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Easter involves many traditions ranging from special religious services at sunrise to chocolate Easter bunnies in baskets.
One favorite Easter tradition that is passed down from generation to generation are egg hunts. These usually are small family events or church sponsored gatherings, but some have grown in recent years to be much larger public gatherings.
Last year, the community of West Frankfort, Illinois was expecting 50 youngsters at their egg hunt event. Instead, over 250 children showed up ready to fill their baskets with colored eggs. This year Newtown, Pennsylvania is planning to hide 3,000 plastic eggs filled with candy and prizes for their community Easter egg hunt. Plus, the Easter Bunny will be on hand to greet the children.
The Guinness World Record for a hunt total 501,000 eggs. This scavenger adventure involved over nine thousand children at the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida in 2007.
“Easter egg hunts, Easter parades and Easter pageants are all continuing to grow in popularity according to our sales figures for 2013”, reports Keith Bansemer, Director of Internet Marketing with Shindigz, a leading party supplier. “Every year, we’ve seen a steady increase in orders for baskets, bunny stand-ins, and egg-themed favors tied to these events.”
In Washington, D.C., the First Family will host the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This is a variation of an Easter egg hunt that began with President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. This year the Obama family expects more than 35,000 people will be joining them on the South Lawn for games, stories, and, of course, the traditional egg roll.
Meanwhile, some communities have expanded Easter egg hunts to include furry family members. According to the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio, “Acme Training is holding an egg hunt just for dogs. The pooches will hunt for strategically placed treats, and the owner of the dog that can find the golden egg will win an Easter basket containing $100 in prizes”.
The holidays are a great time for charitable organizations to raise money for a good cause and help out those in need. Whether you’re raising funds to help those less fortunate, battling medical conditions, or you just want to bring a little extra holiday spirit to a local nursing home, this year, rather than the traditional – ask em’ to open up their pocketbook theme – host an evening that will be sure to entertain and let your giving guests have a little unique fun while supporting your mission.
After you set a date for your event and book the necessary vendors and venues to host your evening, get the word out. Charitable organizations often reap benefits in making their vision a reality. There are a lot of opportunities to advertise for free or reduced costs. Have a member of your committee send out a Public Service Announcement (PSA) – radio and news stations will often advertise for non-profit organizations freely, even if only on their Web site. Press Releases are another option for spreading the word without incurring a cost.
Gangster Fundraising Gala
Invite all of the townspeople to your Gangster Gala for a night of dance till you drop fun. Recreate the iconic 1920’s and 30’s era adorned with the knee-high bedazzled dresses, long, string bead necklaces, feather boas, top hats, pinstriped suits, and long cigars in a fingertip holder. Inform your guests to come dressed in their best gangster get-up. To make the night come true, decorate your dance hall with a Gangster Gala themed backdrop distinct with a roaring 20’s building, hotel, jazz building, police and gangster cars, and street-side lamppost. Your guests will dance the night away. And to make it a little fun, add a twist with a non-stop dance until you can’t dance anymore theme. The last dancing gangster mob couple standing will win.
The After After Prom
Give a teen in need, who might not otherwise get to experience the essential high school Prom event, a donated prom dress, and a chance to experience their once-in-a-lifetime event. At the same time, couples can share in the sentimental nostalgia of your high school days all over again. Invite couples to share in your adult themed After Prom. Adults can purchase a formal dress (or re-purpose a formal dress – a bridesmaid dress they wore in their friend’s wedding, their old prom dress, etc – wear it for an evening In the Depths Forever. Decorate your venue with a romantic aquatic theme furnished with the beauty of coral reef, dolphins, a ship, a school of fish and more. Dress up your dance floor with a beautiful Bermuda blue gossamer, fish netting, and white tulle. At the end of the magic-making evening, the dresses can be donated to local high school students in need. Make it an annual event. It’s a great way for couples to rekindle the flame and pass good spirit forward.
Dinner and All That Jazz
Host an evening for couples to enjoy a dinner and dance. Rent a fun, upbeat and modern venue to host a night for couples to share in an evening of romance. Most venues have catering available and can offer a menu tailored to your choice. The nice thing about that is they will also offer full service – including, silverware, plates, linens, and catering staff. Hire a jazz ensemble to join you for the evening to play soft, classic music throughout the evening. Decorate your venue with an All That Jazz décor. Line your tables and chairs with feather boas. Place candles around the room and create a dimly lit, candlelight ambiance. Make it a formal event and couples everywhere will join you in a night to remember. Couples will share in their love for one another and share in supporting your cause at the same time.
