Street parties are a fantastic way to get to know your neighbours, form some bonds and give the kids reign of the street for an entire day! As summer approaches, bringing events like the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with it, a street party provides an opportunity to get members of the community outside to celebrate together. We’re going to take you through exciting street party ideas and how you can throw your own…
How to Apply for a Street Party Licence
Before we get onto the exciting bits, you will need to sit and think about some legal considerations. The party can be for local residents only (and only publicised to them), must be self-organised, and on a quiet residential road – so no parties on the motorway, sorry!
You will need to apply for permission, so get in touch with your local council about 4-6 weeks before you want to throw your party. If you’re planning on closing the road, it won’t hurt to be prepared and contact the council up to 12 weeks in advance, but otherwise, you can host what’s known as a Street Meet.
See the gov.UK guidelines for the full info and where to get your application form.
OKAY, now we can get on to the fun stuff!
How to Organise a Street Party
The first thing you’ll need to do is get your neighbourhood on board, you could do this by putting notes through doors or starting the conversation on your local social media or messaging group. Opting for physical invitations will add a personal touch and ensures that everyone will get the message. We’ve already made printable invitations in a few styles, so all you need to do is fill in the blanks. The purpose of the invitations is to tell them about the idea and ask for opinions on the date and whether they’d be open to helping out.
If you have older residents on the street, why not knock on their door and have a chat? They might be more inclined to join in (and not raise any objections) if you talk to them directly about their concerns. The Street Party website has some great advice for making your street Age-Friendly.
Set up a date for everyone who wants to be involved to get together. You’ll need help and possibly some donations, so make sure everyone feels heard. Have a chat about what kind of activities, food and drink you’ll want (more on those below), and get the ball rolling for full party planning!
At least a month before the party, hand out invitations and ask for any volunteers that you need. We’ve prepared another invitation for you that you can download here in red white and blue, bright summer colours or cupcake sprinkles, keeping the same theme as your previous notice.
Some things you might want to ask for:
- Chairs and tables
- A speaker system
- Food and drink
- Plates, cups and cutlery
- Performers or activities
- A clean-up crew
This is another great opportunity to talk to your neighbours directly – don’t just put an invitation through their door and walk away! After all, isn’t this all about encouraging community spirit?
The day before the party, it’s a good idea to put notes on cars to ask whether people would kindly move their car for the next day. If you’ve done the rest right, nobody should be surprised at this request.
Street Party Food and Drink Ideas
It isn’t a street party – or street meet – without a little food and drink! You could have a BBQ, getting everyone to bring something for the grill, but don’t forget to cater for everyone and include veggie, vegan and gluten-free options. Alternatively, you could ask for donations and order from a local café or takeaway, spreading the love even further in the community.
A great way to get all the neighbours involved is with a potluck picnic! Get everyone to bring something they’ve made themselves, or something shop-bought disguised as homemade! The tricky bit here is the organisation, as you don’t want to end up with just 20 sponge cakes. Make a sign-up sheet and get everyone to commit to what they’re bringing ahead of time.
Another very sweet option is to set up a tea party! This is great for all ages, and if you have the space you can spread out a bunch of picnic blankets (plus chairs for the older neighbours). A tea party can be as simple as buying sandwiches and cakes. You can drive home the British street party theme with items like our Union Jack cake stand and Union Jack sugar cake toppers.
Make sure you’re fully stocked on plates, cups, cutlery and napkins so there’s enough for everyone. Disposable tableware makes clean-up easy (and you can easily opt for an eco-friendly option). If you’re throwing a Jubilee street party, keep on theme with Union Jack paper plates and serving platters.
One important thing to remember for street parties is that if you want to sell alcohol, you’ll need a license. However, if you are taking donations for the party to cover food and drinks costs (including alcohol), then you won’t be required to have a licence – use your best judgement of whether that’s suitable!
Street Party Decorations
Decorations are really where you can make the street party come to life – after all, what’s a street party without a little bunting? With bunting, you can go all out, and attach it to lampposts, fences, front doors or anywhere else you can think of! Obviously, ask permission if it’s not your front door or fence. We have a wide range of bunting to choose from, including our classic Union Jack flag bunting and our 36m red, white and blue block colour bunting.
You can buy all your party decorations or you can make a few yourself in true DIY spirit. The donation pot will come in handy here, bring the street to life with fun street party decorations, including our red, white and blue crepe streamer kit and patriotic tassel garlands. Balloons are also a great idea, however, you can make the decoration committee’s life much easier by going for a helium canister to do the work for you. Our helium canister kit includes balloons and ribbons, which will certainly help to keep your party afloat!
There are different looks and themes you could consider for your street party. For a more kitschy, mismatched look that emanates street parties of the past, you can use an assortment of plates, cups and table cloths. Alternatively, you choose something like a Jubilee street party pack, such as our Union Jack pack that has enough plates and bunting for 50 people!
Street Party Activities and Entertainment
When it comes to deciding on what fun things you might host at the street party, try to keep your audience, or rather your guests, in mind. For example, will it mostly be families with young kids? How many elderly people will be there? Is it going to be an adult-centric affair?
Try to make the most of the talents that people on your street have, maybe one of your neighbours is a fantastic singer or perhaps an expert face painter… Most of these fun ideas are designed with kids in mind, but a few of them are great for grown-ups!
- Cupcake or biscuit decorating
- Fancy dress parade
- Art with sidewalk chalk (or make your own)
- Face painting – cute ideas here!
- Teddy Bear’s picnic
- Live performances from talented neighbours
- Pet parades
- Piñata smashes!
- Mask painting
- Toy swaps
- Flag making
Street Party Games
Most garden games are suitable for playing in the street, although we’d suggest staying away from anything too disruptive, such as football or water fights. Check out our list of 30 summer party games the whole family will enjoy for more inspiration!
- Kids’ golf
- Giant noughts and crosses
- A table for playing cards
- Stacking games
- Pin the tail on the donkey
- Treasure hunts
- Jubilee themed quiz
- Sack race
Finally, make sure you have a crew of volunteers to help with the clean up at the end of the party. You’ll need to make sure that everything on the street is spick and span for the next morning when people might need to get to work or school.
We hope this street party guide will help you on your way to organising the event of the year for your neighbourhood! You can see more from our British street party and Jubilee party decoration range here.