The street party is the great British tradition – we love a good excuse for a party and almost any event will do.
We’ll party over Royal births, Royal weddings (not necessarily in that order), Royal Jubilees, Wimbledon wins, Cricket victories, we’ll even party just because we’re having a great summer heat wave. And what better way to party than with friends, family and neighbours?
In small suburban communities, street parties are a simple way to get everyone together for a celebration, a good time or just for a spot of sunshine with some great bites to eat. If you happen to live in a cul-de-sac, it won’t be too hard to get everyone together and organise it all. Pick a date, put together and send out the invites in plenty of time and be sure to let all your neighbours know what’s happening and agree to it or your party might cause some issues when you’re in the middle of the street partying and your neighbours are trying to get down the road in their car to park!
For parties on larger streets on housing estates, you’ll probably be better off getting the support of the local council and police to shut the road down and prevent inconvenience to people on the estate. You may well be required to have a licence for the party, especially if there is going to be any alcohol or other items sold on the day, so speak to your local council before you get started. Don’t be put off though, chances are it’s only a small cost and won’t ruin your party plans.
Street Party Decorations & Tableware
So you’ve got the invitations sent out and hopefully you have a list of definite attendees, the next step is to get your street party set up and organised. Traditional street parties usually make the most of all the available space in the road with tables set up in a row down the road. You’ll probably need to borrow or rent some tables – perhaps the local community hall, scout organisation or even church will have some tables that will work perfectly for your party or you can find a company that’s renting them out.
Once you’ve got the tables organised, you’ll need some help to get them put out. Rally your neighbours and street party attendees to help get everything setup and once the tables are in place, the next step is decoration. It’s a thoroughly British party, so it deserves a thoroughly British decoration. How you decorate is up to you, you might opt for something subtle or decorations that really embrace the spirit of the British summer. Union Jack tablecloths, bunting, tableware, napkins and more will really make the tables look great. If you want something that stands out, but isn’t too over-the-top, then you could alternate tables with red, white and blue table cloths in the colours of our flag!
Accessorise each table with practical party implements including plastic cutlery, cardboard plates, napkins and cups. Then supply each place at the table with flags, Union Jack hats, streamers and more to ensure that everyone enjoys the celebrations and gets fully into the festivities. Centrepieces are a fantastic way to really finish the table off. You can really make the summer party shine through with a Union Jack teapot stuffed full of brilliant Daffodils.
Street Party Food
What’s a great British street party without food? Getting everyone together for a street party is a great way to make friends and build close relationships in your neighbourhood - party food is a great focal point for the party and a way to get everyone involved too. While you’re organising, encourage friends and neighbours to make their own dishes for the party so there’s plenty of variety, plenty of food to go around and no one has to spend too much of their own money. It’s important to remember to check what people are planning to bring though or you could end up with an awful lot of cucumber sandwiches and trifle! The alternative is to ask each person attending the party to contribute a small amount of money to a ‘pot’ for the day. Then use that money to purchase sandwiches and other party foods from your local supermarket, delicatessen or caterers. Theme your street party food around the event being celebrated or even pick a theme of your own. You could even splash out a little more on party food and supply everyone with a healthy dose of local fish and chips. Get a ice cream van to supply 99’s and lolly pops and plenty of cherry pop to keep all the little ones buzzing and you’re bound to have a great time.
Games and MusicIf conversation and good food isn’t enough and you think your neighbours might need a little more in the way of entertainment then you’ll want to consider party games that everyone can get involved in and a range of tunes to keep the party going. This is the one time you can play some music without worrying about it being too loud for your neighbours – as long as it’s not so loud to offend people in other streets of course. You could ask everyone to chip in and hire a band for the day or some other sort of live entertainment to get people into the party mood. When it comes to games, there are plenty of options that’ll involve teamwork, humour and good times for all involved:
- Tug of War
- Quizzes – each table (or household) can be a team
- Raffles and Tombola
- Hook a Duck (someone’s bound to have a paddling pool that would be perfect)
- Chalk drawings on the road
- Small games of football or cricket (with soft balls of course!)
Whatever you choose to do, you’ll soon find that your street party was a good idea. They’re a great way to get everyone together for a really good time. Good food, good music, good conversation and all just on your door step. Of course everyone will have to muck in on the organisation, the food, the decoration and the clean-up, but even all that will help bring everyone closer together. You might find new friendships and build closer relationships with people in your street who you’ve never really spoken before. Don’t forget to browse our site for a range of Union Jack street party decorations that’ll help get everyone in the spirit! And check back here for more party ideas and tips in the future. Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever had a street party and what you loved about it!