How to Plan a Street Party

How to Organise a Street Party

On 12th June 2016 the Queen will celebrate her 90th birthday, and a street party is the perfect way to celebrate!

Thousands of street parties took place all over the country for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and communities up and down the country are expected to do the same for her 90th birthday – but what are the rules and regulations involved in planning a street party? Can you hold one anywhere? Do you need a licence? Do you need to let the council know?

In actual fact, street parties are very simple to organise. Read our guidelines to find out more about street party rules and who you’ll need to notify of your plans.

What counts as a street party?

It’s important to know whether or not your party counts as a street party. Most street parties don’t need a licence but under certain conditions, it will.

The official UK government website has a really helpful guide, which outlines exactly what is classed as a street party. According to their advice, a street party has the following features:

  • For residents and neighbours only
  • In a quiet residential road or street
  • Publicity only to residents
  • Self-organised
  • No insurance
  • No formal risk assessment
  • No licence needed unless alcohol is being sold

That pretty much covers any small street party you’re organising for you and your neighbours. However, if you’re planning to sell alcohol at your street party, you’ll need a Temporary Events Notice and if you’re planning on playing amplified music, you’ll need a music licence. But you’ll find out more about that on gov.uk.

Do I need to notify the council?

Yes – even if your street party is small enough to not need a licence, you must let the council know about your plans 4-6 weeks in advance.

This isn’t a complicated process. All your council needs to know is where the street party is taking place and where the road closure will be so that they can let the emergency services know.

Make sure you do this 4-6 weeks before your street party as it can take some time to put a traffic regulation order in place. If you live in a cul-de-sac your council may waive the need for a road closure but it’s best to check with them first. You’ll find the application form to send to your local council here.

What to do if you can’t get a road closure

If your council won’t grant you a road closure or you don’t have time to organise it, you could always hold a ‘street meet‘.

This is a social gathering on a driveway, front garden, parking area or at the end of a cul-de-sac. You don’t need a licence to hold a street meet as these areas count as private land. Just make sure you don’t obstruct any pedestrians or have people wandering out into the road.

Setting up your Queen’s 90th birthday street party

Once you’ve notified the council and got approval for your street party, it’s time to start planning! The main thing you’ll need is a couple of gazebos and plenty of tables and chairs – and if you ask around in advance, you should be able to borrow these from your neighbours.

No Queen’s birthday celebration would be complete without Union Jack decorations so keep them subtle and quaint with some Union Jack bunting or go all out with Union Jack plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, hanging decorations… anything red, white and blue! Party Delights has a great range of Union Jack party supplies – it’s never too early to start planning your Queen’s 90th street party so why not take a look?

As for food, make sure everyone chips in so that one person doesn’t have to bear the whole cost of the party. Stick to easy-to-prepare party food like sandwiches, sausage rolls and cakes as well as some traditionally British fare like tea, scones and Pimms!

Now you know how to throw a traditional British street party, shop Union Jack party supplies or stay on the Party Delights blog for even more British party ideas:

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