Many parties are expected to be held by local residents to coincide with the bell ringing at Windsor Castle, as Prince Harry marries the former Suits actress Meghan Markle on Saturday May 19th. With many local authorities abolishing road closure fees, it has never been cheaper to encourage community spirit on your doorstep for this very British celebration. As well as the wedding, the FA cup final will be on later in the afternoon, so there is even more reason to hang the bunting and get everyone together to celebrate a day of all things British!
Once you have sorted the permission by your local council for your street party that may require a road closure, you can start to plan the fun details of the day. But if you have a last minute plan, know that if you hold a small event in a driveway, parking area, front garden or end of a cul-de-sac does not require permission from the council if it is on private land.
If you are intending of selling alcohol at your party you will need to apply for a temporary notice from your council costing £21. This covers for 500 people or less, and isn’t needed if you’re providing alcohol and food for free. Food can be served and sold up to 11pm without a licence, you can check Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines if you want to further ensure food safety. Suggestions for food and drinks would be classic picnic food like sandwiches, pastries, cut up vegetables with dips, BBQ style food, afternoon tea, fruit salads, ice cream stations, pimms and punch bowls to name a few. Anything that is truly British style food is the perfect way to celebrate so get your aprons on!
Don’t forget music! Go wild with live music or play tracks through a speaker without a licence if it is a private party for residents, rather than an event designed to draw crowds or for profit. Don’t have it on too loud or for too long and be sure to cater for all music tastes – British classics like Queen, The Beatles and Madness are safe choices.
Decorations are a must. The colourful triangular flags that make up bunting were originally used in the Royal Navy as signal flags. They then became associated with British garden parties and traditional celebrations. Balloons and union flags are good options too. Some parties like to hold a raffle or tombola, which is okay to do as long as the prizes aren’t worth more than £500 in total – any more than that then your local authority may require you to register it as a lottery.
All the other bits for the day – folding chairs, tables, gazebos or small marquees. Or even ask guests to bring their own chair and drinks to save on costs and resources! To make the day even more fun, you might want to run some small activities for the children like face painting or fancy dress.
Places to celebrate: Winchester cathedral will hold a live-screen of the royal wedding and in Nottingham the local authority announced that street party organisers can apply for a grant up to £200, so expect many street parties to be taking place on that day.
Featured image: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/the_queens_diamond_jubilee/9308909/The-Queens-Diamond-Jubilee-Street-Parties.html