How to Organise a Street Party

How to Organise a Street Party

> Attending a street party for the first time is like meeting new friends with benefits.

Benefits like neighbours so close your kids can run down and pick up that egg you are missing halfway through a recipe.  Swapping babysitting.  Picking up milk for your elderly neighbour across the road.  Having a walking bus to school.  Having someone mow your unruly nature strip just because they happened to be doing theirs.  People to put your bins out when you are away.
A street party can turn your suburban road, crescent or avenue into a country town.  I had such a great time, I offered to help organise the next one!
Note that some councils do not allow street parties, however the same principles can be applied for a meet up at the nearest park.  Check with your council for their regulations and even advice.
This is what we did:
We decided on a date (the advantage of being the organiser, choose what suits you!)
Visited our local council website for the current rules on holding a street party.
We obtained signatures from 75% of the residents to say that they approved of the street being closed for the duration of the party.
As a council requirement, we obtained Local Community Insurance, which cost us just over $200.
Lodged the forms with Council for the permit to close the street.  This cost $110.  For this, council will erect the road closed signs at the start of the event and remove them at the end.
The checklist also required us to notify Police, Ambulance and the Fire Department of the street closure, as well as the processes for these.
Our council is very pro-street parties as part of their vision of creating strong communities and refunded us $120 towards the cost of the insurance.  We just submitted a form after the party.
We issued invitations three weeks before the event.  We are undecided on the benefits of RSVPs.  Some people come who don’t RSVP and others don’t come who have.  We requested the even side of the street bring a plate of something savoury and the odd side brings something sweet.  We also asked for volunteers to bring trestle tables and barbeque.
On the day, once the council barriers were up, a team of us set up some trestle tables on the side of the road (less chance of interfering with children on bikes)
A few of us bought out eskies with ice, chairs, and a barbeque. We also put a few wheelie bins for rubbish to go straight into.
Decorations were bought out to make the area look a touch more festive.
We also supplied sticky labels for everyone to write their name and house number and a big supply of chalk for the kids to draw on the street (a huge hit)
One family absorbed the cost of the council application and another family absorbed the net cost of the insurance.  We are considering a household charge, whether this is prepaid or paid on the day.
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