The largest number of people to have a street party since 1981 was on the day of the royal wedding on 29th April 2011.
This mass street sociability is part of the tradition of holding a street party for a national or royal occasion. Only some residents in each street actually ‘celebrated’ the wedding – most residents told us it was just an excuse for a get-together.
Chris Gittins, Director of Streets Alive said “We are really proud to be at the forefront of making this happen by helping residents get organised and by encouraging the Government and councils to minimise red tape over the last 10 years.”
5500 formal road closures (825 in London) were arranged where residents held proper traffic-free events, where all ages could meet together and kids can play for a change. Final figures from the Local Government Association. In addition, due to the high numbers of enquiries, we expect this figure was more than doubled by people holding informal ‘StreetMeets’ without closing the road, because many people wanted to organise something at the last minute due to the recent good weather.
So with, on average, 80 people attending each one about 1 million people took part. In fact, we would have expected double the number of events if the wedding had been held in the summer. This is the first national event not held in the summer since street parties started in 1919.
Chris Gittins said “This tradition is so great for the country for building a sense of community spirit at the street level. Residents meet an average of 8 new neighbours, our research has shown. Also, most residents, up to 85%, attend which is unique compared to any other type of event.”
Last year there were 150 street parties in Bristol, Streets Alive’s home town, 54 in Oxford and many elsewhere. We encourage such events to be held every year just for the social sake of it and not just for a national event.