Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Royal Wedding Watch: thinking of holding a royal street party?

Well,, I wasn't. Had I been, though, this would have sucked all the energy and enthusiasm for the idea right out of me....

First of all, what in the heck is a "royal street party"? Well, a long-standing British tradition apparently. When Prince William and Kate Middleton wed on April 29th, the UK will celebrate with a special one-off bank holiday. Code word for "national holiday".

As with many royal events in the past, UK citizens will choose to celebrate this wedding by planning a street party on the road in which they live, turning this event into a day of celebration for their neighborhood. Think of it as a "block party" for the royal wedding. Sounds basic enough...well, in UK fashion, nothing is ever simple.

In order for any UK citizen to hold such a royal street party, they must apply to their local council (a.k.a. city hall in US speak) for approval. As part of the submission, the party-thrower must let the council know:

* the type of party that is being planned
* the length of the party
* the location of the party

Why? So the council can make arrangements for any necessary road closures or other measures. And because it is a "special occasion", according to most councils, there is unlikely to be a charge to hold a street party, although the costs will be dependent on the application and the size of the party. Most "small" events will not incur a cost, but the Highways Department will decide once it reviews the application. Oh geez, Big Government at its most bureaucratic! Getting into the party planning act and looking for another way to generate a little revenue.

If the party-thrower is planning a party on a larger scale (whatever that is defined as), with live music and alcohol, he/she must apply for an alcohol or entertainment license. Way to be a joy kill, UK Councils!

Back to my original thought...nope, not planning a royal street more reason that the trip to Provence is looking good!

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