How to Throw a Barbecue-Themed Party

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If you want to have people talking about your amazing barbecue-themed party for months after it happens, you need to wrap the entire theme around a single concept. Beyond the obvious, which is to serve great food, you can also incorporate costumes, games and decorations that will provide a party your friends and family will still be raving about long after the warm summer has ended. Putting it all together won’t be difficult if you focus on staying organized.

Step 1

Send out invitations. Choose invitations that have a western barbecue theme. The invitations should include the event date and time. Include directions on how to get to the venue and make sure to tell invitees to dress in western wear for the day. If you decide to print your own invites on the computer, use cheesy, obvious cowboy slang in the wording. Make the invitations fun. Enclose each invitation in a padded mailer and include a cowboy bandanna for each guest to wear to the party. Let guests know they need to dress in western wear and that there will be prizes for the best outfit. Also announce there will be a prize for the most unusual cowboy hat at the party. Ask recipients to RSVP by a certain date, so you can plan the amount of food to have on hand.

Step 2

Plan the menu. Remember that all people don’t like all foods. Providing a variety of meats, salads, carbohydrates and desserts will guarantee something for everyone to eat. Be sure to include several diabetic dishes and sugar-free desserts for those who either have diabetes or are watching their sugar intake.

Step 3

Contact the local co-op or garden store and purchase bales of hale. Set the hale bales around the venue for guests to sit on during the party. Arrange some of the bales in a line on the grass or dirt so when the games begin, the children can play musical hay bales.

Step 4

Prepare as much of the food as possible the day before the event so you will not be too stressed out on the event date. Asking friends and family members to store salads and side dishes in their refrigerators will allow you to prepare almost everything except the meat ahead of time.

Step 5

Decorate the yard the morning of the event. Stringing festive lights, setting up a stage area for games and hanging cowboy boots around the patio will all add to the overall ambiance of the party. Place a CD player in the corner and keep it filled with a stack of country-western CDs.

Step 6

Kick off dinner with a fun food game. Fill a box with kitchen utensils. Be sure to include soup ladles, bowl scrapers, spatulas and others. Have each person turn their head and choose a utensil without looking. Once the utensils have been distributed, give each guest a bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy and have them all start eating at the same time, using their chosen utensil. Give out prizes for the messiest eater, the neatest eater, the fastest eater and the slowest eater.

Step 7

Hold an after-dinner dance. Once the food has been eaten and games have been played, clear the patio of chairs and tables and crank up the dance music. Finish the evening off with some boot-stomping, side-stepping fun.

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