Western Party Guide

The best way to create a Western theme is by turning your backyard into your very own ranch. Spread some hay bales around to use for seating and you could even build a little haystack and scarecrow. A white picket fence can easily be created using small stakes and white cardboard. Using a large old white sheet you could even paint your own red barn façade to pin up on the side of the house as a feature. Other great props include wagon wheels, ropes, cactus, saddles, Indian rugs, horseshoes and even makeshift forts, tepees and wagons. Don’t forget the country music.

In this day and age with many children growing up within a city or metropolitan surrounding, a lot of them haven’t even touched a lot of animals and therefore this activity will be a real treat for all the guests.


The Invites

There are a few important decisions to be made before you send out your invitations 

Date - It’s a good idea to check the proposed date and time with “key” friends before committing.

Time - It is important to state a starting time on the invitations. You may also wish to state a finishing time, especially if the event is held at a hired venue.

Location - You have a couple of basic choices with the most popular being “home” where you’ll have plenty of time to set-up and have all your supplies close at hand. The obvious disadvantage is, cleaning the house before and after the party, possible damage and space limitations.

Remember to include on the invitation anything you may wish the guest to provide such as alcohol or a themed costume. If you plan on providing alcohol, make sure to add a footnote that guests should arrange alternative transport home, rather than driving.

When sending out invitations, allow plenty of time.

The golden rule for the party host is, don’t try and do everything on your own. Arrange for friends to help with the food and service at the event. Alternatively you may choose to hire wait staff or have the whole event catered, allowing you to enjoy the celebration as much as everyone else.

The Entertainment                                            

These days’ companies hire a wide range of amusements to suit any celebration. Depending on the age of the guests at your western celebration, you have a range of activities to choose from including live ponies, horse and cart rides, merry-go-round or even a mechanical bull. Themed games can include square dancing competitions, war paint face painting and pie eating contests.

Ask all your guests to dress to suit the occasion. There are great costumes to choose from such as Cowboy or girl, Indian, Billy the Kid, Undertaker, Rodeo Rider, Sheriff or even a Horse. Accessories that can be used are cowboy boots, hats leather vests, guns, jeans, bandanas, sheriff badges, chequered shirts, straw hats, beards and moustaches and ropes.


The Eats

You have a lot of choices for Western themed food such as a full BBQ or snack food like nachos, guacamole, buttered corn cobs, potato wedges, hot dogs, sausage rolls and meat pies.                                                                                           

TEQUILA SUNSET PUNCH - 1 Qt. Tequila, 2 Qt. Orange Juice, 2 litre lemon-lime soda, 1 Pint Orange Sherbet, 1/4 Cup Grenadine. Mix all tequila, orange juice and lemon-lime soda together. Chill. Add Sherbet just before serving and drizzle grenadine over the top.

MARGARITA - 11⁄2 oz. Tequila, 3⁄4 oz. Triple Sec (or Cointreau), splash of sour mix and dash of lime juice. Shake with ice then serve on the rocks or strain to serve up in a salt rimmed glass. Add more juice and blend with crushed ice for frozen variation. Garnish with a lime wedge.


The Checklist

1. Pick party date and time   

2. Plan a menu & go grocery shopping then make as much food as you can before the day to freeze   

3. Decide on the entertainment   

4. Arrange for help on the party day   

5. Write out final schedule   

6. Get an exact guest count   

7. Buy remaining party food, film, batteries, ashtrays, ice and other incidentals

Lastly remember that mishaps may occur so keep your sense of humour, even if not every aspect of the party goes off as planned. The most important part is to relax, take a breath, and try to enjoy the party as much as your guests.