Monday 9 July 2012

Bring out your bunting! Brighton street parties

If there was a street party capital of Europe, Brighton, with its quirky streets and passionately friendly residents, would totally be it. I've never known a place to hold so many. Over the past few weeks there's been dozens held each weekend, although this year it has been partly encouraged by the Jubilee, it's actually a Brighton tradition and each summer numerous residential roads close to traffic in order for the local folk to have a party. As June hits bunting is flung with gay abandon across the city's streets, pasting tables are dragged out of sheds and filled with homemade marrow wine and pints of warm cider and anyone and everyone who's ever held a tune pulls out a kazoo to honk out a jaunty tune. Yes, it might just be an excuse to drink within staggering distance of your own front door but it's also a lovely way to kick back, let the kids run free and most importantly, get to know your neighbours. Which is how we found ourselves drinking Red Stripe in the rain in Seven Dials on Saturday afternoon. Annually organised by the street's residents, some of whom were friends of ours, everyone pulled together to bring out homemade cakes, cucumber sandwiches, they even had a pie contest which added a nice frission of competitiveness to the event. There was face-painting, a bouncy castle for the kids and street olympics (aka 'an opportunity for the men to show off'). And just when we were all tipsy enough to dance, a swing band rocked up, complete with tuba, in the form of the adorable Swing Ninjas. Despite the dreadful weather, it was actually the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon and reason #1254 why I love this seaside city.

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