People and Places
25/11/2020
Taking it to the street

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Safety Beach resident Kim Robbins is ready to party. Growing up in Hawthorn in the 1980s where Christmas street parties were a regular occurrence, Kim thinks it’s time to bring back this community-first celebration standard with a bang. 

Kim explains: “I expect they were a lot more boozy than necessary back then, but the street parties we had while I was growing up were fantastic. The front door of everyone’s house was open because we all knew each other and the kids would be running from house to house through the backyard and up and down the street. Somehow it worked. The adults made the food and Santa even visited. Everyone contributed. Lockdown has been hard, but my husband Jeff and I have really got to know our neighbours in Safety Beach a lot better. There’s been a real sense of coming together and helping each other out.”

Enter Christmas street party comeback idea. Kim continues: “My neighbours and I thought it would be a great idea to have a street Christmas party based on those ones I enjoyed as a child, so I contacted the council to see what was involved. At first, I couldn’t get any real clarification but then found out the process was pretty easy. You need a permit to close off the street before you can do anything. I can’t remember what happened around street closure all those years back in Hawthorn, but you definitely need a permit to do it these days. Unfortunately, I was too late to receive a permit in time for Christmas, so we have pushed our street celebration back to early January 2021. We’ll pull out the barbecue, the folding chairs and everyone will bring a plate and drinks. We are all looking forward to getting back to ‘living’ again after lockdown.”

COVID-19 has taught us many things. One of them may be that relationships with people close by matter more than ever. The simple idea of opening up your doors to neighbours and celebrating life together is not rocket science. It’s how people have communicated for generations. Just imagine street parties going off all across the Peninsula. Too much? Well, if you can’t get a permit to close off your street, or don’t want to, how about gathering at a park close by with neighbours or in someone’s front or back yard? The point is getting together while always adhering to COVID-safe rules. You know the drill.

Find out more about applying for an event permit at

www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Activities/Event-Planning/Planning-an-Event

LIZ ROGERS

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