, and ladder toss.

WATCH: 10 Southern Tailgating Foods To Master 

Anything can be a chair!

The younger you are, the more likely you’re going to be using the recycling bin as a seat. Everybody brings out their beloved dusty camping chairs and sets them up around the cul de sac. Don’t hesitate to drag easy-to-clean chairs from indoors too.

It’s come-as-you-are and go-as-you-please.

The whole point is getting everyone together, enjoying some good food (hopefully a few items off the grill!), and being neighborly. There should be no dress code, stuffy atmosphere, or frankly, health food. (We’ll allow for fruit salad because it’s an easy side.)

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