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The NASCAR playoffs are in full swing, which means some of the most important races of the 2022 Cup Series season are coming up. Obviously, NASCAR fans are going to want to watch these races with other like-minded fans. So, why not make a party out of it?
The task of getting all of your friends together for a themed event may seem daunting, but there’s really not much to throwing the perfect NASCAR watch party. With a trip to the grocery store and the party supply store, you’re already almost at the finish line.
The first thing is first, though. Understand that you don’t need to actually host a party if all you want to do is eat good food and have a few drinks with your friends. Almost every town in America has a bar or restaurant that’ll be playing the big race every weekend. It’s just a matter of finding your favorite and getting the band together.
However, if you want to go the extra mile (get it?), the first place you need to start is with your home’s layout. The star of this party is the race, so make sure you’re tuned into USA Network or NBC and there’s ample room for your guests to sit comfortably and jump up and down when they get excited.
According to party planning expert and owner of Little Miss Party Planner, Seri Kertzner, you also have to make sure, particularly if you have kids at the party, there's something that will hold interest when the TV fails.
"When you have TV involved, you can appeal to everyone, but kids lose attention very quickly," she told USAInsider. "For the kids, I always set out activities for them. Things as simple as pages they can color on go a long way."
If you’ve got the space, organize some three-legged or sack races in the backyard. Don’t be afraid to let the adults get in on the action as well — kids love seeing mom and dad fall down!
Next, you have to worry about decor. Naturally, if you and your friends all root for the same driver, picking how to decorate the place is easy. Are you a Ross Chastain group? Buy some watermelon decorations. Is Kyle Busch more your guy? Well go ahead and buy as much M&M stuff as you can.
Fortunately, if your friend group is a mix of different driver fandoms, that’s OK. Kertzner notes there are a lot of easy decorations that scream “NASCAR!” without pledging allegiance to any one driver.
"The colors that come to mind to me are black and white, so checkered print, and then red and yellow," she explained. "Those are sort of the colors that pop into my mind when I think NASCAR."
Other options are orange cones, paper “asphalt” roadways with white lines, or even fake sponsorship banners for products or people your friends enjoy. These are all great ways to give the place that NASCAR party look and feel.
Next, you have to worry about food. Fun is fun, but a good watch party is nothing without snacks. NASCAR is an all-American sport so some all-American food is more than appropriate. Weather permitting, burgers and hot dogs are always a winner. Grab some chips and some dips and cut up a few veggies for the more health-conscious among you and you've got a spread that'll make the group happy.
Similar to the decor, this is also an opportunity to keep the theme alive. Literally anything becomes a NASCAR appetizer if it’s edible and you stick a mini checkered flag in it. Cheese cubs? Flag! Meatballs? Flag! Chicken wings? Sure, flag em! If you want to get extra fancy, TheProduceMoms breaks down how to make race car-shaped apps out of fruits and vegetables.
If you’re a fully adult group, you may want to make sure there are a few alcoholic drinks around. Obviously, NASCAR fans tend to lean toward wine and beer, but Kertzner notes that a signature cocktail helps push the theme forward as well as take some strain off the host. If you can think of a way to incorporate the NASCAR theme into a drink, it's something you can batch, make a lot of early and forget about until the party is over.
Then all you have to do is tune into the NASCAR race and enjoy. You can also catch NASCAR content on Peacock now.
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