San Ramon Family Photographer | Angie Ochoa Photography

Sometimes, people have an unusual way of coming into your life. Back in 2013, my husband and I had really begun talking about community, and what it means to us. We had a desire to connect more with our neighbors, with an intent to love them and get to know them, and to be a light for Christ in our neighborhood. My husband had found a great article from The Village Church in Texas, that shared a TON of cool things you could do to connect with your neighbors and community throughout the summer months. The idea that we came up with wasn’t in that guide, but it was more for our own kiddos, as well as for getting to know our neighbors.San Ramon California Family Photographer - M Family 6 We decided to hold a neighborhood 4th of July sidewalk parade. We knew that in the next town/city over, there is always a HUGE parade for the 4th. The kind where people set up chairs the night before! We really didn’t want to deal with the crowds, so we planned our own parade!San Ramon California Family Photographer - M Family 11 We made up and printed out about 200 invites and walked door to door in our neighborhood to invite neighbors to our sidewalk parade. We bought popsicles, water, hot dogs/buns, chips, and sodas. We had NO idea how many people would show up! But we wanted to serve them through hospitality.San Ramon California Family Photographer - M Family 13 The day of the parade was BLAZING HOT! I mean, it was about 99 degrees, which is pretty stinkin’ hot, when you’re going to hold a sidewalk parade! Well, the time came for people to start arriving at our house…the starting point for the parade.San Ramon California Family Photographer - M Family 15 We couldn’t believe how many people showed up!!! There were probably about 75 people altogether! We had invited them to wear their patriotic best, and to decorate strollers, bikes, wagons, etc. to push/ride/pull in our little neighborhood parade. My husband had a “boom box” (Yep, we still have one of those!!!) and played patriotic music as he led the parade.San Ramon California Family Photographer - M Family 18The parade ended back at our house where we had grilled hot dogs and other snacks for everyone. One of the first couples we met at the parade was this sweet couple, J and B. It was a joy to meet them the first year, and then see them again the next year (this past July) with a precious, sweet baby in their arms!
San Ramon California Family Photographer - M Family 19 If you ever feel led to get out and meet your neighbors, I would encourage you to do it! You will meet so many GREAT people, who are also looking to connect with others in the neighborhood. SO many people told us how much they loved what we did! And this past year, we had a TON of help putting the parade together! I can’t wait until next year!San Ramon California Family Photographer - M Family 24I hope you have a blessed Christmas season, and I hope that you make new friends with your neighbors! You’ll be glad you did!

God bless you!

Angie

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