The Big Lunch Project at the Diamond Jubilee

by Emily on May 31, 2012

It’s fun to get little reminders of happenings going on in London even though we’re miles from taking part.  This morning Sid & I woke to news from the Transport for London warning us about traveling on the Tube and roadways around Central London.  This won’t be an issue for us given we’re in Seattle on this very festive weekend celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 60 years as Queen.  Not only are there non-stop celebrations around the city, but the government announced an extra bank holiday to add to the Late May Bank Holiday making this a four-day weekend.  The Queen and Duke have been traveling all around the UK this week as part of her tour and will continue their journey to all Commonwealth countries with select royal family members.  Monarchy is a funny thing isn’t it?  For American’s I think we’re slightly confused with the idea of “royals” but then again the tradition of it all is pretty darn impressive.

One of the impressive attractions this Sunday will be the Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames with over 1,000 boats assembled as a flotilla from across the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and around the world.  The Queen will lead the flotilla by traveling on the Royal Barge (had no idea there was such a thing)!  It sounds like a pretty fun event to watch, and yes Transport for London has warned that ALL bridges will be closed to car traffic so locals & visitors can watch the assembly.

I think my favorite activity that takes place is called the Big Lunch!  As I’ve never been afraid of a Big Lunch, the idea sounds smashing doesn’t it?  The 4th annual Big Lunch will take place on the same weekend as the Jubilee festivities in hopes that the project will grow and celebrate her Royal Majesty’s reign as neighbors, friends and community join together in the streets of London.  Check out this video….

Kinda makes you want to put something like this together yourself doesn’t it?  Looks like a fun time!  Well, you too can organize your own with help from the Big Lunch Project on the 5 steps to get started:

5 Steps to organise a Big Lunch

Whether your lunch is planned months in advance or a last minute get together here are some handy hints to help you get going:

  • Venue
    Opt to hold your Big Lunch in a garden, park or traffic-free spot to avoid last minute road closure arrangements.
  • Find out who wants to come
    Try and find a few friendly neighbours to help you distribute leaflets and put up some posters. You can use the materials that come in the pack or download templates here. Don’t forget the art of conversation; try to personally invite as many people as you can and ask them to spread the word.
  • Food
    Keep it simple! A bring-your-own picnic is a good option as it requires little preparation in advance or you could ask everyone to bring one dish to share. Just make sure you find out what people are bringing so that you don’t end up with lots of the same thing! Simple crowd cooking recipes can be found here . You can also use The Big Lunch wall planner included in your free pack to help you grow your own lunch!
  • Decorations
    Make bunting out of scraps of old material, plastic bags or the contents of your recycling box. Staple or stick together using iron-on hemming web to avoid sewing and ask others to make bits and link them all together. Give the kids some chalk to decorate the pavement. A few balloons, streamers and flowers and you’re away!

Getting involved in the planning was as much fun as the big day. It was a great way to get to know each other.

  • Music  A simple way to get some background music going is to get a few households to tune in to the same radio station and opening the windows to get surround sound. See if anyone plays an instrument and fancies playing – there’s nothing better than some live entertainment

Happy Diamond Jubilee to the Queen and party on my friends in the UK!  I’m sure it will be a jolly good time!

images via The Big Lunch & Pinterest





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