It’s the Diamond Jubilee and an Olympic Summer in the UK and street parties are being planned country-wide. If you’re organising a street party – 6-10 million of us are joining community big lunches and street parties on Sunday 3 June for the Jubilee – thinking about it… or just contributing, we’ve got lots of ideas and inspiration for you to get organised.
Read on for ideas on…
- Food and drink
- Table decorations
- Organisation basics
First things first
Street parties take a little planning and The Big Lunch, from the Eden Project, now in its 4th year has pulled together an organising pack full of tips and instructions how to apply for permission from your local council to get your road closed for the big event.
The Big Lunch has been chosen by Buckingham Palace as its street party partner to help organise Big Jubilee Lunches in every town and city across the UK. Everything you need to organise your party is in its pack that even includes a packet of salad leaf seeds.
Organising packs can be ordered online or by phoning 0845 850 8181.
Make it a party to remember!
Food, drink, decorations and fun. One of the great things about Neighbourhood Street parties is everyone can get involved making something. Here are some MIAMI favourites to inspire your planning. Read our royal wedding piece from 2011 for more pointers…
Bunting – no Diamond Jubilee street party worth its salt will be without bunting. Make it from fabric scraps or even old paper and team up for a sewing evening with friends to get the essentials in place.
Create your own unique bunting decoration using fabric, salt dough – even newspaper – and make any design you choose to suit your theme.
Making paper bunting – follow the instructions for fabric, but use newspaper. It’ll cost you hardly anything. Think about getting each household to paint their own pennants, string them up and maybe even hold a competition for the winning design. You could make bunting by upcycling old clothes, using up newspaper or magazines and other packaging. Make it fun, colourful and all about your event.
Who does what?
Most community events happen because neighbours come together and divide out responsibilities for the preparations. So first – galvanise your organising committee. Decide who will manage tables, chairs, decorations, tickets, local council responsibilities and just get on with it. Send flyers out through every door, charge for tickets to cover base costs and raise more money for local or favoured charities. It only takes a few people – maybe half a dozen – to make a great day for dozens, even hundreds of neighbours.
Food and drink
They’re both perfect summer drinks and with our recipes, are almost free to make.
Fairy cakes can be made in moments and just ice and add sprinkles in lots of combinations for a great display.
This chocolate sponge cake is so easy, you can get your kids to make it.
But as well as all your cake recipes, try some alternatives for your street party table.
Quick and easy strawberry cheesecake - like it says, easy and a little different than a standard cake.
Perfect meringues - they look just gorgeous, especially stacked on your own hand-made vintage cake stand.
Mini cakes – Victoria sandwiches, lemon drizzle, cheesecakes and even savoury treats like Spanish tortilla are a perfect way to share. Lakeland have just introduced their fabulous straight-sided 12-mini cake pans. Brilliant for parties.
Puff pastry really comes into its own for tasty finger food… and as we’ve discovered is brilliant for getting kids involved in the kitchen. Here’s how the daughter of one MIAMI members cooked up some great picnic food.
And BBQs are a no brainer for community cooking. You can even make your own BBQ from an old metal bucket.
Dressing the table
It’s a party – make it look like a celebration. Paint or print plain paper tablecloths, or, if you’re in sewing mood, have a go at reviving an old tablecloth with Diamond Jubilee appliqué ideas.
Make those cupcakes or mini sandwich cakes stand out with your own handmade 3-tier vintage cake stand from old plates.
Planning on going on into dusk or night time? You’ll need tea light holders. Make these with summer colours, or just paste coloured tissue paper over used glass yogurt jars, or small jam jars, to create a lovely atmosphere in any colour you choose.
Other simple decorations include fresh flowers and foliage - cut from your gardens, or grow pots of herb from seed.
Confetti and paper flowers are other cheap and effective ways of making your table special. Just think what can be made and what would make a good community project to get together on beforehand.
Take lots of photos! And let us know how you’re getting on.
Games and entertainment
There’s more to a street party than food and drink. Organise competitions for kids and grown-ups. Hats and costumes are always the basis for a good competition and make fun parades. How about a mini sports day? Favourites like egg & spoon, 3-legged and sack races (yes, grown-ups can do these too). Why not run an OpenMic – give all that local talent a bit of an airing. Really, its your day, your neighbourhood, your party. It’s not often you all get together so enjoy making a full day and evening of it.