Before the party You will have already advertised the date and time of your party a few weeks before the day with posters on trees and lamposts (your local authority, as part of their street closure process, may well have advertised the road closure in the local paper).
Your poster will ask all neighbours with cars to move them from the Street Party area in the morning. Most people are happy to do this and you will then have a street ready and clear to stage your event.
1:00pm Setting up Decorate the street, blow up balloons, hang bunting from upstairs windows diagonaly from house to house all the way up the street (if people aren't out yet this will do it).
Chairs and garden tables are brought out from back gardens and set out in the road.
Barbecues are clustered together in a quiet corner of the road and lit. A tea urn is filled.
A soft play area for toddlers is created with a sofa, a roll of carpet, lino, paddling pool, sandpit, or playmats.
2:00pm Street Lunch Everyone makes a dish to share, creating a communal dining table with lots of delicious choices.
3:00pm Handmade go-carts activity (a two hour workshop run by the Handmade Go-Kart club who will be bring Go-Karts for the children to try out on a circuit on the street.*
Beachball Volleyball, basketball, skittles, sack race, den building.
Front garden Swap Shops (bring stuff you don’t need anymore and trade it for something you do).
3:15pm Homemade Cake and Cookie competition. Entries are displayed and judged. Wheelie Bin parade.
3:30pm Raffle with proceeds going to a local charity (prizes obtained from local businesses)
4:00pm Neighbour's Tea party (Competition cakes and cookies eaten). Tug of war (odd numbers vs. even, children vs. adults, boys vs. girls, etc)
5:00pm Party winds up. Everyone joins in the clear up. Cars returned to their spaces. Everyone looks forward to doing it again next year.
* visit http://www.handmadegocartclub.com/ for more information).
A few days after this entry was posted I recieved an email containing a happy recollection from Play England's National Practice Manager, the mighty Mick Conway.
"A brilliant thing to do is to ask locals to bring out bathroom scales to weigh the contestants. The idea is that the combined weight on each side should be roughly the same - a few stones/kilos here or there doesn't matter. The children inevitably win, because their traction with several times more feet on their side gives them a huge advantage - not many people know this!
We did this 30 years ago in Bermondsey, with the deal being that the adults had to donate £1 each to the playground if they lost. The adults were thrashed, even though they cheated first by tying their end of the rope to a fence - which disintegrated. We called foul, started again and this time the bad losers tied their end to a thirty-foot tree that started to come out of the ground. We got £50 off them in the end."