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Hosting a Street Party or Big Lunch in 2023?

Are you thinking about planning a street party or Big Lunch in celebration of the coronation of King Charles III over the weekend of 6th – 8th May?

We have put together a handy guide to help to ensure your community
event goes without a hitch.

Getting started

First off, engage with friends and neighbours to establish how many participants there will be attending the street party or Big Lunch. This will determine how much space you need and where you should consider holding your event. You could hold the party in someone’s garden, on a driveway, in a car park or public space, or actually on the street itself. When it comes to the latter and you need to close the road, then you will definitely need to contact your local council. The best source of useful information for street closure is on the website. Here you can find out if you need to take out liability insurance, but your local council will be able to guide you on this.

Planning for the day
As the date approaches, get help from those planning to attend and delegate out tasks. Make a list of who is doing what, including providing decorations, food and drink to be served, where will you borrow folding tables and chairs from and how many you will need. Do you need some form of a sound system and what other activities can you include at your event for full community engagement and to help make memories? You could make contact with your local village hall, sports club, church or community centre who may be kind enough to loan out tables and chairs. Even better, how about considering buying a Heritage folding table, with its lovely Union Jack top? The perfect centrepiece for a royal celebration.

Shelter from inclement weather
Of course, we all know how unreliable the British weather can be and the rain gods may well be out and about during the weekend of the Coronation. It would be wise to consider some form of shelter, be it a simple pop-up gazebo, party tent or marquee. Perhaps a sensible contingency would be to plan an indoor space for the worst eventuality.

Decorations and colour for a memorable street party
The mainstay of any British street party has got to be bunting. While this can be purchased cheaply, a great way to connect and socialise with your neighbours is to arrange a bunting-making party. Bunting can easily be made from any scraps of fabric, or you can even upcycle your old clothes. You don’t need to own a sewing machine to create some great bunting. A stapler and string can be all you need. Take a trip to your local charity shop which is a great source for cheap fabric or ask if anyone has a fabric stash that they would be happy to donate. However, if you want to make long-lasting and reusable bunting, use a sewing machine to sew triangles of fabric to bias binding and you will have created some fabulous bunting which will last for the next generation. If you need some inspiration, take a look at YouTube where there are tutorials on how to make bunting.

Red, white and blue tablecloths and Union Jack memorabilia not only look great but lends a patriotic feel to any event. Floral arrangements, crockery and cutlery (possibly again loaned from the village hall) with balloons and ribbons will make your party colourful and memorable. You could always encourage participants to make their own decorated hat to wear at the party.
Eden Project Communities is a useful resource for organising a community gathering.

Clearing up after the event
Make sure your party kit includes bins bags to clear away the debris at the end of the day. Fold up and take your tables and chairs back to where they have been borrowed, making sure they have been given a good clean to keep in the good books of the loaner. Have a gang of volunteers on hand to do the clearing up as there is nothing worse than the main organiser being left to clear up.

Have a wonderful Coronation Bank Holiday and three cheers for King Charles III and the Queen Consort.