As the country celebrates Her Majesty’s 70th year on the throne – making her the first British monarch to do so – members of the public have been encouraged to hold street parties in their neighbourhoods to mark the occasion together.
Street parties are a historical fixture during times of celebration in the UK, with the first street parties taking place in 1919 after the First World War.
Since then, people have held them on occasions such as the coronation of King George VI, the end of the Second World War, the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Diana, and for Queen Elizabeth II’s silver, golden and diamond jubilees.
For the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations from 2 to 5 June, more than 2,400 street parties or private events have been registered so far across the country.
Here’s everything you need to know about organising a jubilee street party.
Apply to hold a street party
Anyone can host a street party, but you should first check what requirements and permissions you need from your local council to get the green light.
You can visit gov.uk/apply-hold-street-party to check what information your council needs to know in order to give you the go-ahead.
According to the government’s website, you should not need a risk assessment to have a street party as long as consideration is given to the safety needs of all those attending.
You also do not require a music license for a street party unless amplified music is one of the main features of the event.
You will also have to check if you need a Temporary Events Notice if you plan to sell alcohol.
However, if your street party requires road closure, most councils will need around six weeks’ advance notice so they can put a temporary traffic regulation order. As there are just two weeks left until the platinum jubilee weekend, applications for street parties that require road closures will likely be closed.
You can plan a simpler party called a Street Meet at short notice, which takes place on private land, such as a driveway or front garden. This does not require you to fill in any council forms.
The government does not require you to have public liability insurance to host a street party. However, if you prefer to have insurance, the Street Party site and The Big Lunch website have plenty of good advice and special rates.
Invite everyone on the street
You will need to send out paper invitations for the street party to all the residents on your street, as this may be needed to show your council that you have “consulted” everyone who lives there.
While it’s not compulsory, you can also go from door-to-door to invite people and get them involved in bringing food, drinks, furniture and entertainment.
Schedule a street party
According to the Street Party website, which gives advice on how to host a street party, a basic schedule for the day can start at 11am, after everyone has removed their cars from the street.
The website then recommends having lunch at 2pm to “bring everyone together” and plan a tea party at 5pm. All street parties should finish by a reasonable time so it doesn’t keep other neighbours awake, with some councils recommending that they finish by 9pm.
Decorate your street party
Take a cue from the shops when it comes to decorating your own street party and let the British flag fly high with plenty of union jack bunting, banners and royal paraphernalia.
Brands have gone all out with platinum jubilee-themed products – such as commemorative merchandise and a corgi cake – so it won’t be difficult to find the right decorations for the event.
However, if doing a load of shopping is unappealing, you can keep costs down and get your neighbours involved by making hand-made bunting, banners, posters and other decorations together.
Don’t forget about other items you’ll need for the party, including tables and chairs, plates, glasses and cutlery, as well as bin bags for tidying up and ensuring no litter gets left behind once the festivities are over.
Plan food for the street party
While it may be tempting to cook up a feast, it is easier and more community-spirited to organise a pot luck instead of cooking up food for the entire street by yourself.
Traditional British street food fare includes items like coronation chicken sandwiches, sausage rolls, trifles, scones with jam and cream, strawberries and the like.
You could take things a step further by preparing the official platinum jubilee pudding, a lemon and amaretti trifle created by Jemma Melvin. The pudding won the coveted title out of thousands of entries, and the recipe can be found here.