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Make a plan for the perfect Super Bowl gathering

By Toi Degree

Rowan Cooperative Extension

Next Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday! The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League and one of the most celebrated football events of the year.

At this year’s 54th Super Bowl, the National Football Conference champion, the San Francisco 49ers, will face the American Football Conference champion, the Kansas City Chiefs, in Miami.

It is sure to be a great game and although my team is out, I will still attend a party, which brings me to the topic of this article. I will have to take a dish.  So, what will I take? And, that’s really the easy part. Some of you are hosting and are not quite sure how to pull it together.  Keep reading, and I’ll give you some tips.

There are seven steps to hosting an awesome Super Bowl party:

Figure out the food – This IS the most important thing and can make or break your party, so you want to choose carefully. You might even want to pick a theme. Try to keep it somewhat generic, like choosing a type of food such as “spicy Mexican” or if you are having a potluck, assign a different type of dish to each of your friends.

Keep drinks simple — Offer a few varieties. Not everyone will indulge in alcoholic beverages. So if you are offering those, make sure that you have a non-alcoholic option, as well. If offering alcohol, provide a few types of beer and wine. Make sure that you don’t run out of ice. Martha Stewart recommends one pound of ice per person per hour, just to be on the safe side.

Divide duties — Assign jobs: You will likely need someone help to keep things running smoothly. Have your food assignment in place so that you all won’t be crammed in the kitchen. Know your friends and what they are good at; assigning them a duty that they despise may not be a good idea.

Get the proper equipment — If you already have a theater-like setup, this really doesn’t apply to you. For those who only have a small TV, though, an upgrade is definitely in order. You could purchase a completely new setup if you are planning on doing so anyway, but no one is expecting you to shell out thousands for their benefit. This is where rental companies come in.

Don’t forget about the chairs, either. There’s a good chance most households don’t have enough couches and chairs to comfortably seat everyone. Party rental stores offer a lot of options for renting basic furniture. You can even reserve clothing racks to avoid the massive pile of coats on your bed.

Do a trial run — Waiting until five minutes before the game starts to make sure your setup is functioning properly is cutting it way too close. Those who are familiar with their equipment will have an easier time, but it still isn’t a bad idea to make sure everything is up and running a few days in advance. If something isn’t working right, you’ll have plenty of time to troubleshoot.

Trial runs are also critical for anyone trying out a new recipe. You may find a particular dish is way too fussy to pull off for a big group. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to adjust.

Have a backup plan — Sometimes, all the preparation in the world isn’t enough to guarantee a seamless experience. Things go wrong, particularly when electronics are involved. No matter how tech-savvy you are, always have a backup plan. This could be another TV in the house or a nearby restaurant you know will be showing the game.

If you have some sort of massive kitchen disaster, have a list of delivery places ready to go. Trying to come up with ideas for where to get grub is pretty difficult when you’re flustered. If you already have a plan, all you have to do is dial.

Keep the kids entertained — Chances are good that you’ll have a smattering of kids tagging along to your bash. Unless you have fun and games ready, you’ll wind up with a bunch of bored and fussy little ones. Coloring books, puzzles, crafts that aren’t too messy and board games are all great activities.

Have a fun and safe Super Bowl party!

Here are a few links for food and appetizers:

https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/5-recipes-for-food-truck-style-tacos-you-can-make-at-home.html/

https://www.today.com/food/50-ultimate-super-bowl-party-foods-t70471

https://www.delish.com/entertaining/g2171/super-bowl-food-menu/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/g1305/super-bowl-recipe-ideas/

https://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/super-bowl

Rentals tips:

https://www.mensjournal.com/gear/why-you-should-rent-a-tv-for-your-super-bowl-party-20150126

Toi N. Degree is a Family & Consumer Education Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Call 704-216-8970 or email at toi_degree@ncsu.edu.

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