Street Party

A street party can mean any type of social event taking place on a road.

In the UK, these have historically been held to commemorate momentous events, such as VE Day or the Queen's Silver Jubilee, with bunting dressing the street, and children playing in the street. An estimated 10 million people took part in street parties in 1977 for the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

The British tradition seems to have begun after World War I as resident's own "peace teas" to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. in 1919. It has developed mainly in England and south Wales.

The tradition was boosted for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011 with about 1 million people joining in street parties. For the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June 2012 about 2 million took part.

Now street parties are held annually and at any time for residents to meet their neighbours in a traffic-free street in a private street party. Some 'street parties' are public events taking many forms. In the USA either some are called a 'block party'.

As a form of activism street parties are festive and/or artistic efforts to reclaim roadways as public space by large groups of people. They were made known in Western Europe and North America by the actions of Reclaim the Streets, a widespread "dis-organization" dedicated to reclaiming public space from automobiles and consumerism. In a somewhat different context, Poland's Orange Alternative staged festive protests to break the Communist government's monopoly on public life.

Famous quotes containing the words street and/or party:

    And in these dark cells,
    packed street after street,
    souls live, hideous yet
    O disfigured, defaced,
    with no trace of the beauty
    men once held so light.
    Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961)

    Yesterday the Electoral Commission decided not to go behind the papers filed with the Vice-President in the case of Florida.... I read the arguments in the Congressional Record and can’t see how lawyers can differ on the question. But the decision is by a strictly party vote—eight Republicans against seven Democrats! It shows the strength of party ties.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)