Arts and Entertainment | Miscellaneous

How to: throw an Election Night party

This article is part of a special issue looking at Columbia's stake in Tuesday's elections. Read the rest of the special issue here.

Election season is drawing to a close, and regardless of who gets elected, it seems fitting to celebrate the death of 24/7 media coverage and contentious public debates. On Tuesday, as the election results percolate, throw a seasonal funeral for you and your friends­—in style.

What to serve: American flag cocktails. Over-21 supporters of either candidate can appreciate this patriotic drink, made with one-third ounce of grenadine syrup, one-third ounce of crème de cacao, and one-third ounce blue curacao liqueur. For underage guests, fill a tall glass with equal parts cranberry juice, Sprite, and blue Gatorade. Top either drink with a mini American flag to add to the patriotic spirit, even if the election’s results have you swearing you’ll move to Canada.

What to eat: The Internet is full of cupcake and cookie-decorating tips for all skill levels. Whether you’re baking from scratch or buying a box from Westside for your guests to decorate, no one will mind as long as they are buried under a generous layer of Betty Crocker. Novice decorators can try their hand at more basic designs like a red, white, and blue pattern or tiny flags. Work together to create one giant flag by making some red, some white, and some blue with white stars. If you or your guests fancy themselves the next Martha Stewart (a Barnard alumna), try to make mini versions of the candidates’ faces or your own electoral map.

What to listen to: If your guest list boasts a spectrum of political opinions, (first, props on maintaining friendships across the deepening party divide) opt for bipartisan tunes to keep the peace. Create a more unified atmosphere with a community sing-along to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” or a more classic American tune like Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” If your viewing group leans left, turn on the Obama campaign’s playlist for rallies, which boasts a selection from Aretha Franklin to Bruce Springsteen, who penned a song, “We Take Care of Our Own,” just for the campaign. Romney supporters can enjoy a playlist that includes The Killers (whose lead singer, Brandon Flowers, is also Mormon) and Kid Rock, who has performed at campaign rallies.

What to bet on: As entertaining as TV’s election coverage is (crazy graphics and touch screens, anyone?), any election party can benefit from some extra activities. Try a traditional betting pool where everyone puts in a dollar and whoever guesses the national percentages or electoral vote totals most closely wins. Or add a twist: Ask guests to estimate the Green-Rainbow percentage of the national vote, how many times the winner will promise to get Americans “back to work” in his acceptance speech, or what color dress Michelle Obama will be wearing. Some minor gambling can get competitive spirits going even when everyone in the room is on the same end of the political spectrum.

What to play: Aside from gambling, there are plenty of games you and your guests can enjoy while waiting for the votes to be counted. With a little research, you can assemble some Election 2012 trivia to keep your minds sharp. If you’re in the mood for a physical challenge, try to pin the tail on the donkey (or elephant). If you have baked goods like cupcakes or cookies at the ready, a decorating contest can be a fun way to make your desserts last longer and take some of the decorating pressure off yourself.

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