The award-winning Fiat 500, which has received countless honours this year, adds an extra important one this weekend – its first birthday celebrations.

Although it only arrived in the UK in January this year, the popular supermini was first launched in Italy on 4 July 2007, and the Fiat Group is celebrating its anniversary with a series of bold, elaborate parties across the world, including the UK.

The date of this landmark occasion is especially significant as last year’s Italian launch of the car was exactly 50 years after the original introduction of Dante Giacosa’s classic post-war 500.

The UK party, hosted by TV presenter Alex Zane, is called the Fiat 500 PicNic and takes place at Alexandra Park, North London. It’s designed to be a traditional British summer outdoor gathering, but with a special 500 twist.

With invitations extended to more than 5,000 specially-invited Fiat 500 drivers and potential owners, this Saturday’s (5 July) PicNic initiative, which was conceived to share the passion and emotion of the huge Fiat 500 community, will feature live music, delicious Italian food and drink, outdoor games, big-screen sports coverage and special ‘chill-out’ zones for participants.

The London event is part of a series of global parties celebrating the hugely successful first year of Fiat’s iconic city car. Athens, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Milan, Munich, Palermo, Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Tokyo, Valencia, Hel, Liège, Zurich, and Cape Town are the chosen cities that, either in parks or on beaches, will welcome thousands of people brought together by the new car.

Music, art, and fun are the ingredients which will guarantee a successful event involving new Fiat 500 owners and those who are still waiting to get one (222,000 have been ordered so far).

“This is a global initiative that we in Britain are delighted to be involved in,” says Andrew Humberstone, managing director, Fiat Group Automobiles UK. “It is everything that the new Fiat 500 stands for – fun, excitement, freedom and the knack of bringing people together in a great atmosphere – and I am sure the event will be a great success.”

The London party will feature four special themed zones – Energy, Entertainment, Chill and Children. The Energy Zone offers outdoor games, fun races and a volleyball competition, while in Entertainment there will be live music, jugglers, a giant screen and Fiat 500 interactive car configurators to try.

The Chill Zone is designed for relaxation with Tai Chi, head massages and hammocks all available, and the Children’s Zone will feature face painting, street theatre and games.