A cool and fun party idea that can get your guests singing and dancing is a back to the fifties party.
The Fabulous Fifties
The fifties were a time of fun music and dances to go with them. If you are looking for a party idea that gives your guests a chance to dress up and get down, a back to the fifties party may hit the spot. The music of the fifties has stayed popular and on the airwaves. Even today classic fifties tunes are heard on the radio and most people know at least a few of the songs by heart. A good place to start planning your party is to get some classic fifties songs together. If you happen to have actual vinyl records and something to play them on, this will make your party more authentic. However, if this is not possible, you will need to get a CD or two. If your local music store does not carry it you can give Rhino a look. They are renown for their collections. The great thing about a back to the fifties party is if you want to get people up and dancing, the fifties had many cool dance trends to choose from. Some of the more popular dances from the fifties were the Stroll, the Madison, the Hand jive and the Cha Cha.
Fun Icons and Decorations
The fifties had a style all their own. From cars with fins to poodle skirts and bobby sox, the fifties had flair. When planning your back to the 50's party you would want to be sure to have some of these represented at your party. A couple of poodle skirts used as decorations or even used as table skirting would set the theme of the party perfectly. Most party supply stores will have inflatable electric guitars. Having a bunch of these on hand will help set the rock and roll feel of your party and most guys seeing a toy guitar around will find it hard to resist playing air guitar along with the music you are playing. When sending out the invitations you might want to ask your guests to dress the part. For instance, buying a leather motorcycle jacket just for the party might not be reasonable, but most thrift stores will have bowling shirts and Hawaiian shirts. These were very popular in the fifties. Although taffeta dresses might be out of the question Capri pants are as popular now as they were then.
The fifties were a fabulous time for interesting food. Many homemakers were experimenting with convenience foods and adding them to their entrees. The casserole was king and it would not have been unusual to find a casserole that was topped with corn flakes or potato chips. But for most of us the real draw of the fifties were the fast food restaurants that were just being established. Hamburgers, fries and a malt was the staple diet of the teens back then and the food most associated with the fifties. When planning your back to the fifties party keep these simple and easy to prepare foods in mind.
Classic to fifties cocktail parties focused on appetizers they served. Whether you are planning a sock hop type of party, or a more upscale party like a scene from Capote or All About Eve, you are going to want to explore some of the more interesting appetizer options.
Ham and Pineapple Bundles
Although you may be tempted to do so don't use fresh pineapple. No hostess in the fifties would ever think of trying to butcher a real pineapple not when she could just open a can and be done with it. These are really quite refreshing and keep well in the refrigerator so they can be made ahead of time and brought out as needed. Open a can of sliced, cored pineapple. Cut the pineapple into half inch thick cubes Wrap each cube with a piece of honey-cured ham; please use the pre-sliced packaged type. Impale each with a toothpick. Serve and enjoy.
No fifties party was complete without some deviled eggs. To make 24 deviled eggs you will need to start with a dozen eggs and hard-boil them. While they cook gather together:
- 6 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- Some hot sauce like Tabasco
Once the eggs are cooked, cool them off by running cold water over them. Once cooled peel the eggs and carefully cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolk and place the yolks in a bowl. Mush the yolks with mayo and paprika, add salt and hot sauce to taste. Put the yolks back into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika.
One other appetizer that was at every fifties cocktail party and would be welcomed at a nostalgia party was the shrimp cocktail. In order to do this authentically you will need to go to the local supermarket. Buy a couple of pounds of precooked shrimp. Pick up some jars of cocktail sauce. Go home and arrange the shrimp in a bowl. Place that bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice. Have another bowl of the cocktail sauce handy.
Back to the Fifties Party
The Fifties were a diverse and interesting time. Kids were wearing jeans and t-shirts and dancing to rock and roll. The parents having just gone through the war were looking for a little luxury, sophistication and convenience. By bringing some of the cocktail party food together with the fun oldies you can have a swell back to the fifties party that will be enjoyed by all the hep cats and cool kitties.