Us Brits just love to celebrate, and for any national occasion we do love a good street party. Bunting flapping in the summer breeze, sandwiches and cakes piled high on long tables, and neighbours coming together (and perhaps a bottle or two of something fizzy!).
With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee fast approaching, we’ve compiled our top tips for creating the perfect authentic British street party
Get organised beforehand
- Get your neighbours involved! To make organisation easier and more streamlined, having a committee in charge and dividing responsibilities should be one of your first steps. Speak with your neighbours about your ideas and find out how they might want to get involved, whether they have a connection for getting all of those tables and chairs, or want to be in charge of delegating what food needs making!
- Select a date. Try to have a few different dates that could work for the majority of your neighbours that want to attend the street party, or that won’t disrupt their lives. This can be frustrating at times, but try to be as accommodating as possible so that everyone can feel involved in this community event.
- Choose a convenient location that won’t cause too much disruption.
- Ask permission from your local council 4 - 12 weeks before. This is a vital step, as you won’t be able to hold a street party without permission because roads are public domain - unless you live on a private road. Click here to find out more.
- Plan regular meetings. Make sure you have regular and consistent communication with everyone involved in the planning so that there are no nasty surprises the day before your party. Invite anyone interested in attending these meetings, and stick to an agenda and keep minutes of each meeting too to distribute afterwards. Hold your meetings on the street, or local public area to make them as accessible as possible.
- If funds are needed to throw the party, then ask for small contributions from neighbours that aren’t contributing something like food or decorations. Try to keep costs as low as possible though - the day is about a community celebrating a moment in British history, not splashing the cash! Some local councils may have street party funds for specific occasions, such as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, so make sure to check.
For the day
- Plan activities that everyone can take part in, from kids to adults. Make some of them available for anyone to use throughout the day, such as ball games, and some at specific times, such as three legged races or raffles.
- For those making and bringing food, making sure you label with dietary requirements, also making sure foods with common allergens like nuts are labelled clearly.
- Create a music playlist that includes inoffensive music for all tastes. Don’t play it too loud or too late into the evening, it’s just to add to the atmosphere of celebration!
- Make sure there’s adequate road signage in case of any diversions needed, giving other people in your area plenty of notice.
- Ensure there’s adequate seating for everyone - no doubt there will be people showing up who had said they couldn’t come! Keep in mind some of your less able bodied neighbours too, in case more sturdy seating is required.
- You can never have too many decorations! Bunting, table cloths, centrepieces for the tables; borrow or make what you can to avoid unnecessary waste and keep costs low. Food can also be a fun way to decorate!
- Send reminders for the street party the week before, and make sure that everyone on your street knows.