The FIFA World Cup is fast approaching again, and a palpable tidal wave of hype has been steadily building in anticipation of the event. The World Cup is the epitome of sportsmanship and international glory, a showcase of the world’s finest soccer players and a heated competition boasting a coveted first place title. But, more importantly, the World Cup is a great excuse to throw an awesome party!
For the uninitiated, the FIFA World Cup is a month-long sports extravaganza that is held once every four years. Each occurrence of the World Cup takes place in a different host country, usually predetermined far in advance. This year’s tournament is taking place in Brazil. Across a series of twelve regions and accompanying stadiums, the tournament will make an epic crawl down Brazil’s coast. This year’s reigning defenders of the previous championship is Spain, who claimed victory in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. We’ve compiled a number of guidelines that can help you throw the ultimate World Cup party. Whether you’re interested in one big bash or an epic series of viewing parties, we’ve got you covered with fun tips and ideas that you can use to enhance your celebrations.
Displaying Your Colors
As with any major sporting event, a huge draw of the World Cup is rooting for your favorite team. This can be any selection of players, but, more often than not, one’s own geographical home team inspires the fiercest loyalties. Whoever you and your partygoers are rooting for, be sure to give them the means to display their pride! A set of blank jerseys can serve as an easily customizable means of party favors. Sets of stencils, application materials, and iron-on patches can be used to quickly transform a blank template into something even the fiercest of fans would be proud of! Try providing face-painting materials and temporary tattoos. These and other similar artistic flourishes let partygoers display their personal team’s colors with pride (and in a way that’s easily removable down the road!).
No great party is complete without the snacks! This year’s World Cup presents a number of unique opportunities to offer themed dishes and foods that will blow your guests out of the water with style and flavor! Here are a few themed ideas to help get you on the right track towards party food greatness!
- Regional cuisine tour: Try offering a series of dishes that compliment the current game’s setting or teams. This works wonderfully if you plan to host multiple viewing sessions throughout the tournament. You can offer dishes that reflect the tournament’s current geographical setting, such as regional foods from the different parts of Brazil. Additionally, you can offer themed cuisines indicative of your home team and match them up against cuisines for your team’s rivals of the day! This also works great for beverages. You can offer regional sodas and soft drinks for attending children, while the clashing cultures on screen provide a bevy of opportunities to have the present adults sample new and exciting beers and brewed drinks from around the globe! Or stick to your guns and offer a wide palette that showcases your team’s regional brewing expertise-the choices are endless! You can achieve a ton of different styles and themes through the multitude of food and drink permutations available to you.
- Potluck: The World Cup is a great excuse to throw one outrageous potluck! The communal style and naturally juxtaposed foods of a potluck go perfectly with the theme of the tournament. You can have guests each bring one food indicative of a certain country participating in the Cup, or everyone can contribute a different type of dish all from one particular region for an all-inclusive spread that showcases that area’s culinary uniqueness!
- Soccer themed treats: Foods that evoke the symbolism of the game are an excellent way to enhance the theme of your gathering. Try your hand at soccer ball shaped sweets or treats that display a set of national colors. You can use edible elements to add touches of soccer to otherwise unrelated foods. Icing, food coloring, and other additives can turn just about any item into a vibrant display that would do any team proud. Complete this look with themed glasses, plates and cutlery. These disposable items are a sure fire way to evoke the theme you’re trying to achieve without breaking your budget. Another popular option is the snack arena. Using your creative side and heaps of various foods as building materials you can put together a soccer arena of your very own-all edible! The sky is the limit so use your creativity and see what kind of vistas you can replicate with your party fare!
Soccer-themed activities and party games can form the perfect companion to your spreads of delicacies. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Tournament pots: Everyone loves a little chance, and the World Cup offers a great way for everyone to get in on the action. You can run party betting pots, with the prizes running the gambit from small party favors and food to bigger prizes. Offer a bracket system where partygoers can fill out their projected outcomes of multiple games, which offer incentive for continued viewing parties. Before long your gatherings will be the talk of the neighborhood. These systems can help you with entertainment and add an extra layer of excitement to your gathering.
- Piñata: A perennial party staple, the Piñata can be used as a means of healthy aggression towards an enemy team. Dress up a piñata in the style of the party’s chief rival towards the home team and allow your guests a swing. Try filling the piñata with all sorts of unique treats-use this as another opportunity to show off your creative side. This party game can serve as a crucial morale boost in times where your team may be in dire straits!
- Soccer themed decorations: Soccer gives the prospective party planner a lot of easy ways to incorporate that World Cup fervor into the decorations for their party. Blow-up soccer balls and similar devices can give your guests something fun (and safe!) to throw around in times of celebration or defeat. In this same vein, colored pennants and streamers can be used both as decoration and as a means of celebration. You can let your guests select their own colors or indoctrinate them into your preferred team’s legion of fans!
- Competitions: Use your party as a means for a number of fun competitions. You can turn any of the activities and foods mentioned here into good-spirited competition amongst your guests. Use potlucks and communal cooking, as well as party games and bracket predictions, to construct games. You can award the winner with a number of great themed prizes. You can also offer gift baskets or door prizes for the guest with the best display of pride or national colors and turn the event into a sort of costume competition. These opportunities let you build fun times that don’t interfere with the main event (and ones that might take a bit of the sting out of a team’s bitter loss, too!).