How To Throw A Great Street Party

Following on from last week’s post, we hope we’ve inspired some of you to get involved with our Together Festival in August by hosting a street party with your neighbours. If so, we have put together a few ideas to help you create a great party for everyone! From decorations to games, music and food, to fundraising, we’ve covered all bases just for you!

Decorations

Bunting

A street party isn’t a street party without bunting and decorations on the street. Of course, you can buy bunting online pretty cheaply, however with it being the summer holidays, why not get the kids involved to make bunting and paper chains to help decorate? Remember, bunting can be made out of almost anything — recycled scraps of old fabric, old clothes, plastic bags or even old tents — so get creative!

All you need is:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Blu-Tack or drawing pins
  • Scraps of material
  • Ribbon, bias tape or even old shoe laces to string your bunting on
  • Adhesive: double-sided tape, glue-gun, stapler or needle and thread

Firstly, make a template by drawing the outline of a triangle onto your piece of cardboard. Take your scissors and carefully cut out the shape to create your own bunting template. For the classic bunting shape, we recommend marking measurements of 16cm for the top edge and 22cm for the sides. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try different shapes and sizes. 

Attach your bunting template to pieces of scrap material using pins or Blue-Tak so that the fabric doesn’t move while you’re cutting out your flag. Carefully cut around the template to create the flags and repeat until you have the amount you want.

A template to make bunting attached to scrap material.
Credit: Eden Project Big Lunch

Space your flags out evenly along the material you have chosen to string them on. Bias tape is a narrow strip of fabric, handy for finishing off rough edges of fabric; you can find it in various colours and sizes in your nearest sewing shop or large supermarket. Ribbon also works well for bunting; try to find fun colours and patterns to make your bunting stand out. You could even use old shoe laces or string!

Fix your flags to your string, being careful to leave a decent amount of free space either end for hanging your bunting. You can attach your flags in a couple of ways: a needle and thread will give you a lovely polished look; a hot glue-gun is quick and easy (mind your fingers!); or, if you’re short on time, try double-sided tape or even a stapler! 

You’re done! Now you can enjoy the bunting by hanging them up across the street!

Street Art

Chalk drawings and painted murals are a great way for people of all ages to get together and temporarily brighten up your street for a party. All you need is a bit of imagination!

Chalk drawing

Just grab a few boxes of coloured chalk and round up some willing artists in order to decorate your pavement. when you’re hosting your party, why not have a competition and hand out prizes to the best community artists?

Outdoor painting

Make sure you don’t get in trouble for criminal damage by not using normal paint! Use food colouring so you can wash it away afterwards.

You need a stretch of paving or wall to get started and some brushes or, if you fancy getting really messy, you can use your hands and feet too. You can also enjoy making prints from leaves, wheels, twigs, plant pots and other items found in the garden.

Use an old container to mix ¼ C of water with ¼ C of cornflour and make sure it is mixed well. Add some food colouring. Be careful with how much food colouring you use as too much could leave faint stains on the surfaces. And that’s it – start colouring!

Games

There are so many different ideas of games you can play, below are just a few simple ideas, but you can literally play anything. If you’d like you could even play giant garden games if anyone has any to hand!

Community Treasure Hunt

This is a simple icebreaker that gets everyone in your party involved, and gets people finding out more about each other.

Create a list of questions and hand a copy to everyone. The aim is to try and find someone who fits the bill for each question. You only need a couple to get the conversation started.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Who has lived in the street the longest?
  • Who’s the oldest resident? Who’s the youngest?
  • Who has the quirkiest pet?
  • Who was born the furthest away?

The winner is whoever has answers for the most questions.

Water Balloon Games

If the date you have chosen to have your street party is a scorcher like it is this week, then most of us won’t mind getting a little wet in a game to cool down! Here are some great water balloon game ideas to keep everyone cool!

Flap The Kipper

Food/Grow Your Own

Food is the one thing that easily brings people together so we’re encouraging people to make simple food from their home cultures/traditions to help neighbours get to know each other better. Keep it simple and make sure everything is labelled clearly with ingredients so it’s easy for those with allergies or cultural/religious preferences can easily choose accordingly. If you’re stuck for ideas here are a few simple food ideas.

Or if there are keen gardeners on your street/block you could get them involved by:

  • Organising a plant or veg swap (all you need is a table with a sign on, and an optional donations pot)
  • Having a competition for the tallest sunflower
  • Offering a prize for the best tasting homegrown veg
  • Decorate tables with flowers from your garden/window basket

Music

Music is another must have for a street party. A simple way to get some background music going is to get a few households to tune in to the same radio station/Spotify playlist and open the windows to get surround sound. See if anyone plays an instrument and fancies playing a few tunes; there’s nothing better than live entertainment. If you’re thinking about hiring entertainment for your party, you’ll need to look at getting a Temporary Event Notice (more info on council site under street parties for when this applies).

Fundraising/Giving

Lots of people use street parties to raise awareness or funds for a cause close to their heart, be it for their own community group or a local asset such as a children’s play area, or for a bigger, national charity. If you choose to go down the fundraising route, we at Church At Barking Riverside would love it if you considered giving to our youth project, helping to give young kids in our community a platform to share what’s important to them and help them on their journey to getting closer to God. If you would like to raise funds for us, please check out our giving page.

Keep it Simple – Have fun!

There are endless ideas, check out the street party website for more! But the main things is to have fun – so it keep it simple, what’s realistic for you and your neighbours so that you can enjoy getting together. It could be as simple as picnic on the pavement on a sunny afternoon 🙂 Get creating and make sure to share your beautiful ideas with us via our socials using #TogetherFestBR.

We’ve got free packs to get you started (first come first served)- if you would like to get involved as a street host please get in touch here or on 07493616169. The packs include leaflets to spread the word with neighbours, bunting, cups and plates, giant chalks and a how to guide to help plan. Have fun!

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