THE nation will come together this summer for a four-day bank holiday celebration to mark The Queen's 70 years on the throne.

Street parties across the countries will see communities unite to celebrate the longest-reigning monarch, in what is known as the Big Lunch.

What is the Big Jubilee Lunch?

Since it first launched in 2009, the annual Big Lunch, an idea of the Eden Project, has encouraged communities to come together and host street parties in the spirit of friendship.

Every summer, neighbours across the UK organise picnics, lunches on the street, barbecues and gatherings, to get to know each other better.

This year, as part of the celebrations marking The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, people are encouraged “to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours” during The Big Jubilee Lunch on June 5, 2022.

Similar events took place in the summer of 2012, in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Thousands of communities have already expressed interest in taking part, with more than 1400 registered so far.

The organisers encourage everyone to join in on the neighbourly fun, pointing out that it can be anything from "a small gathering in a garden, park or driveway, to a larger party with trestle tables down the middle of your street."

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Do you need a license to hold a Big Jubilee Lunch street party?

If you're thinking of organising a street party to mark The Queen's 70-year reign, you need to make sure to obtain the relevant permissions in advance.

The best way to do that is to contact your local council 12 or more weeks before the event takes place, as it can take some time for the request to be processed.

For this year's Jubilee lunch, this means getting in touch with the council in mid-March latest.

In England and Wales, you can apply to organise a street party through the Government's website.

If the alcohol at the event is provided for free, no license is needed.

As for food, there's no need for a license up to 11pm, but that might change if celebrations run late.

In Scotland, contacting your local council's Roads and Communities department is the best way to go about obtaining permission.

However, if you are in an area where alcohol is prohibited in ‘public places’, you and your neighbours may have to stick to drinking and eating on private property, such as a garden or a driveway.

The parties also don't usually require a licence, unless they count as a ‘display’, ‘demonstration’, ‘concert’, or selling alcohol.

How can I organise a Big Jubilee Lunch street party?

The first thing to consider when organising a Big Lunch is the venue – it can be anything from a back garden, park, allotment or a community centre, to a road or driveway with tables down the middle.

As this year's day has been chosen to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday, there will be no need to take the day off from work – just talk to your neighbours to make sure they all have the right date.

For the past two years, coronavirus restrictions meant celebrations were kept small and many only happened online, but this year, neighbours are encouraged to talk to each other and meet up face-to-face.

If you're organising a street party in your neighbourhood, make sure to send out invitations in advance, distribute posters about the event around the community, or post about it on community social media pages.

Ask around for others who want to help out with organising the event and plan the food, music and entertainment together.

On the day, encourage neighbours to decorate their houses and front doors, and join in on the celebrations.

The Big Lunch organisers have prepared a started pack full of ideas, inspiration and tips, which they send out to anyone who needs some help with hosting their very own street party.

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