As we are swiftly approaching the celebration of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day on Saturday 19th May, it’s a great time for neighbourhoods to come together, unite and start the street party preparations. Street parties have been a lifelong tradition that seems to be becoming ever-more popular. But what is it about a street party that makes people come to together and want to celebrate?
The first street party which was also known as ‘Peace Teas’, began in 1919, just after World War I. The parties were a treat for children who were in times of hardships, which resulted in a formal sit-down affair in the street. As years went by, this unique British tradition has continued throughout the home nations, and will do so in the years to come
Nowadays, street parties are held for people of all ages and ethnicities which enables neighbourhoods to bring forward community spirit and unity altogether in one place. It’s now more of a relaxed environment and a chance to celebrate people coming together and an opportunity to celebrate a milestone for heads of state. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like a good party?
Let’s come together!
The majority of street parties, nowadays, are in aid of celebratory reasons such as the upcoming royal wedding, royal birthdays, golden jubilees, alongside street festivals such as Notting Hill Carnival, but why is it important to keep this tradition?
It encourages a community to form and bring diversity and culture to a neighbourhood. It’s not an everyday occasion that all residents socialise for several hours, have a good time and enjoy each others company. You may see a neighbour in passing and be inclined to say hello or have a brief conversation, but having people come together, and seeing everyone having a fun time no matter your age, brings that different element to a street party.
I remember attending street parties when I was much younger, a fun time was had by all, laughing, playing games and having activities that everyone could get involved with. These gatherings should be cherished as it provides a historic memory of saying;
‘What were you doing when the royal wedding took place?’
Which can then be passed on through generations sharing this monumental story. It’s now even easier to capture the moment with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, being at the hands of most people following the big moment.
It will be paramount that many people will be tuning in live on the day.
A recent article from the Evening Standard, has said that ‘the BBC will now waive their TV licence fees for the big day, so communities can live stream their iPlayer’s and TV’s’, with the sole purpose being for the big day. This is a great incentive from the BBC as it opens the gates for everyone to be included in this monumental day and be a part of history.
So, for those who are in charge of planning this year’s street party, take a look at some top tips to get street party ready:
- You need to ensure that you have the permission to use the street for the party via your local council, especially if it’s a large number of residents in attendance, as the road may need to be closed. However, if you are planning to do the party in your driveway, front garden or cul-de-sac you may not need to inform the council – but do double check this.
- Food Food Food! Ensure that you have enough food and drink to last the duration of your event – as what is a great street party without unlimited food and drink? Speak to residents and come up with different dishes each resident can make and pass this onto your neighbours.
- Decorations are a must! Anything colourful, vibrant or triangular with the British flag – bunting always makes the party.
- Have a range of games that will get everyone involved and have a good time.
- Have a good camera or camera phone on standby so you can take images of the residents having fun, to mark the joyous occasion.
Lastly, just let your hair down and have fun and enjoy the Royal Wedding! I will be for sure raising my glass to the royal couple and keeping my eyes peeled for what type of dress she’ll be in.
Olivia Blackstock – PR & Social Media Executive at drp