The Party Times Top Ten Street Party Tips
2012 is a big year for Britain. And the perfect excuse to throw a street party. Here Lorraine Buckle from The Party Times tell The Lady her top tips for throwing a bash to remember...
1. Spread the word. Start as you mean to go on by dropping a quick note through all your neighbours’ doors saying you want to host a street party and asking if they want to be involved. Encourage them and say that they can do as much or as little as they like. Share the load by giving everyone a task and something they can sort for the party, big or small…and have plenty of wine and nibbles to hand at any meetings.
2. Sort the dates. Compile a simple questionnaire for neighbours, giving them all a choice of dates, times and asking for food and game ideas – people are far more likely to attend if they feel they have been part of it and have had their say.
3. Plan food. Do people want simple portable buffet snacks, which are easier to eat when socialising (and mean less clearing up too), or perhaps a bbq or even a curry? Go with the majority but don’t forget to cater for vegetarians
4. Bring your own tipples. Alcohol will almost certainly be required but it’s always much easier if people simply contribute their own. It’s best to make this clear from the start.
5. Plan play time. Why not set up a games area with face painting, limbo dancing and outdoor skittles. You could even schedule in a mini “sports day” for the children, with all kinds of different races and events.
6. Choose a theme. Theme the party for maximum effect! Coordinated decorations and tableware will look stunning – in the Union-Jack classic red, white and blue – these are easy to get hold of, as well as plain colour table covers and balloons. Children in the street could make some bunting that they have drawn themselves or perhaps printed pictures onto.
7. Avoid getting into a flap. Table-cover clips are essential for any outdoor party! They really do hold the table covers on the table and will avoid your culinary masterpieces being blown away.
8. Music maestro? Live music would be lovely, maybe ask in your street to see if anyone plays an instrument. If not, simply plug in an assortment of music, catering for all tastes, and pump up the volume.
9. Have a back up. It’s essential to make sure that there is a contingency plan in case of rain – perhaps someone has garage space they can make available with a couple of gazebos in front of it, just in case.
10. And finally... BIN BAGS! Lastly but very importantly: before the day itself, ensure you have plenty of bin bags and a group of volunteers to help you clear up after the party – the more the merrier...
Daily tip from the lady archive
"It is not always she who appears most kindly in her interest who is the safe sharer of sacred (maybe sorrowful) secrets! Charming manners do not always connote sincerity of heart!”The Lady. In Confidence. 4th April, 1918