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How to Throw an Oscars Party

Lauren Matich | Thursday, February 21, 2013


As Notre Dame students, we love ceremony, tradition and gold statues; just look to the dome for evidence. We love huddling around television stations in too-small dorm rooms to watch nationally-televised competitions, holding our breath until a winner is proclaimed. During the first few months of spring semester, when we all are at the peak of football season withdrawal, the time until we all take up football watching as a quasi-professional sport again can seem centuries away.

This Sunday though, a different kind of ceremony and tradition will be playing out on the television sets around campus, and a different sort of gold-gilded figure named Oscar will make an appearance.  Dust off your television, initiate the Facebook event invitation chain and anticipate that being up much later than you want to be because Pinterest is making Oscar watch parties more of a reality than ever.

According to Los Angeles stylist and Huffington Post consultant Tabitha Evans, a great Oscars party doesn’t need to cost a fortune or go “all out.” For a put-together shindig, focus on one element that is important to your vision. If you’re going for a super-glam feeling, convince your guests to break out the old prom dresses that only get used once a semester. Complete the glam feeling by toasting like stars with sparkling juice.

If food is an important element of how you want to celebrate awards season, Oscars.org has great recipes inspired by what foods are actually served by the academy this year. Huffingtonpost.com suggests coordinating dishes with your projected Best Picture winner.  One example was shepherds “pi.” Some of them are pretty ambitious for a dorm kitchen, but throwing a smashing party is about creatively improvising with what’s available to you.

To some party hosts, atmosphere is everything. Oscar-themed decorations are heavy on the star-studded glitz and glimmer, so start a hunt for stray strands of twinkle lights. Use gold star shapes and glitter as a theme for your decorations – the perfect opportunity to pull out your gold football season accessories again.

If your party is focused on the high-stakes races, start the night off by showing the trailers of the Best Picture nominees. As the night progresses, offer guests categorical ballots to cast their votes and bingo cards to keep the tempo of the party moving along during the long night. Both the ballots and bingo cards are available to print for free at Oscars.org.

For a more casual and informal get-together, an Orville Redenbacher-themed menu might be the ticket. There isn’t a food that symbolizes American cinema more than popcorn. The blog somethingswanky.com features a post with 40 different recipes that involve different popcorn goodie concoctions including Snickers popcorn, cinnamon bun popcorn, peanut butter popcorn balls and fudge mint popcorn made with Thin Mints. Other foods that are sure to get guests in the cinematic mood are hot dogs, nachos and any assortment of candy-wall candy.

The themes and details that can contribute to a great Oscars party are as varied as the films and actors being recognized. However you decide to celebrate the awards show, don’t forget to tune in Sunday at 7 p.m. to see who takes home the gold.