Street parties are a big part of British culture that first started at the end of the First World War when ‘Peace Teas’ filled the streets of Britain with people celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Communities that had been devastated by the horrors of war reunited to celebrate a new beginning with treats that had been denied during the hardships of this time. And so the tradition of street parties started and now continue to celebrate national occasions with communities gathering together in their roads to share food they have all created, enjoy entertainment, play games and generally socialise.
If you want to organise a street party for an occasion such as VJ Day here’s a few tips and hints to planning the perfect event:
Start A Couple Months In Advance
- Chat with your neighbours and let them know that you’re considering hosting a party. This is not a small task, having help from neighbours will go a long way. Ask if they would help prepare food, beverages, or, of course, some yummy baked goods. And don’t forget our Baking Boxes are the ideal choice to help you make delicious bakes for your street party.
- Ask your local council about road closure procedures. Give them plenty of notice as this will give all parties time to move through the procedure.
- Think about when to hold it. You’ll want to have nice weather and make sure not to schedule when there would be major conflicts, like a national holiday– unless you want it to be the theme of the party!
- Plan 2 or 3 meetings and invite everyone in your street in writing.
- Ideally hold some of your meetings in the street. If your street agrees, apply to your local council for road closure.
- Share jobs and get involvement from everyone. Allocate jobs such as activity planning, menu creation, decorations, and scheduling.
- Plan activities for all ages and tastes. Street parties are a great way to bring your neighbourhood together. Make sure there are activities that will be appealing to young and old alike.
- Arrange the space. Start by making sure road signs are clearly visible and that it’s obvious that the road is closed. Next, create areas for groups to gather and mingle. Also, ensure there is a space for food and drinks.
- Gather folding tables for easy set-up and take down, especially if you’ll be serving food.
A Week Before
- Remind the neighbours! Send out reminders for the party and for moving cars if you need to.
- Display a legal order for road closure if you required.
On the day
- Set up road closure and barriers to clearly secure your party space
- Decorate! This is a great activity to get everyone involved in.
- Make sure that you have a way to safely keep the food. If you’re serving items that need to be refrigerated, ask if you can store those items in the closest house until it’s time for them to be served.
- Snap some pictures and enjoy yourself and being with your neighbours!
- Once the party is over, make sure to take down the decorations, reopen the road, and thank everyone for their help.
There you have it, our guide to hosting a street party. And don’t forget, Britain Loves Baking has a new Summer Baking Box that you can order easily online at www.britainlovesbaking.com that gives a selection of bakes that are perfect for your street party!