5 Reasons Community Events Matter

Building healthy relationships with those closest to you is essential. It helps you develop a sense of belonging, purpose, and self-worth. For the same reasons, it’s also important to develop relationships with your neighbors and other members of your community. Strong interpersonal connections make for resilient neighborhoods, towns, and cities. Some of the healthiest, most well-connected communities are those that make the effort to host local events regularly.  

It takes a lot of time, effort, and cooperation from multiple people to make community events come to life. It’s natural to wonder whether the outcome is worth all the time and effort you expend. Fortunately, in almost every case, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Here are five reasons community events not only matter, but are essential for building strong towns and cities.

1. Bring Local Families Together

Today’s families experience a wide variety of activities and opportunities that tend to pull them apart. From socially isolating video games to various media platforms, there are plenty of distractions pulling family members in opposite directions. Today’s parents tend to spend less quality time with their kids than yesteryear’s parents. Often, parents want to spend more time with their kids but don’t know how to gain or retain their interest.

Your community is only as strong as the families that live in it. Therefore, bringing local families together with annual events is a worthy goal that will benefit everyone involved. Fortunately, most community events are naturally family-friendly. Whether they occur at the city center or a park with fun playground equipment, they typically include activities the whole family can enjoy. When planning community events, try to include activities that can entertain adults, teenagers, tweens, and young children.

Small towns are often valued for their strong sense of connection. Because there aren’t very many people around, residents tend to get to know their neighbors on a personal basis. Small-town residents are also often heavily involved in their community happenings. They need to rely on each other to keep things running smoothly. As a result, they often develop a strong sense of community identity and pride.

Even if you don’t live in a small town, your community can benefit from keeping residents involved and connected. Planning community events can help you keep town or city traditions alive. You can also create new traditions that will help bring people together and foster a strong sense of community identity. When residents are proud of their towns and cities, they’re more likely to take better care of their homes and neighborhoods. They’re also more likely to look out for their fellow neighbors and help out where needed.

3. Raise Funds for Worthy Causes and People

Community events can become some of the most effective fundraisers for worthy local causes and people. Perhaps there’s a family in your town that’s struggling to pay for cancer treatments for one of their sick children. Or maybe a local charity is trying to raise funds so it can continue serving the community. Whatever the worthy cause may be, your community event can become an invaluable money-raising resource.

There are many ways to incorporate fundraising into your event. Consider hosting a “fundraising fair day” where you invite community members to come to the local park for games, food, and fun. Make some of the activities free so all families can join in, but consider charging a small fee for optional activities. Let families know any money they spend will go to a worthy local cause.  

4. Attract Visitors and Generate Revenue

Whether your town is large or small, your local businesses can always benefit from increased traffic and revenue. If your town develops a reputation for throwing awesome festivals, you’ll inevitably attract visitors and tourists from surrounding areas. The money they spend at your event generates revenue that will strengthen local businesses and your community as a whole.  

To get a good turnout from both locals and tourists at your event, develop a good marketing strategy. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to advertise, but you do need to strategize. Consider printing fliers and posting them in grocery stores, libraries, and other public areas. Posting on social media should also be a top priority, since it’s a free and effective form of advertising. Urge residents to help spread the word about an upcoming event in their social media circles to boost turnout and participation.  

5. Improve Mental Health

Mental health problems are unfortunately on the rise, especially among adolescents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 42% of students felt persistently hopeless or sad in 2021. In addition to depression, many people are also experiencing an uptick in anxiety and other mental health problems. Studies show that in some cases, a negative sense of community can contribute to depression. On the other hand, a positive sense of community can potentially reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

Regular local events can help young people in your area experience a strong sense of community. To increase their sense of belonging and participation, consider inviting families and youth to volunteer. Invite them to work in groups as desired or donate their time and talents on an individual basis.

Community events matter more than many people realize. They can give local businesses a boost, support mental health, and bring local families together. Whether you’re a city council member or part of your local parks and recreation organization, your efforts make a difference. Continue planning family-friendly events that help your community grow stronger and more connected.