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How to Organise a Street Party

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrates 70 years on the throne this year. People throughout the UK are being encouraged to host street parties over the four-day bank holiday weekend in June.

If you're thinking about organising a street party for you and your neighbours, how do you do it, and what do you need to consider? We've put together our handy checklist to help you organise the best Jubilee street party in town!

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Union Jack bunting

Private or public street party?

Most people will opt for a private street party, but it is possible to organise a public street party. Here are the differences between the two:

In most cases, private street parties are organised by people living on the street. Public street parties, and other public events, are arranged by people that are skilled in organising events.

Private Street Party Public Street Party
Residents and neighbours only Open to anyone to attend
Promote to local residents only Promote to anyone via posters, flyers and online
No public liability insurance required
(unless requested by the local council)
Public liability insurance required
Only residential road(s) closed Multiple roads closed including major roads, through roads and bus routes
No licence required for incidental music and no alcohol being sold Licence required; for example, a Temporary Event Notice

 

Get started on your street party

The first step is to talk to your neighbours and get an idea of how popular the idea is with everyone.

If it's all agreed, hold a local meeting for everyone in the neighbourhood to attend and decide on a date. The Jubilee celebrations are being held across a long bank holiday weekend, from 2nd June to 5th June. The Big Jubilee Lunch is being held on Sunday 5th June, when 10 million people are estimated to be planning street parties in celebration.

It's a good idea to create a street party 'committee' to help you organise the event, and act as a point of contact for any questions. You may also need to talk about money – some councils will ask for a fee to close the road, but you will also need to think about the cost of buying or hiring tables, chairs and other equipment. Start a WhatsApp group that keeps everyone up-to-date with progress. It can be used to ask for help at any time.

Once you've decided on your date, the next step is to contact your local council to advise them of your plans for your street party. They will want to know:

  • The date and time of your street party
  • Confirmation that you've talked to your neighbours
  • The name of your road and whether you want the whole road or just a section of the road closed
  • If the road is used by through traffic or is a bus route
  • Whether any businesses or specific properties will be affected by the street party or road closure

If your local council is happy with your street party, they will permit you to close the road, but you will need to ensure emergency services still have access. If it is on a bus route, you will need to advise the local bus company - the council will not do this for you.

Some local councils will be kind enough to lend you traffic cones, barriers, and road closed signs. If not, you will need to hire or buy this equipment.

You won't need to conduct a risk assessment if you plan a private street party.

Local councils are being encouraged to help people plan their street parties and facilitate road closures as much as possible.

If you're holding the event at your street's local park, you may want to consider matting to protect the grass or to put on top of gravel/uneven surfaces, making it more accessible. Pedestrian barriers may also help in guiding people where to go.

Street party checklist

So, you've decided on the date, all your neighbours are on board, and your local council has given you permission to close the road and go ahead. Now the fun starts!

Catering – this is probably the most daunting part of organising a street party, but it needn't be. With a little help from everyone on your street, you'll be amazed at just how much food and drink you'll be able to gather.

Designate organisation to a couple of people on your committee who can contact/write to everyone on the street who is attending and ask them to bring a dish to share.

Doing this will undoubtedly ensure that vegans and vegetarians are catered for, but it's good to make sure. If anyone's unsure what to do, direct them to The Big Lunch for ideas.

Plates, cutlery, tables, tablecloths, chairs, etc. - once you've got an idea of how many people are attending, you will be able to work out how many tables and chairs you need. It's a good idea to ask the locals if anyone has anything they can lend for the day, (you'll be amazed what people have in their sheds!). Do the same for plates, cutlery and any other serving items. When doing this, think of the environment and opt for recyclable items.

Music - if you're planning on having some music at your event, or any equipment that is powered by cables, make sure you use cable covers to ensure there are no accidents!

Rubbish - any street party is going to generate plenty of waste. Ensure there are plenty of litter bins up and down the street or in your street's park and encourage people to throw their rubbish away in the bins.

Decorations - no street party is a party without Jubilee decorations! Many online stores sell a wide range of jolly decorations, from flags, balloons and bunting to table cloths and plates.

Other things you may want to think about are:

Like the Queen, many of your neighbours will have dogs (not necessarily corgis!), and they will likely bring them along. So, make sure they are catered for with bowls or even drip trays filled with water for them.

Food trucks on wheels are a great idea - they can be filled with ice and cold water, making them the ideal place to keep bottles of beer and other drinks nice and cool, especially if it's a hot day!

Keeping kids happy and occupied is always a challenge at street parties, so you may want to consider hiring a bouncy castle, plan a treasure hunt or other entertainment.

Make the most of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations with your own street party!

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Photograph of Debs

Author Bio -

Digital marketer, social media, content writer, musician, sloth-lover, tea-drinker.

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