Cowley Road Carnival

Carnival @ Home Street Parties

We are encouraging local residents who wish to celebrate their communities on July 4th to do so with organised and properly authorised street parties.

These celebratory parties will need to be applied for a minimum of 6 weeks before the 4th July i.e by 22 May.

Please check below for more information and links to the Oxford City Council page which will contain details for those authorities you will need to speak to before applying.

We are also available to assist with anyone struggling with the process or who have restricted access to the internet. Celebrate Carnival day with your local community!

Organise a Carnival Day Street Party

We won’t be organising Carnival Day street parties – but we do hope that you will celebrate Carnival Day – 4 July – with your friends and neighbours and party in true Carnival style. What better way to celebrate the end of lockdown for good (we truly hope) than with a street party with your nearest and dearest in your community?

Although we aren’t organising the parties for you, we do want to help you as much as we can.


A basic plan could be:

  • Remove cars by 11am
  • Lunch at 1 to bring everyone together
  • Finish by a time when you would not keep other neighbours awake

So, what do you need to do?

Involve Everyone and Get a Plan.

  • Get together with your neighbours and work out your plan for your Carnival Day street party. Make sure everyone in the street knows about it, discuss, and agree what you all want to do.
  • Click here for a template flyer which you can adapt to send around the community.
  • Click here to download a template flyer which you can adapt and send around the community
  • Invite people face-to-face and send round paper invitations – this may be needed to show to the Council that you have consulted everyone. Your street party needs to be for residents only and without outside ‘publicity’ which would make it a public event.
  • Allow for all tastes. Some, such as older people, can feel quite wary or vulnerable and so a little effort may be needed to encourage them to join in.
  • Plan the day. Traditionally Carnival Day starts at 11 am and ends at 5pm. Decide what time you want to start – and end!

Do you need to close the road?

Not necessarily! For a variety of reasons, you may not be able, want or have time to arrange a road closure. You might not need to arrange for a road closure, for example:

  • You could use the pavement. If you move 2-3 cars and put bunting between the remaining cars, you will have enough space for a small get together. But you must not obstruct other pedestrians or have people wandering into the road.
  • You have an informal ‘street meet’on private land. Just pick a spot in the street to have a get-together. So, if you organize your street party on a driveway, parking area or front gardens you won’t need to get permission from the Council.
The Big Lunch Street Party Road Closure

Application for a Road Closure

If you need to close a street to organise your party:

  • Your street party needs to be a small-scale event relating to residential roads. Oxford City Council will only permit a road closure on a minor residential road.
  • An individual will need to take responsibility to complete the application form
  • You need to make your application to close the road in question at least 6 weeks before your event. For the 4 July, this means you need to make your application by 22 May at the very latest.
  • The form must be submitted to the Licensing Team by email to:

Further information on what you must do to temporarily close a road can be found on the Oxford City Council Road Closures page.

Click here to download the Street Party Road Closure Application Form

How Much Does it Cost?

The fee for a Road Closure to hold a Street Party is £16.

Do you need Insurance?

Small street events are exempt from the requirement for public liability insurance provided:

  • The event is not publicised for the general public and therefore will not draw in people from the wider area.
  • The event applies to the residents of one or two streets only and not to larger areas of the city. Therefore, attendance will generally involve less than 150 people.
  • There is no amplified entertainment which may cause nuisance to the wider area.
  • There is no alcohol or food being sold.
  • The organisers agree to and sign the disclaimer on the application form

What Else?

If your application is granted, you will be sent two documents. One is the Road Closure Order; the other is the Public Notice. You will need to make laminated copies of the Public Notice and display them in the street at least one week before the date of the road closure i.e by the 27 June and to take them down as soon as possible after the event.


Conditions of Road Closure

Once you have a license to close the road for your street party you must comply with the following:


  • Each road to be closed needs to be clearly defined by a ‘Road Closed’ sign (as described below) supported by means of a trestle or suitable half barrier in the carriageway.
  • Each sign needs to read ‘ROAD CLOSED’ in capitals 6 inches high in white letters on a red background.
  • As the road closures for a Carnival Street Party will be for less than one day, the sign can be on paper or card posted onto hardboard. As they are for a short term use you could make them, but you can also hire/buy them from Direct Services at Marsh Road, Oxford, OX4 2HH or telephone: 01865 249811. (£40 each to buy)
  • Any trestle or barrier to be placed in the carriageway must be painted white and adequately weighted to prevent it from being blown over or the sign dislodged from it. (Where these are to remain in place during lighting-up times the offside extremity of each barrier/trestle shall be lit by an approved roadworks lamp. However, your street party should be finished by lighting-up time.)
  • All signs and any other physical obstructions in the highway need to be erected and removed, along with any debris resulting from the event, at the times specified in the application notice.

More information

Follow the links below for more information on how to organise a street party

Oxford City Council

Oxford Civic Society Streets for the People

  • Oxford Streets for People, supported by Oxford City Council, is an Oxford Civic Society initiative dedicated to encouraging people to enjoy their street.
  • Visit the Streets for People website to find out more about organising a street party in Oxford.

The Street Party Website

Tell US your plans! 

We aren’t organising the parties but we would love to know what you are planning.

We will be working the media including BBC Radio Oxford and the Oxford Mail to cover the festivities  We  will be arranging interviews,  ‘stop off’ visits from Carnival eco vehicles in the parade, and you may be able to participate in our virtual carnival day plans too.

Please email and let us know where your party is, and what you are doing for Carnival @ Home ’21 on 4 July.

Download our Checklist

Download our checklist here