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Anyone is free to hold a Platinum Jubilee street party anytime over the Platinum Jubilee long weekend (2-5 June), culminating in the Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday 5 June. Before you get planning your street party ideas there are a few tasks to tick off your to do list. Once everything is set, don’t forget to get the word out, letting neighbours, friends and family know what’s happening. Pop invites and fliers through doors, put up posters on lamp posts or start a street WhatsApp group to spread the word and help organise volunteers.
Hosting a street party great way to have fun with friends and family and a chance to get your decorating mojo on (you don’t need to ask us twice!) for the perfect garden party ideas.
Jubilee street party ideas
You’ll need to fill out a form on your local council website in advance if you’re planning an event as roads may need to be closed. The local council will need 4-12 weeks notice – find out more information at YouGov.
‘If you’re going all out with your street party, you may need a licence from your local authority relating to food and alcohol, music and any raffles and tombolas you would like to host,’ say insurance experts Protectivity. They also advise considering insurance if you’re planning a big event.
If you’ve missed the council deadline, live on a busy road or want to hold a smaller event, there’s also the option to keep your road open and have a ‘Street Meet’, on a driveway, front garden or at the end of a cul-de-sac, advise party-planning experts Talking Tables. Check out Street Party for more information.
1. Organise a table plan
Plenty of tables and garden seating ideas are a must-have for street party ideas. Get together with neighbours to organise who might have tables available, perhaps garden tables that can be brought out front with folding chairs that won’t take too much effort to set up. Find out if there are any long trestle-style tables available that could be borrowed, perhaps from a local school or community hall.
Organise table cloths and linens to brighten up tables and add some celebratory colour. Opt for plain red, white or blue cloths as a simple cover-up, which can then be jazzed up with fancier tableware and party decorations. Or consider disposable paper tablecloths which are inexpensive and make cleaning-up afterwards easier.
2. Put on a good spread
When it comes to food and drink, easy-to-prepare dishes are best, with a few classics thrown in to add a patriotic flavour, such as Coronation chicken sandwiches, scones and strawberry jam or Victoria sponge cakes.
‘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,’ say the experts at Talking Tables. ‘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.’
3. Make your own bunting
No street party is complete without lashings of bunting. Whether red, white and blue or Union Jack style banners, hang lengths of bunting between houses or running diagonally across the street strung from lamp posts to add patriotic colour.
And go all-out when it comes to decorating your house and front garden for the celebrations. Deck out window boxes and planters with cheery blooms in red, white and blue (or opt for purple at a push), hang flags at windows and on gates and consider decking out your front door with a garland of greenery or brightly-coloured blooms.
If you’ve plenty of time pre-party, why not make your own inexpensive fabric or paper bunting to deck the house. From tassel bunting to Union Jacks, follow a how to make bunting guide to show you exactly what to do and what supplies you’ll need.
4. Have a bake-off
Get in the party spirit by organising a street bake-off competition. Neighbours can take part and bake a celebratory cake or classic dish, with residents then voting on the winner. It will make a fun way of finishing off the proceedings and then the bakes can be enjoyed with a cup of tea at the end of the day. A mini bake-off for children is another option that makes a fun idea for younger residents.
5. Put on a spread
If space allows, put a trestle-style table out – dressed with party essentials, from sausage rolls and cupcakes galore for the family to tuck into.
Better still make the tasty treats homemade, turning it into fun party prep for all. Then turn your attention to your garden bar idea to get it stocked and ready to go for the festivities.
6. Pack a picnic
The Big Jubilee Lunch is a nationwide event that started in 2009. This year, it’s scheduled to take place on Sunday 5 June. If the idea of a full-scale street party a little much for you and your neighbours, why not gather for a low-key bring-your-own picnic instead. You’ll still create a sense of community spirit, but with less prep required.
7. Unite with bunting
Hang bunting between the houses on your street to feel a sense of solidarity. We’ve seen that in many parts of the country, the bunting is already in place to make the streets feel alive with colour.
8. Jazz up your seating arrangements
If you don’t have the space, or perhaps don’t even have a table, all you really need is your chair. Whether its one from inside or a garden chair, you just need somewhere comfy to sit for the afternoon. Make it feel more party ready by decorating it, with colourful ribbons and even freshly picked flowers.
If you want to create seating for friends and neighbours without having to buy anything new, there are plenty of DIY outdoor furniture ideas that might fill the bill.
9. Decorate with balloons
Team your bunting with balloons. Grouping several together forms a more impactful cluster, meaning they add more of a statement when united. A rather nice sentiment for VE Day decorations.
10. Set the scene with music
It’s not really a party until the music is playing. Be respectful with the volume, as there may be those on your street who are not joining the festivities. But a little background music can make all the difference to create a party vibe. Simply take your wireless speakers or radio outside and pick an uplifting playlist.
11. Use treasured tableware
Dust off the cake stand, because nothing says fancy afternoon tea quite like this tableware accessory. That goes for all your other ‘best’ pieces for serving party food, such as platters etc.
Whether you’re serving cake or scones, make it fancy – it’s a party after all.
12. Carry drinks out
Take your cooled drinks outside in a handy carrier. Mini bottles paired with colourful paper straws helps to make drinks feel more ‘special’, whatever you choose to drink.
13. Play garden games
Move the traditional garden games to the front garden. Although your neighbours can’t join in, they can be spectators – especially thoughtful for those living alone seeking to feel like part of the fun. This is also the ideal way to keep the kids more engaged throughout the festivities.
If your party looks set to go onto into the night, you could look at how to create an outdoor cinema to play a movie later on, or to watch some of the Jubilee coverage.
14. Prepare a cheeseboard
What celebratory day is complete without a cheeseboard? You could use a piece of slate and write the names of the cheeses in chalk beside them, so everyone knows what they’re eating.
15. Fly the flag
It’s the perfect a day to celebrate all things British, and Union Jack bunting is the epitome of the Platinum Jubilee decorations.
If it’s too late to buy online, make some yourself (or gets the kids to make some!). If bunting is too much of a challenge, simple red, white and blue paper chains will do the trick. It doesn’t matter how professional your bunting looks – sometimes a homemade look means more.
Additional words: Lisa Fazzani