words Al Woods
Bring the Wild, Wild West to your party! Whether you live in the Wild West or just want to have a good old fashioned hoedown, a honky tonk themed party is always a fun time. Round up your friends and family with a personalized western theme invitation. Pair an invitation with a fun western item; try slipping a bandana or a sheriff badge in the envelope (go with a padded one), your guests will be delighted!
Welcome your guests with a big personalized banner, and/or set up a life-size cutout of the guest of honor or the host and hostess as a cowboy or cowgirl. You can place a basket full of bandanas and cowboy hats near the front door so your guests can fill out any gaps in their cowpoke duds.
Use checkered toppers over red linens for tables, and use solid red and solid white napkins (every other place setting) for a little more pizzazz. Denim table covers are another way to go, too. You can even use metal sheriff’s badges as napkin rings (pin one in the middle of each napkin).
Set the mood with traditional country-western music from the likes of Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Willie Nelson or live music from country trios. The cowboy ballads of Marty Robbins are classics of the genre. For a more swinging, modern feel, play the music of Garth Brooks or Brooks & Dunn. “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” by the latter group, is a danceable country-pop song celebrating the joys of line dancing. Grab a partner for the Texas Two-Step, stepping forward with your left foot, then your right, then your left and finally your right again, before twirling (or being twirled) by your partner.
Throw a cowboy costume contest and award prizes to the guests who wear the best or most creative costumes. Create your own pants fringes using items you already have, including felt and twine, to accompany your blue jeans or miniskirt. Purchase bandannas, hats, boots, and large-buckled vests and belts. Remind guests to keep the costumes generically “Western”-themed.
Make it Fun!
Allow your guests to “pan” for “gold” by finding stones and spray-painting them. Then hide the stones inside a sandbox and provide each participant with a pie tray for sifting. Label certain stones with a number and provide prizes for those who find those stones. Candy can also be used instead of rocks. Finally, take turns practicing your lassoing schools by attempting to rope a toy horse, and award prizes to the guests who are successful.