How to plan a Platinum Jubilee street party
The Queen's Jubilee in June may seem a long way off but now is the time to start planning a right royal knees up with your neighbours. Here's how to do it
Get the flags out, the fancy dress on and royal-themed food a-cooking! Communities across the country have an excuse for a big party on the first weekend in June 2022. This year the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, a record 70-year long reign, with an extra-long weekend from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June.
Summer may seem a long way off but now is the time to start planning a right royal knees up with your neighbours. It’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate all of the different cultures in your neighbourhood and get to know people better.
Here’s some tips on organising your celebration:
You may already be brimming with ideas but get some of your neighbours involved in the planning and logistics too. Invite them to an informal brainstorm meeting in a local pub, library or cafe. It may seem daunting at first to knock on doors, but most people are incredibly friendly and willing to partake.
You’ll be surprised who turns up! Not only will they help spread the responsibilities, but you’re sure to find everyone has some great ideas and skills to contribute.
Save the date
The Queen’s main Platinum Jubilee celebrations are taking place during the extra-long bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June 2022. Agree when you’ll host your event and pop a save the date note to your neighbours, so they can book it in their diaries.
Location, location, location
Every neighbourhood has different communal spaces so pick one that makes it easy for people to attend. You could host a party in your local park, on your street or in a local pub. Think creatively and also consider access—if people are bringing tables, chairs, food etc is it going to be easy for them to get to? And will people with mobility issues be able to access it?
Bond with food
Food is always a good way to bring people together. So why not host a Big Jubilee Lunch? The Big Lunch is a national, annual event that sees millions of communities sharing a meal and making memories. Ask each neighbour to bring a dish to share for a pot-luck lunch, or you could make it more of a high-tea affair with a cake competition. Think of exciting soft drinks too.
Give your event a focus
Communities are also being encouraged to plant a tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy or light a beacon to connect with people across other Commonwealth countries. Other ideas include a royal costume competition or parade, a bake off, a sports day, a quiz… Any of these could create a focus for your event and help people share in jubilation.
Celebrate local talent
People are full of hidden talents and once you get asking around, you’ll be surprised at the number of skilled musicians, chefs, DIYers and seamstresses that you have on your doorstep. Make sure you ask your neighbours for help with everything from sourcing tables for feasting on, making bunting or paper crowns with the kids, or rigging up a sound system for music.
You could even organise a talent show or open mic so people can step up and share their talent. A skill swap board where people share what they need or can help with could create longer bonds between neighbours.
Once you’ve agreed on a location, you’ll need to apply for relevant permissions. For example, if you want to close your road, you need to apply to your local council. The process can take up to six weeks so apply early. And make sure you’ve asked people who actually live on the street first. As it’s a public event, you might need insurance as well.
Think about the timetable for the day—when will it start and what time will different activities happen? And do think about tables, chairs, napkins, parasols, lighting (for when the party goes on well into the night!), containers for leftover food, bin bags… People are usually happy to bring their own as long as you’ve given them plenty of warning.
Invite your neighbours
Once you’ve thought through all of the above, a nice invitation with the date, time, main activities and what they need to bring (for example glasses, cutlery, cake…), popped through your neighbours’ door adds a personal touch. Make sure you include a contact name and details so people can get in touch to the run-up to the event. And if you need help with anything, don’t be shy about asking for volunteers!
The next day, encourage everyone to share photos from the day on a neighbourhood WhatsApp group to really cement those Jubilee memories. And give yourself and others a big pat on the back at the end of it all.
Read more: Barry Humphries: I Remember
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