Bollywood-style dancing and Bhangra music will be among the many ways in which Britons will celebrate the royal wedding on Friday in thousands of street parties organized across the country. Street parties, a great British tradition for over a century, have also been organized by people who are opposed to the institution of monarchy.
In the past, such parties have been linked with royal and other national events. A ‘street party’ is organized by and for residents on the street where they live, promoting a community spirit.
Organized by people who cannot make it to London for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, street parties will mean many streets and roads will be closed to traffic on Friday, including in London.
Virendra Sharma, the Labour MP from Ealing Southall, has written to residents of Southall to celebrate the event with street parties.
Members of Kate Middleton’s family lived in Clarence Street years ago. He said the day will be celebrated by Asian drummers, dance, and bhangra music.
Similar events have been scheduled by the Asian community in Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leicester.
Over 5,500 formal road closures (825 in London) have been arranged by local councils to facilitate traffic-free events.
Eric Pickles, the Communities secretary, said: “Royal wedding street parties are a great British tradition. So if folks want to get together to organize a street party to celebrate next year’s wedding, we have made it as easy as possible to do so without endless form filling.”
According to Chris White, chair of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sports Programme Board, councils across the country have pulled out all the stops to make organizing royal wedding street parties as easy as possible.
Chris Gittins, Director of Streets Alive, 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 eight new neighbors, our research has shown. Also, most residents, up to 85 percent, attend which is unique compared to any other type of event.”
Some local councils such as the Scarborough Borough Council provide training courses for people who want to organize street parties.