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Hosting a Eurovision Party

Posted on 13th August 2010
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Ever since the days of Katy Boyle and the launch of Eurovision we've been hooked on THE song contest. Envisaged as being another way to bring previously warring nations closer together, the Eurovision Song Contest has commanded a place in the TV schedules with extended build-up and masses of excitement.  Okay, so today it's one of the cheesier programs and the likes of Wogan and more lately, Graham Norton taking over the role of chief micky taker with his flowing commentary but it still remains a well loved event and continues to provide a great excuse for a get together be it around the telly or at a full blown costume party with everyone adopting a nation for the night!
This blog post will hopefully provide you with a number of ideas to make your own Eurovision Party a great success.
Eurovision Timing 
The Eurovision Song Contest takes place each year in late Spring and is hosted by the Country of the previous years winning entry.  In 2013, it was held in Malmo, Sweden following Loreen's win in 2012 with "Eurphoria".  This is the fifth time Sweden have hosted the festival.  Now you could argue that given the expense of hosting the event the entries are 'under-played' so as not to win but we honestly believe that such underhand tactics would be like, oh I don't know, say something like banking institutions not really knowing what they are doing, simply unbelievable!
Now we always say that one of the best bits about a party is receiving the invitation, sure you could e-mail a quick note and for most of us this is all that time will allow, but let's say you do have a little more time and creativity to spare, then aren't your guests worth the effort..? 
For a quick and simple idea, you could download a map of Europe - we would suggest that you get a plain one and then overlay the European Flag over it - Google Image is always a good start point but be careful not to infringe any copyrights.  Once printed, this can be carefully cut around to create a truly unique invitation.  Before printing you'll need to decide on the wording and, of course, date, time and venue.  And if you've decided, like so many others, to hold a fancy dress party, it's always a good idea to let people know in advance otherwise you will feel might stupid when you open the door to curious looks!
Eurovision Parties
For the most part, all parties follow the same basic principles and will present you with the same problems which will need to be overcome.  Below we discuss some of these and how we at Karnival Costumes can assist you in making it a great night and one to remember.
Make it a Fancy Dress Costume Party.  Let everyone know well in advance so that they can get organised and always have a few items which you can give to any of those party-poopers who turn up in normal clothes.  With a Eurovision song theme, these could be anything from a national hat - see Oktoberfest Hats, Dutch Hats, National Country Glasses, Bandanas or something similar.  Don't forget, some fancy dress companies are prepared to offer you a group discount, so always ask!  You may want to let your guests choose which Country they will adopt or you could randomly allocate countries with each invitation - hey, why not make your Eurovision invitation even more special by including the national flag of each country on the front of the invite.
And don't forget to think outside the box when allowing your guest to choose their fancy dress costume.  You could, for instance all them to choose a costume that starts with the first letter of their country name, say Charlie Chaplin for Czechoslovakia (damn my old school atlas) well, you get the general idea.
Space Considerations. Always a difficulty question and definitely harder the more friends and family that you have!  Maybe you have enough space but don't fancy the idea of having all that mess in the home, or maybe you don't have enough local parking for all your guests.  Look, we don't earn commission from any one but we always say that you should at least consider hiring a local hall.  Usually cheap to hire - definitely less than having to replace a carpet (but that's another story for another day), they usually come equipped with a kitchen and somewhere to serve drinks from plus most have ample local parking.
European Decorations. Whether you've opted for a local hall or you are hosting your party at home, you'll want to dress up the surroundings to make it more of a real party area.  Typical party supplies for your European party could include bunting, flags, giant cut-outs as well as printed party tableware.
Food.  Ah, for anyone who knows me, they'll know this is my favourite topic (or Kit-Kat and other chocolate confectionery items are available).  As always, you have options.  You could play safe cheese nibbles- yawn, or you be adventurous and research some of the local delicacies from each European County, and if you wanted to, you turn this into a game - guess the country where the food came from, just hand out a question sheet and make sure that each platter is suitably marked so as to make it easy to write the answer on the sheet.
Music.  Feeling brave?  If you are, we doubt that there can be any better time for a Karaoke Party? Alternatively, if it's to be a more refined event then you could create your own Eurovision playlist and let it play in the background as your guests get to know each other better AND then crank out the karaoke to see who does the best rendition of 'Save all Your Kisses for Me', 'Puppet on a String' and many more 
Fun and Games.  Apart from the food game mentioned above, you can give most games a Eurovision twist with a little imagination and thought.  Always popular is the "Who Am I" game which has been a staple adult party game for decades.  When your guests arrive you pint a label on their back - okay, you could take this literally in which case all we'll say is that you'll also need to add plasters to your shopping list!  We use luggage labels as these have a reinforced tag, onto which you write either, a name of a European Country (not the one they've come as), or a famous European.  It doesn't matter which you go with but you MUST stick with everyone being either a country or an individual.  Your guests mingle and ask each other questions that help them guess who they are.  We like the idea of a big answer sheet onto which people write their own suggestions as to just who they are - and these usually get funnier as the night wears on, can't think why!
And let's not forget the best game of the night, The Sweepstake. Now look, this ONLY works if your having the party on the night or before Eurovision.  We can assure you with absolute certainty that the game will fall flat on it's face if your party is being held the week after!
Drink.  Okay I guess I know why things get funnier as the night wears on, it's good ol' alchomohole hic! Simply, you don't need to make everything about the booze as there are some great non-alcoholic drinks and like the discussion on the party food, you could be adventurous and find a selection of drinks from around Europe which can be enjoyed throughout the evening. please drink responsibly and remember to have something for the poor old nominated driver.
Pictures and Prizes.  Everyone like a prize and it's a gracious gesture to ward the best dressed guests with something to remember the night by, the prize doesn't have to be large just something to show that their efforts have been appreciated.  And for anyone taking the time to find a costume or even make a costume the recognition of the host is always truly appreciated - and we mean that most sincerely folks.  As for photos, hey its what social media like Facebook and Twitter were invented for.  Take loads of pictures of people in their Eurovision Costumes, post them, tag them and share them with people who couldn't manage to come so that they too can laugh along with them.
Well, that's about it.  We hope you found this blog interesting and that we've helped you along the way towards hosting a great Eurovision Song Contest Party.  Remember with a little tweaking all of these ideas can be translated to fit any themed and they do stand the test of time.  So let us know if you're planning a party this year and feel free to share this blog on Twitter or Facebook to get your friends interested and involved!


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