The weekend of 2-5 June is a special celebration of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
The Platinum Jubilee is a great time to engage with our neighbours, so you might want to hold your own street party with your neighbours and friends.
How do I go about it?
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Get someone else on your side! Who on your street might work with you to plan and get everyone excited avbout the idea? Pray for the right plan for your locality and for growing relationships.
- Ask the street if they like the idea: – you could use your street’s Whatsapp or Facebook group if you have one, or put notes through the doors giving people a rough idea of what it could involve, what it would cost and a choice of a couple of dates to choose from.
- If the signs look promising, you can apply to your local council to close your road. South Gloucestershire council: https://www.southglos.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/streets/roads-maintenance/licences-for-work-on-the-highway/licensing-road-closures-2/ Bristol City Council: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/guide-to-closing-a-road-for-a-street-party-or-event A minimum of 8 weeks is required for permission to be granted so leave plenty of time.
- Check the requirements set by your Council: you may need to leaflet every home in the road to give people the opportunity to raise objections. You will need to block the road on the day yourselves with suitable signs. You don’t need to block off the whole length of the road if ti’s a long one: look to see if you can chose a suitable section which causes minimum impact to the community. If you have a green space, lucky you!
- Plan what the street party is going to look like: you can go simple and traditional, inviting everyone to bring out tables and chairs placed in a long line, and plenty of bunting. They can bring their own food and drink, or you can invite people to bring and share and bring barbecues to cook on. Why not ask the even side of the street to bring a savoury dish and the odd number side to bring desserts.
- Plan some simple ways to get to know one another better, especially if most people are strangers to each other. Name badges, photo boards, quizzes such as “Find someone here who….” or games such as “Who am I?” help to start conversations and break the ice.
- You can bring out simple games and activities for children such as chalks, balls, nets and rackets, giant Jenga etc. They will also love the freedom to scoot, skate and ride around without traffic so you don’t need to make it complicated. If you want to go big, however, and hire a bouncy castle/ sell alcohol / play music/ run a karaoke, check the conditions of the application and apply for any additional licenses. Check that you follow all safety regulations and have adequate support and supervision.
- If you hold your street party outside the actual Jubilee weekend, you may have to pay a fee for the licence to close the road. This could be paid back by donations on the day or by charging each person an amount that will cover the cost. (Around £160-£180)
- Make a wet weather plan: you might get people to put up gazebos and umbrellas. Pray this is not needed!
- Keep in touch with the street to remind them of the date and get them to book a place in good time so you have a rough idea who’s coming and what help they can offer. The week before the party, put up signs on lamposts etc to remind people to come, and to move their cars from the closed off area on the day so that the partygoers keep safe and people can use their cars if needed.
What if I don’t live in the kind of road that’s good for a street party?
Here are some alternative ideas:
- Look out for and enjoy other local events such as the fun day in Page Park on Sat 4 June, and events put on by local churches.
- Make cards and cup cakes with a Jubilee theme and drop them through your neighbours’ doors.
- Invite those in the homes around you for a barbecue in your garden or on your front driveway.
- Pray for those you know who are having parties, that they will be safe, fun, dry (!) and fruitful in building relationships.
Don’t stop there!
If the street party goes well, think about making it an annual event so that people begin to build relationships. You could do other gatherings such as a Christmas carol sing, regular coffee mornings for those who are around during the day, or a light themed Hallowe’en event.