Sunday’s Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium offers local football fans one last chance to engage in a beloved pregame ritual: the tailgate party.
Even if you will be watching the game at home, or are planning to throw a party for the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, event planner Frank Robinson has some great ideas for staging your gridiron gala.
Use a football helmet to hold chips or other snacks, and pick up a patch of artificial turf to create the illusion your guests are out on the field, he said.
Spread the turf out in the back of a pickup truck or open SUV, or under a canopy. "Paint the yard lines on it for that full field effect," said Robinson, chief executive officer of Island Events. For a centerpiece, buy a flat of sod at a garden center and adorn it with mini footballs or team paraphernalia.
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To dress a festive table, use football jerseys or team blankets or towels to line tables. "I don’t like to use plastic, but they sell tablecloths that resemble football fields at party supply stores," he said.
An assortment of multicolored Chinese-style takeout containers can add a splash of color.
Remember to allot enough time for setup and breakdown before heading into the game.
Another football party tip: "Don’t put all of the food out at once. Surprise guests with snacks and dishes during halftime and post-game," he said.
While beer is a must, Robinson suggests cocktails to match favorite Pro Bowl players and their teams. For example, Hurricanes for the New Orleans Saints; Long Island Iced Teas for the New York Giants or Jets; Peach Bellinis for Atlanta Falcon fans; and Mimosas for the Buccaneers.
And be a responsible host. If you’re throwing a party at home, be prepared to offer overnight accommodations. "Always have bunches of pillows and blankets for those people who will not be driving home," he said.
Decorated football cupcakes were ordered from Cake Works; hot dogs are from Hank’s Haute Dogs.