Next month, people from across the UK will take to the streets to celebrate a historic event - the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Customary alongside the official festivities, it is traditional to organise small street parties where celebrants can gather to enjoy a host of fun activities, entertainment, and of course, delicious food.
Coronation street parties provide an opportunity for neighbours to come together over a meal while celebrating the excitement that surrounds the crowning of the new King.
What is a Coronation Street Party?
A Coronation street party is specifically designed to celebrate the Coronation of a King or Queen, a ceremonious event that the United Kingdom has not seen since 1953. In this case, on May 6, 2023, King Charles will be crowned at Westminster Abbey.
A street party is an event where neighbours gather on their closed-off streets with food, music and activities. Typically each party is limited to a couple of streets, giving partygoers the chance to spend time enjoying the festivities with their closest neighbours. In 2022, more than 16,000 street parties were held across the UK to celebrate the Queen's platinum jubilee, and we can also expect a huge number of street parties being planned to celebrate the upcoming historic event.
A Coronation street party focuses on the Royal Family’s transition and may have decorations and food that are aptly themed to reflect the significance of the event.
How to Plan A Coronation Street Party
When deciding to host a Coronation street party, it’s of the utmost importance to get all of your planning done ahead of time in order to minimize logistical roadblocks and maximize the enjoyment of the day.
Keep in mind that planning a neighbourhood street party can be a significant load for just one person to bear. Consider asking a small group of neighbours to form a committee dedicated to planning the details of the party together. Not only will this instil a deep sense of togetherness, but it will also help source the decorations, tables, food, and more while allowing everyone to contribute to the party’s success.
Decide a time and location
Deciding on a location and time is the first step to planning a successful street party. Consider if you want your party to be in the late morning and early afternoon to align with the Coronation event or later in the evening to better accommodate everyone’s schedules. We’ll also be getting a bank holiday on Monday, May 8, following the Coronation ceremony on that Saturday. This extends your options for when to hold your gathering if you would prefer for it to not be on the same day as the actual Coronation event.
Since these celebrations often take place directly in the street, you’ll need to request permission before blocking off the road for your party. Ideally, you should aim to secure this authorization as early as possible. If you’re organising the event at the last minute, however, don’t fret. You can simply move your celebration into a neighbour’s backyard if it’s too late to secure a road closure permit.
Invite your guests
Next, you must write out your guest list and send invitations. You can certainly do festive, colourful mailed invitations, but if you’re pressed for time, e-invites, hand-delivered invitation cards, and phone calls are always a simple way to obtain RSVPs.
Be sure to decide on your dress code and let your guests know well ahead of time. Whether it be casual attire or ‘dress your best,’ it’s important to communicate this information so that everyone can be adequately prepared.
Plan the menu and decorations
Once you’ve decided on your location and invited your guests, it’s time to organise the menu and decorations. There are a number of food and drink ideas to choose from, but it’s important to keep in mind the number of guests and how much time you will actually have to prepare food.
If you’re short on time or would simply prefer not to spend much time getting food ready, it may be helpful to arrange for guests to all bring a dish to share or to purchase premade goods from your favourite local businesses. There may even be speciality dishes made just for the occasion, such as the King’s Coronation Bronut Brownie Box at Chummys Bakery.
Street Party Food Ideas
When organising a Coronation street party and choosing which foods to serve, you'll first want to decide if you want your food and beverages to be traditional or modern.
For a truly royal affair, the official Coronation website is offering recipes that are flavorful and refined. These menu items are excellent starting places when planning a lavish feast for your guests.
For a modern take, foods such as potato salad, finger sandwiches, and sausage rolls are widely enjoyed and don’t require much preparation.
Another fun idea is to ask each guest to bring their favourite dishes to share. This ensures that everyone will have something they enjoy and encourages guests to venture out of their traditional ways to try new things as well. Just be sure to assign each guest a food category to avoid everyone bringing the same type of dishes.
To decorate your Coronation street party, you’ll want vibrant red, white, and blue bunting to adorn the tables, houses, shrubs, and nearby lamp posts. Many party planners will choose to hang this decoration across the streets and between houses as a way to emphasize the feeling that the festivities extend throughout the entire neighbourhood.
For a street party, you’ll want long tables in the street to fit all the guests. Disposable plates and cutlery can reduce the amount of clean-up work once the festivities are through. However, it’s important to be mindful of ways to reduce waste.
You may consider asking neighbours to bring a colourful tablecloth, fabric, or ribbons to decorate chairs or a homemade garden centrepiece. In addition, rather than choosing disposable items, sourcing your decorations from charity shops can be another environmentally friendly way to make sure you have everything you need.
Alongside red, white and blue, gold accents certainly belong at your royal occasion. Gold cutlery will add an elegant touch, fitting for the significance of the celebration. And don’t forget your Union Jack! Highlight your patriotism with decorations featuring the National Flag.
Watching the Coronation
It’s important to have activities at your street party to keep your guests entertained. Consider if you plan to watch the Coronation on television and how the viewing area should be set up for everyone to watch.
It may be helpful to ask around for a large projector and set it up in a convenient location, such as the side of a house or on a portable screen. Local AV companies may also be able to provide equipment and help set up a high-quality viewing area.
Entertainment is an essential component of a fun street party. Games help neighbours connect and can be a great way to break the ice and relax while enjoying time together. Depending on your interests and crowd, it’s valuable to have a variety of games that suit everyone’s interests.
Here are some simple ideas to keep your guests entertained.
- Biscuit Decorating
- Trivia Games based on Local Favorites
- Live Music
- Face Painting
- Egg and Spoon Race
- Chalk Drawing Competition
- Chess/Board Games
- Decks of Cards
While there’s often plenty to do at street parties for adults, it’s important to consider that many people in your neighbourhood may also have small children who will attend.
Setting up a kid's table with Coronation-themed crafts can be a lot of fun and very easy to set up. Oversized lawn games, footballs, and jump ropes are all kid-friendly activities fitting for a large group. Additionally, colouring pages and crayons, bubbles, and simple board games are more activities for children that their parents will appreciate.
Organising a Coronation street party is a wonderful way to bring neighbours together while celebrating a historic event in the United Kingdom. While planning a street party can be a significant undertaking, with careful planning and teamwork, you can overcome any challenges and ensure that your party is a memorable and enjoyable event for all who attend.
From selecting the right location and inviting guests, to planning the menu and decorations, there are many factors to consider. By incorporating creative and unique ideas, such as regal decorations and enough fun for kids and adults alike, you can make your party stand out from the many others that will be taking place that day.
And, of course, if you’re looking to add an extra touch of indulgence to your event, Chummys Bakery provides a decadent selection of sweet treats fit for a king. In particular, our King’s Coronation Bronut Brownie Box serves as the perfect addition to your celebratory spread to help make your Coronation street party an affair to remember.