Beach Party

Pack Your Pail - Beach Bucket Favor




Cindy in Madison, WI  USA


July 2002


Honorable Mention

Pack Your Pail Beach Party  Our little guy turned one in June and we celebrated with 75 of our favorite adults and 25 children in our backyard on the lake.  We mailed invitations that had a beach pail in tangerine color and a shovel in a blue green color. 

The invitation said "paddleboats seafood buffet and bare feet…and the specifics and the attached shovel by a raffia bow "regrets and the number".  The mailing labels had the sand bucket theme, and stamps were Mickey mouse. 

We set up the front yard with a children's picnic table and life size pooh characters with party hats, sunglasses, blue checked cloth with ends tied with yellow bows, pooh sippy cups and pooh (as birthday boy) with his hand tied with multicolored pooh character balloons.  A cedar pergola covered with balloons (tangerine, blues, sea greens..) and a happy birthday canvas sign tied at the arch was a perfect place for photos and led the guests to the "back" of the house and to the lake. 

As it was 94 degrees, we had a tent set up over the hot island food (jerk chicken/pork skewers with mango salsa, island rice pilaf, key lime mini-tarts, cilantro corn, salad with avocado dressing and two area microbrew quarterbarrels with dressed in green grass skirts. A chilled white wine table in peach, hot pink and green metal buckets of ice (wines made on "islands" like Australia, New Zealand..) completed the U shape.  In one corner, family members cracked coconuts in half and served fresh tropical fruit to the kids inside the halves.  Coolers in the shade were filled with juice boxes, mineral water, and soda.  A table covered in white cloth, sea green skirt and green and blue netting had three large plastic blue iced filled buckets with cold, spicy shrimp, fresh shucked oysters and wine marinated mussels (made the night before in batches). 

The birthday cake was and underwater scene, a tall round cake that in blue with tropical fish viewed from sides and top like you were scuba diving and viewing them.  Inside was raspberry crème layers. The smartest thing we did was hire a lifeguard to watch the kids in our pool, which we filled with loads of interesting animal fish toys, and games like volleyball, basketball and the guard served as referee. 

We played beach ball tic, tac toe with the brightly colored magenta rings and two different colors of balls (x'x and o'x) and played in teams.  We had a craft area for everyone to make small glass fish bowls, and an art "instructor" a relative who happens to be an artist "teaching" the kids and adults how to apply glass paint. He then set each one with clear coating and set the bowls in the sun to dry before they went home.

Each received a party bag with sea shells and tropical blue stones to decorate it at home. Also, each kid took home a beach bucket filled with fun goodies including a beach ball, water toys, beach snacks.  Adults and kids took turns touring our lake on our boat - a long line for that at the pier, or canoeing, or using the paddleboat to see the shoreline close up.  My husband managed the pier activities and outfitted the kids with life jackets. When it turned dusk we had two showings of Harry Potter and served cold sandwiches. 

We received thank you cards from our guests before we could get out our thank yous!  Each guest received a card with pictures of our son opening their gift the following day (the kids really wanted him to open the gifts at the party - but with such a large gathering - it was not possible).  It was a wonderful day to share with our friends and family (who traveled in from four states), and introduce to many - our sweet boy. He absolutely loved all the activity, laughed lots and received lots of hugs and attention.  It took us all days to recover from the excitement.

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