More life on the streets, more friends closer to home, and a celebration of the community around us. There’s never been a better time to shine a light on the communities, networks and organisations that are holding everything together.
Here are the answers to some questions we get asked from time-to-time.
Why run a Street Feast?
There are obviously many good reasons to run a Street Feast; here are a few of our favourites:
• Be part of a national annual feast day of community celebration.
• Meet and (re)connect with neighbours.
• Help support community initiatives around the country.
• Celebrate how multi-cultural and diverse Ireland’s neighbourhoods have become.
• Share a simple, creative, self-organised lunch.
• Proclaim our love for locally grown food.
• Feel safer around our communities in the future.
While some of us are lucky enough to be a part of a strong community, there are many of us who find ourselves increasingly isolated. By strengthening our communities, we’ll all be better able to cope with whatever changes the future may bring. Street Feast gives us an excuse to get out there, share food and conversation, and help build stronger neighbourhoods.
What’s in the free DIY party pack?
These are provided free of charge to help Street Feasters get started. They contain bunting, balloons, invites, posters and an informational folder. You also receive a downloadable guide with loads of hints and tips when you register.
Please reuse and recycle your pack. If you don’t need a physical pack posted out to you, please don’t request one when registering.
Your local County Council provides funding to cover the cost of the Street Feast Party Packs.
Closing my street (does it have to be a street?)
You don’t have to close your street at all. You don’t even have to hold it on a street. Street Feasts can be held anywhere. The vast-majority of Street Feasts happen on cul-de-sacs, pavements, green areas, parks, carparks, front gardens and laneways. It’s much easier if you don’t have to ‘close’ the road.
If you do like the sound of moving the cars out of the way for the day and setting up bang in the middle of your street then there are ways to make it happen. We suggest that you first chat to your local community gardai – they will be able to advise you on the best approach. It helps if there is very little traffic, and the traffic can be very easily diverted. You may be able to arrange a temporary road closure and you may not need to go down the ‘official street closure’ route.
To officially close a public road you’ll need permission from your council. This can be time-consuming, can involve a good bit of paperwork and can be costly. Your local council’s website will usually have a form to fill in and they may ask you to pay fees for closing the street. We are trying to persuade councils not to charge but this is not easy as every council operates in a different way. It’s best to apply well in advance.
Do I need insurance?
Some councils may require you take out Public Liability Insurance, usually as part of your road closure application. If you are planning an event in public space it is worth considering taking out insurance.
The good news is that most community organisations and residents’ associations already have insurance. It’s usually just a matter of seeing if they can get involved, and asking them to help with the insurance cover. Annual Public Liability Insurance for neighbourhoods can cost as little as €120.
We have secured a great deal with Bhp insurance for 2017 with an insurance package for Street Feasts for €120. Perhaps it’s worth considering investing in, so that many more events can come about. For more information about all of this visit our insurance page.
What if it rains?
Rain never stopped us before! But we’ve got a mighty memory for forgetting the sunny days and remembering the washouts. Odds are on for a cracking summer in 2017, but there is no harm in being prepared for possible rain. And we can be. After all, we’ve been dealing with the stuff for long enough now!
Borrow a light tarpaulin and string it over the street as a practice run for possible downpours. Agree on somewhere beforehand that everyone will relocate to if the heavens open. How about the community centre? The local scout hall? (Scouting Ireland have pledged their support for 2017) Or somebody’s garage opened up? If you’re the kind that’ll be up worrying about it on the night before you could consider planning the whole thing at the community centre or somewhere else indoors. There are no rules about where feasting should happen.
What about food health and safety?
When preparing food, common sense applies! The biggest barbecue pitfall is uncooked meat. A handy hint – cook the meat in the oven and then finish it off on the barbecue to ensure you still capture those yummy flavours. Do as you normally do at home. Wash hands and dishes with hot water. Keep everything clean. Don’t forget to keep your raw meat separate from your cooked meat. That includes using separate chopping boards, knives and plates.