Super Bowl Sunday is almost here- Whaaazzzzup!

Too bad the Giants and (Hoboken resident) Eli Manning didn’t make Super Bowl XLVIII, but we still get to cheer on the Broncos (seventh timers) and the Seahawks (second timers) and that’s enough reason to throw a fantastic Super Bowl Party.  Actually, as an American consumer, the commercials alone are reason enough to throw a party (“Whaaazzzzup!”). Click here for one of the all-time classics.

I think hosting a Super Bowl party is different than hosting any other party. Typical parties usually have a designated start and end time (alright, that last part may not be 100% true). But at Super Bowl parties, guests may come as early as pre-game (Fox pre-game kicks off at 2pm), which is often hours before kickoff (6:25pm ET), and they could stay until the post-game commentary. Since the game itself could potentially last up to 6 hours, your guests could be sitting on your couch for many, many hours.

As an alternative, you may want to consider hosting a “first half party”, which will enable guests to either stop in at another party for the second half or finish watching in their own homes. This could mean a reasonable bedtime if you have kids and no late night driving. But be sure not to miss the half time show. I definitely won’t since Bruno Mars is performing along with his signature Fedora and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (wait, that gives me a menu idea). And since this is quintessential American family entertainment, let’s hope for no [accidentally on purpose] wardrobe malfunctions this year.

Whatever the game plan of your party, your mission as host remains the same: to provide crowd-pleasing food in a fun atmosphere that will be conducive to the game-impacting superstitions (a little superstition never hurts) and touchdown dances that will be going on in your living room.

Here are a few tips if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party:

Decor. Super Bowl parties are not really about decorations but let’s face it, a simple string of lights or themed plates could set a fun mood. Or use an old football, helmet or trophy to add a little something something to the drinks table.
Set up a Convenient Food Station. Plan to have food, snacks and beverages at a convenient location for the entire duration of the event. You can utilize your coffee table, kitchen or dining room table. You may also want to have a pitcher of a pre-mixed drink available near the door as guests arrive because let’s face it, alcohol trumps decor in terms of setting a fun mood.

The Right Menu. What’s the real reason people go to Super Bowl parties? Food. For some people, the game is the main attraction but for most people, it’s the food. Lots and lots of delicious food. Be prepared to serve a variety- finger foods in the beginning- like dip platters, nachos, wings- and heavier foods as the game unfolds- think chili or burgers. Follow up with sweets and if they come in football shapes- all the better. Whatever foods you choose, the best plan for a Super Bowl Sunday menu is “Keep it simple and keep it coming.”

Adequate Seating. There will be a lot of sitting as well as eating on Sunday, so be certain to have enough seating for your guests. You may have to use extra folding chairs or bean bags (actually, we’re more in the exercise ball era) to accommodate, but make sure everyone is comfortable. It will likely be a long night- unless you’re hosting a first-half party. Either way, comfort is key.

And if all else fails… a working TV and beer is all you really need and there is nothing un-American about just opting for pizza delivery!

Where will you be watching the Super Bowl this year?

Visit Inside Garden City on Facebook.

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