Parties & Entertaining

Western party ideas

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Two cowboys
A western party is sure to draw cowpokes and cowgirls, too, who like their fun with a stiff shot of humor.
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The lowdown on a western party includes ideas that are right on target

Head for the hills—or the nearest party store. The sheriff may be out on the dusty trail, hunting down some gang or another of low-down dirty varmints but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your own posse out to do a little hunting of your own—bargain hunting. After all, there’s a goodly amount of planning behind the best of western party ideas.

There’s vittles to buy and some ornery guests to corral. Buy chips and pretzels in bulk when your western party ideas touch on economy. Buy soft drinks and mixers by the case. Western party ideas begin to flow like a gusher on an oil rig, once the good, the bad and the ugly ideas are weeded out. Among the bad ideas is any plan to bring in livestock—a small herd of horses, for example. Forget it. Your carpet will never be the same.

Rule number one: no horseplay

Horses are too big. In fact, there’s a record-holder in Britain—a Clydesdale named “Digger”—that weighs some 2,800 pounds. He could go through your appetizers like a wildfire through prairie grass. Concentrate your western party ideas on manageable attractions. Inquire about rental of a mechanical bull.

Come up with decorations that have a western theme and trail foods guests will enjoy. Think steaks, beans, burgers and margaritas when considering western party ideas. Salsas, nachos and tasty sticks of beef jerky will disappear fast, too.

Get into the fashion of the day

Suggest guests get creative in considering their own western party ideas by dressing for the day in period styles. Men look great wearing cowboy boots, cowboy hats, stylish
 embroidered western shirts or belts with big buckles. Women might consider suede jackets with fringe, cotton camisoles and denim skirts with lacy petticoats. The gear likely will cause quite a ruckus during a dozy-doe or western line dance that swings your partner to-and-fro.

Corral your local cowpokes

It’s amazing how some basic styles from yesteryear can transform the town’s men folk into a passel of downright handsome cowpokes. Boys, too, can attract some fillies at the party by showing up in their own choice of young men’s cowboy vests. Your western party ideas can adorn the men of the family with western clothing sporting monograms or contrasting piping. In fact, the western shirts of today tend to flatter any hombre worth his weight in gold.

Decorate with daring-do

Today’s party stores and online outlets offer a myriad of lightweight, highly detailed decorations suitable to any occasion. Creative western party ideas need implementation with decorations that best illustrate the party theme. Borrow southwest traditions such as the decor favored at any fun-filled margarita party and at some barbecue events.

Be as wily as a coyote

You also might direct your western party ideas toward nontraditional resources. Think about gathering props from local sources. Check nearby theatre groups and local high schools for western scenery from past productions. If suitable props and scenery are languishing in a nearly forgotten storage area, a small donation might bring those items out of the darkness and into your party.

See what’s at the watering hole

Your most imaginative western party ideas also might lead you to stop at a few of your city’s favorite watering holes. Bars, taverns, saloons and restaurants whose décor leans toward the southwest—or the Old West—may have decorations related to past promotions or western-themed parties of their own.

Chances are the management at these establishments may be willing to lend you strings of lights disguised as horse shoes or red chili peppers. They may have centerpieces resembling saddlebags or money bags as transported on stage coaches. Your best western party ideas may come true if you seek the unusual in your own town. Reciprocate by purchasing a tray or two of barbecued ribs or chicken wings. The props may be worth the expenditure.


• Artificial corral fencing

• Fake life-sized cactus plants

• Fabric backdrop of painted scenery

• Clusters of aged corn stalks

• Borrowed saddles and lariats

• Bales of hay for extra seating

• Wanted posters to hang on walls

• Poker card decks to accent tables

Join together the best of both worlds

Many people find no problem in hosting a party based solely on western party ideas. A western party is a fine thing, all by itself. Nevertheless, any mile marker—an anniversary, retirement party, bon voyage party—can be made more festive with a western twist. Who knows? Your western party ideas well may lead to increased expectations for every occasion. And that’s no bull, mechanical or otherwise.

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