I recently orchestrated a really fun party for a client….our 1st Annual Margaritaville Beach Party.
The Trappers restaurant group consists of four restaurants, and three of them feature beach volleyball. With all that sand, I thought a Margaritaville party would be a natural fit, plus there is just so much fun stuff to work with in a Jimmy Buffett theme.
We created a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” buffet, which featured cheeseburger sliders with all the toppings, including lettuce & tomatoes, Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes, not to mention big kosher pickles.
Mango pineapple salsa and tortilla chips, a fresh fruit display featuring drunken pineapple (pineapple soaked in coconut rum) and flip flop cookies rounded out the free buffet.
I wrapped the table with a grass skirt and used a body board on 2 sand pails to create a different level and decorated with beach towels, palm leaf place mats, seashells and leis.
(I think I want a bigger palm tree next year…)
The restaurant already had an outdoor bar, so I wrapped the base in reed fencing and put a tiki hut I found online on top.
I would have preferred to build something a little more substantial, but due to time constraints I had to settle for the ready made version. But, Margaritaville is all about tacky, right?
We mixed up 5 gallon buckets of Hurricanes and Pineapple margaritas and served them out of our large drink dispensers….the bartender just had to pour over ice and garnish, plus we offered Corona bucket specials.
For the tables I found brightly colored burlap runners and topped them with a super simple and inexpensive centerpiece – a pail filled with sand, short tiki torch, flip flips, lei, large starfish and a tropical flower. They took minutes to put together and cost less than $5 each.
Next year I might do something different with these…as I was packing all the supplies away, I discovered that all of the leis, more than half the flip flops and all the flowers were taken during the party. Or maybe just a sign that says, “This is a centerpiece, not your costume” 😉
I knew I wanted a couple of authentic looking signs made, and Ashley, one of the restaurant employees, volunteered for the job….and I have to say, she and her husband Andrew knocked it out of the park.
They used reclaimed wood and materials they already had, so the cost was ZERO.
I threw beach balls all over the sand, draped beach towels over the wooden fence, lined the area with tall tiki torches and hung paper lanterns under the patio.
For activities, we had a DJ playing fun summer music and we did a “Lost Shaker of Salt” scavenger hunt.
The scavenger hunt got surprisingly competitive….players searched the restaurant and patio for the Lost Shaker of Salt, the Last Mango in Paris, a bottle of rum , packs of Juicy Fruit and other items referenced in Buffett’s songs.
We also had a photo booth complete with fun props.
We ended the night with a limbo contest and and toasting marshmallows over the fire pit.
The party was a home run, with tons of great feedback and a terrific crowd in the restaurant all night.
My only regret was not being able to pull this off:
I thought this would look amazing over our patio entrance….but as it turns out, the beach balls really do have to be LARGE. The Dollar Store version does NOT work. I ended up using them for decor in other places, but was kind of bummed out, because it would have made for a really dramatic entrance into the party space. I even sent someone to the store to try and find bigger balls, but of course there weren’t any to be had because it’s July and they are stocking Christmas decorations.…
Anyway…it was a big success! Thank you to all who joined us.