Street parties - Maxicours

Street parties

Objectif
  • Connaitre les différents types de « street parties ».
Points clés
  • Au Royaume-Uni comme aux États-Unis, les fêtes de rue se sont développées après la Première Guerre mondiale, pour célébrer la victoire des Alliés.
  • Elles sont liées aux grands événements nationaux ou simplement au plaisir de se retrouver et de partager ensemble un moment convivial.
  • Pour des raisons de sécurité, ces fêtes doivent être organisées plusieurs semaines en amont, avec l’accord de la municipalité.
1. Introduction

Organizing street parties or block parties (if you live in a block of flats) is an excellent occasion to get to know your neighbours, as many people gather and eat, drink and have fun together. They have become very popular all over the world and lots of places, big or small, have theirs.

There are two types of street parties : either you celebrate an event of some importance with some music, dances, activities, or you join a group of people just for fun.

Let’s see what street parties are like in the UK and the USA.

2. Street parties in the UK

The first street parties were linked to History and took place after World War I to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. They called them “ peace teas ”. Later, events such as Victory in Europe Day (May 8, 1945) or jubilees had their street parties, too.
For instance, when the Queen’s silver Jubilee which marked the 25th year of her accession to the throne took place in 1977, ten million people were pleased to commemorate it in their streets. And for her diamond Jubilee (60th year), two million people celebrated it.

Example
In 2011, when Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, about one million people gathered in the streets of the kingdom and celebrated the wedding with lots of music and dances.

For safety reasons, roads are shut and each place organizes it its way, but generally it is very festive. But a street party does not have to be linked with history, it can also be held annually by residents who decide to meet because they do not have the time to talk to their neighbours or simply do not know them in spite of the fact that they live in the same area.

Of course you cannot decide to have a street party overnight. Organizers have to fill in an application and tell the local council at least four weeks in advance about their plans. They must of course give information concerning the date of the event, say if they need to close a street and write a list of the shops and properties affected during the event.

3. Street parties in the US

Like the UK, the first street parties were held after the first tragic event of the 20th century, World War I, and parades celebrated the heroes who had gone to war. Now, block parties are held on Independence Day (July 4) and Memorial Day (last Monday of May), but there are other types of street parties in the country. They appeared in the 1970s and the first organizers belonged to the hip hop community living in the Bronx.

There too, they meet outdoors once a year and organize meals (usually barbecues) and games. It sometimes happens, especially in small towns, that the Fire Department participate and show their trucks and equipment to the residents. Very convenient if a fire breaks out because the cook has forgotten to look after the grilling or a bonfire has degenerated !

4. Conclusion

Street parties are essential to any community because they allow people to mix together and share or simply know each other. They are based on friendship and conviviality, two notions that people like to share in a world where individualism is unfortunately spreading.

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