From May 6 to 8 we're set to enjoy a bumper Bank Holiday weekend for the Coronation. There were 16,000 official street parties for the Jubilee last year - that’s a lot of sandwiches - and celebrations are likely to be just as big for the Coronation. If you’re wondering how to go about organising a Coronation street party, we’ve put together this simple guide. Plot twist, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
How do I get permission to throw a Coronation street party?
According to YouGov where you can find detailed instructions, anyone is free to organise a street party on the Coronation weekend. To do so, you will need to fill out an application form on your local council website. One of the myths of putting on a street party is it’s an arduous, complicated process. In actual fact it isn’t, and you might be surprised to learn you don’t need a license (unless amplified music e.g. a live band is one of the main purposes of the event), or a risk assessment to organise one. They do recommend however you apply at leastsix weeks before the event, so there is ample time to arrange road closures, if you need one. So we suggest sending off your application as soon as possible.
There’s also the option to keep the road open and have a ‘Street Meet', on a driveway, front garden or at the end of a cul-de-sac. This might suit you better if you live on a long or busy road. The Street Party Site offers a great guide on how to do this here.
As soon as you get the thumbs up from the council to go ahead, you can start spreading the word to your neighbours. Think about popping invites through doors, attaching posters to lampposts, or if you have a street WhatsApp group, sending a message round to let everyone know. This would also be an ideal opportunity to recruit some volunteers.
What food & drink should I make for a street party?
Not only is a street party a great way to bring your neighbours together, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to try delicious food you may not otherwise. Asking people on your street to bring a dish not only shares the responsibility, so less pressure, it also means you’ll have a variety of tasty treats to try. Plus, it’s a surefire way to make sure everyone has something they like to eat. A nice idea is to ask everyone to attach a label to their dish stating the ingredients, so those with food intolerances know what they can/can’t consume.
We also think you can’t go wrong with putting on a quintessential afternoon tea, think cakes like a Victoria sponge (Mary Berry makes a mean one), finger sandwiches and scones.
If an alcoholic tipple is more up your street, large jugs of refreshing Pimms always go down a treat. One thing to note is, if you want to sell alcohol, you will need to apply for a Temporary Events Notice.
How should I decorate for a street party: bunting, flags & flowers?
A street party isn’t a street party without, yep you guessed it, heaps of bunting. Hang it between the houses and opt for bright shades or a regal mix of red, white and blue. Flags are great for adding colour too and can be displayed in windows and hung from front gates.
Themed, recyclable (of course) paper cups, plates and napkins are an easy way to jazz up the tables and will be a saving grace when it comes to clearing up at the end and you’re completely wiped from a day’s partying.
If you have any budding gardeners on your road, ask them if they’d like to donate flower cuttings to pop into vases. These will give off a beautiful scent when everyone arrives to sit down and add a personalised element to the event.
If the festivities are set to go on after the sun goes down, it might be worth investing in some LED lights if you think the light from the lamp posts won’t be sufficient enough.
What are the best games to play
You’ve eaten your body weight in potato salad and sausage rolls and now it’s time to participate in some good old-fashioned games. Putting on an egg and spoon or three-legged race for the active among you is always fun, both for those taking part and those cheering from the side lines. Other activities that are an easy win are the limbo and Guess my House Number, which is exactly as it sounds. People take turns to go around the table and guess which number you live at. The person who guesses the most correctly gets a prize. The last piece of cake perhaps?
If these past two years have taught us anything, it’s that us Brits love a good quiz. The internet is awash with free ones to choose from or you could get into teams and test your street’s trivia knowledge on all things British with our Royal Quiz game.
Lastly, putting on a raffle/tombola and asking your neighbours and local businesses to donate something is a great way to raise money for your street’s next big do.