'High interest' in Jubilee parties
Street party celebrations marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will outstrip the number staged for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding, the Local Government Association (LGA) has predicted.
The monarch's 60-year milestone is already generating large public interest and councils are being inundated with inquiries from residents wanting to stage events in the summer.
Many local authorities have launched initiatives to help those planning street parties, from waiving road closure fees to offering cash grants and distributing party packs.
Councillor Chris White, chair of the LGA's culture, tourism and sport programme board, said: "Councils are already receiving hundreds of inquiries from residents wanting to hold Jubilee street parties. There was a lot of interest last year for the royal wedding but it wasn't until much nearer the event.
"It really seems as if Britain's street party tradition has been well and truly resurrected and people are already planning to dust down their fold-out tables and unpack the bunting."
Last year councils across England and Wales received about 5,500 road closure applications for street parties to mark William and Kate's April wedding.
The focus of Diamond Jubilee celebrations will be an extended four-day bank holiday weekend in June when events such as a River Thames pageant, Buckingham Palace concert and St Paul's Cathedral service of thanksgiving will be held.
Basildon Council is planning a free party in a box scheme, including party hats, flags, balloons, bunting, posters, a disposable camera and suggestions for games on the day.
East Dorset Council has set up a £30,000 grant fund to help groups celebrating either the Diamond Jubilee or the Olympics, and Newark and Sherwood District Council has a similar £20,000 fund for events over the Jubilee weekend.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is arranging blanket insurance to cover activities at most events on public land such as street parties, while Kent County Council is waiving charges for street parties on quiet residential roads.