Street parties

Street parties and fetes are a traditional part of community life. They are a simple way for us to get to know our neighbours and meet members of our community.

The simple guidelines below tell you how to hold a community event in your local area. There is also one simple form for you to use to let us know about your plans, so you can get on with the real work of organising a fun event.

What sort of events does this apply to?

This is about the sort of street parties and fetes that groups of residents get together to arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and fetes and larger public events are listed below:

  Street parties and fetes Larger public events
Attended by For residents / neighbours only Anyone can attend
Publicity Publicity only to residents External publicity (e.g. in newspapers)
Licences No licenses usually necessary if music incidental and no selling is involved Licence usually needed
Risk assessment No formal risk assessment needed Risk assessment common
Organised by Self organised Professional / skilled organisers
Insurance Insurance optional Insurance needed

Organising small, private street parties and fetes is very simple and generally does not include activities that need a licence, such as selling alcohol or providing certain types of entertainment.

It's that simple

If you would like to hold a small, private street party or fete to celebrate a national event you can use the form on this page to let us know about your plans.

While we want to make it as straightforward as possible for you to organise your event the Council has a legal duty to ensure the safety of the public and the free flow of traffic on the district’s roads.

That means we need to know where and when you want to close roads so that we can plan around it (for example, so emergency services know).

  • For cul-de-sacs and no-through routes we will allow closures providing the request is made by the majority of residents on the street and we are notified using the form on this page and an appropriate road closure order is obtained from us. 
  • For through routes a road closure will be allowed as long as a suitable diversion route is available and an appropriate road closure order is obtained from us. 
  • For classified roads, bus routes and certain roads deemed to be traffic-sensitive by the Council closure will not be permitted.

No charge will be made for road closures for national events.

We do not insist on you having public liability insurance but we strongly recommend event organisers to obtain it from a private insurer.

If you want to have a pay bar or intend to provide entertainment to the wider public, or charge to raise money for your event, you will need a Temporary Event Notice which is a type of temporary licence and costs £21.

Guide to holding a street party

This guide is aimed at helping you organise a simple neighbourhood party in the street where you live.

Why have a neighbourhood party?

Organising a neighbourhood party is a great way of getting to know your neighbours and making new friends.

They are also a fantastic way for everyone to build a stronger sense of belonging to your local community and are fun!

Top tips!

  • Keep your party simple 
  • Encourage everyone to bring food to share 
  • Give your event focus by arranging to eat at a fixed time 
  • Get everyone in the party spirit by playing a variety of music and avoid complaints by keeping the volume low 
  • Decide before the day who is going to pay for what. You could run a raffle on the day if you need to raise funds to cover costs 
  • Run party activities close together in a central location 
  • Start planning 2-3 months in advance

When to hold the party?

  • Sundays are often the best - fewer people work and for many it is a ‘family day’ 
  • Late spring or summer are the best dates

Planning and meetings

  • Start by chatting with a couple of neighbours you know 
  • Agree a date early on 
  • Hold 2-3 meetings in the street as this is more welcoming 
  • Share out the jobs, for example, taking notes, creating decorations etc

Involve everyone

The most successful parties involve as many neighbours as possible.
Send out a written invitation, but also remember to invite people face-to-face. Some people will need more encouragement.

Allow for a variety of tastes, for example offer vegetarian food and entertainment that’s suitable for all age groups.

You may not be able to please everyone, but as long as you invite everyone, respect differences and don’t seriously inconvenience anyone, your party should run smoothly.

Ideas for activities

Get as many people as possible to contribute their ideas and help on the day

  • Run a cake or cookie competition 
  • Dancing 
  • Tug of war 
  • Skittles 
  • Outdoor bowls 
  • Survey or petition on a local issue

What can go wrong?

  • What if it rains? Don’t worry, most rain is temporary. Cover things up and wait until it passes. 
  • What if a resident does not want the neighbourhood party? Listen to them – there may be a misunderstanding about the kind of party you are organising. Reassure them that the noise will be kept low. 
  • If you’re having a BBQ make sure that it is safe, properly supervised and not left unattended at any time.

Road closures, road signs, safety and insurance

For advice on any of these issues please fill out the Public Safety Liaison Group form. The form will be distributed to the relevant council officers who can advise you on how to proceed with your event while staying within the law. A meeting may be arranged to help you plan your event in the safest possible manner.

Help and more information

Bradford Council Neighbourhood Wardens can help you organise your party. Call 01274 431000.

For advice on road closures, road signs and insurance call Bradford Council on 01274 431000.

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