A country hoedown forces guests to put aside their fancy party clothes in favor of comfy plaids and casual cowboy boots. A hoedown works well for a birthday party or as a summer gathering for no reason at all. The details of the party set the casual, country feeling to signal a hoedown is underway.
Let the guests know about the country theme from the time the invitation arrives by making your own hoedown invitations. Start with decorative paper with a western print. Cut out related images from black paper to create a silhouette appearance. Examples include a horse, cowboy hat, lasso or spurs. Glue the silhouette to the middle of the western print paper. The party details go on the back side of the paper. Another option is to mail a bandanna to each of the guests with the party details written with a permanent marker or fabric paint.
A country location is ideal for your hoedown party. Knowing someone who owns a farm gives you a huge advantage for the location. If you don't have any country connections, look for local barns that allow you to rent the space. Another option is to host the hoedown at a state park or other natural area. You still get the country feeling without the large price tag of renting a facility. Your own home also works if it's large enough. With plenty of country decorations, you can still create the hoedown feeling.
Rustic, country-style decorations work well for a hoedown. Ropes and bandannas fit the hoedown theme of the party. Drape the rope around the tables and on the walls. Use bandannas as place mats and decorations under the centerpieces of food dishes. Wildflowers placed in Mason jars create a fitting centerpiece option. Cowboy hats, hay bales, boots and spurs also work well as decorative props.
Homemade comfort food comes to mind at the mention of a hoedown. Fried chicken is a popular option. Grilling an assortment of meats also works for the western party. Add sides like biscuits, coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salad, corn and beans to round out the menu. Buffet-style serving fits into the casual environment at a hoedown. Cupcakes work well for a hoedown dessert because they are easy to serve. Arrange the cupcakes on rustic wooden trays or a tiered stand. Twine, raffia or a country-themed ribbon tied to the top of the stand adds to the look.
An assortment of country music playing in the background adds to the ambiance. Encourage guests to dance to the music by designating a dance area. Define the space with a border of hay bales. Square dancing or country line dancing work well. If the hoedown is held outdoors, set up a bonfire area along with materials to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. If the hoedown is on a farm, consider hay rides or horseback rides for the guests.
Shelley Frost writes professionally on a full-time basis, specializing in lifestyle, family, parenting and relationship topics. She holds an education degree and has extensive experience working with kids and parents.