Everyone, at one point or another in their life, strives to host an amazing party. Those parties often fall on or around holidays. Once you’ve decided which holiday you want to create and amazing party for, you can decide whether you want it to be fun and casual or a bit more elegant. Mind you, occasions such as St. Patrick’s Day are not always the best holiday to throw an elegant party for. If you want a bit more elegance, try New Year’s Day (or Eve), Valentine’s Day, or Christmas, maybe even Halloween. Halloween could also be a holiday for which you throw an amazing casual party—other holidays in this category could include Cinco de Mayo, the Fourth of July, and Earth Day. You could even create an amazing party for lesser-known holidays, like National Dog Day, National Ice Cream Day, and Sweetest Day.
Now that you’ve chosen not only your holiday, but also whether you want to throw an amazing casual party or an amazing elegant party, you can start selecting your decorations. Many decorations can work for either an elegant holiday party or a more casual holiday party. Let’s tackle the elegant decorations first.
Amazingly Elegant Holiday Party
Hosting an elegant holiday party does not mean you have to procure fine china. “Elegant party” does not always equal “sit-down dinner”. You could provide snacks for your guests and supply beverage napkins and small dessert plates for them to use. Don’t make all the snacks sugary and sweet. Do add some healthy treats, too, especially if you offer bubbly, sweet beverages to your guests.
The beverages you serve can also reflect what type of party you’re hosting. For an elegant holiday party, choose sparkling water or sparkling juice, so guests can use champagne flutes—this will uphold the feeling of elegance and create a sense of sophistication among your guests. In order to add to not only the elegance, but also the decorations, look into personalized bottle labels. This way, you’ll have a clearly labeled bottle that will appear as though it was created for your amazing holiday party.
Moving on, just because you want your party to be elegant does not mean you should leave balloons or favors out. Whether you decide to have small standing tables for guests to gather around or larger tables for guests to sit at or even just your coffee table and end tables, every table needs a centerpiece. These centerpieces can be made up of small balloons at a lower height (for the larger tables or your coffee table) or simply a glass cylinder filled with colored stones.
When you start to think about favors for an elegant holiday party, remember that edible favors are always a great idea. This could be your chance to let the creative bug bite you. Whether you decide to create personalized candy bars or lollipops or bake a little something extra and go out of your way to find, say, small picture frames to fill with thank-you-for-coming cards, you can put together a small favor bag for each of your guests so they have a way to remember your amazing holiday party. The favors could also be holiday-appropriate, too. If you’re hosting an elegant Christmas party, get crafty with some paint and empty Christmas ornaments—make an ornament for each guest, write the date in small print around the top of the ornament, and you have a wonderful favor that your guests will see each year. For a more elegant Halloween party, create a larger treat bag with the classics: decorated sugar cookies, mini chocolates, and maybe homemade caramel apples (in their own bag inside the treat bag, of course). The possibilities here are endless; you just have to find the right fit to your amazingly elegant holiday party.
Casual and Fun Holiday Party
Certain holidays make for easy casual holiday parties. St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and the Fourth of July are examples of holidays you’d be much more likely to create a casual party for—and understandably so! Many of the holidays that fall into the “casual party” mindset fall during the warm-weather months; many people hear “Fourth of July” and think, “Hey, why not have a barbecue with the family?”
Those same small dessert plates and beverage napkins that were suggested for your amazingly elegant holiday party would be perfect for a fun, casual holiday party, also—especially for a party at which there are more snacks than actual food. If you decide to host a backyard barbecue for your holiday party, full-sized plates are necessary. As far as snacks go for a casual holiday party, this is the time you can fill bowls with potato chips, pretzels, and other salty snacks. You can then balance out those salty snacks with cupcakes, cookies, and other classic desserts.
Because it’s a casual holiday party, you could make a fun, tropical punch for your guests. Also, fill a metal tub with ice and stock up on water bottles and maybe even bottles of root beer and other types of soda. This is another fun way to include those bottle labels and give your guests reason to think your holiday party is that much more amazing than others they’ve been to. These labeled bottles can also be used as favors or decorations. Decorations are a lot easier for a casual holiday party. It’s also easy to find decorations and favors that are specific to each holiday. By using those holiday-specific decorations and favors, a bit of stress is lifted off your shoulders so you can focus on the fun of the party.
Whatever holiday you choose, whether casual or elegant, throwing an amazing holiday party is easier than you think. All the details are at your fingertips! Once you’ve planned and hosted one holiday party, you’ll want to plan more—what better way to get your family and friends together than for an amazing holiday party? Let your creative juices flow and plan away!