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Western Party

Western Cowboy BBQ 1yr - Tin Can Shoot




Kristin in Draper, UT 84020


June 2003


Honorable Mention

For my son's first birthday, we had a Rootin' Tootin' Western Cowboy BBQ (our last name rhymes with rootin').   

For invitations, I cut a 1 inch by one inch square out of 1/2 sheets of folded red cardstock and stuck either diecut horse's head or a diecut cow's head out of each one.  I backed it with cardstock and inserted wood raffia "straw" into the mouth of each animal.  I also took the cutout red square and converted it to a barn door next to the open "window" by putting white paper "X"'s on each one.  The invitation read "Hay ya'll guess who's turning one?" and the inside said "Come 'n git some good ol' cowboy eats at (my son's name) Rootin' Tootin' birthday roundup.  Of course it gave the where and when and stated that cowboy dress was optional. 

We rented a pavilion at our local park, so we had a covered, shaded area for the grown-ups, and the kids were free to play on the playground equipment. 

I served BBQ chicken (which I had already oven-baked so that all we had to do was grill it with BBQ sauce at the party just before serving), crock pot prepared pulled pork with a spicy vinegar BBQ sauce, campfire baked beans loaded with bacon, onions, mustard, & brown sugar, a big tossed salad with ranch dressing, potato chips, and cornbread.  We also served lemonade and ice water.  If I'd had budget for it, I would have also offered sarsaparilla or root beer.  Since this was my son's first birthday, we made him his own cake to destroy, and we served Texas sheet cake with vanilla ice cream (recipe from the internet) to our guests.  The food was really well-liked. 

We decorated with red and white and blue and white checked tablecloths from the dollar store.  We served the food in baskets and cast iron pans.  We also borrowed pie plates from our local Marie Callenders (they loan them out at no charge if you provide a refundable deposit) for everyone to eat out of.  We also made and put up Wanted signs with my son's picture on them, calling him the Binky Bandit, because we had a picture of him with two binkys in his mouth.  We put a bottle of BBQ sauce on each table, plus copies of the wanted sings.  We checked out old time western music (think Gene Autrey) from the library and played it in the background.  We also had a happy birthday banner done in western type lettering and decorated with boots, spurs, bandanas, and cowboy hats.  I wanted to get bales of hay to decorate with also, but we had to limit our budget somewhat. 

For favors, we bought each child a red bandana from the dollar store and filled it with sheriff's badges, plastic harmonicas, rubber snakes, (we wanted to add plastic cowboys and horses, but I couldn't find them), cowboy stickers, Cowtales brand candy, and Gummi breakfast candy (bacon and eggs.  We tied the bandanas with rope.  If you have budget for it, you can also make stick horses out of a dowel rod and some felt, yarn, and googly eyes.  You can also have a stick-horse race if the kids are old enough. 

For activities besides playing in the park, we had a water balloon shoot-out where we filled water balloons and then had 2 people at a time go back to back and walk apart a few paces and then turn and "fire" at each other.  The drier of the two was the winner of that round and went on to the next round.  The last one left driest was the winner.  The winner of that game won a bag of marshmallows and a set of toasting forks. We also had an alternate prize for the kid winner - it was a bubble blowing train whistle.  We also set up a game of horseshoes.  The winner of the horseshoes tournament won a video rental gift card attached to a certificate that invited them to round themselves up one of them western type cowboy movies.  The alternate kid prize was a cowboy hat. 

Additionally, we set up a tin-can shoot out.  We had six empty tin cans set up on a card table in a pyramid.  (If you have it, a sawhorse and a wooden plank would be great instead of a card table).  The top can was worth 1 point, the next two worth 2 points each, the bottom three worth 5,3, and from left to right.  We used a super-soaker water gun, and the player was allowed to pump it as best they could and shoot up to three times.  If they could knock over ten points worth of cans, they got to choose from the cowboy grab bag.  The bag contained cowboy themed snacks such as chewing gum in little canisters, beef jerky, smoked pepperoni sticks, bagged trail mix, licorice ropes, and rootbeer barrels.  The party was a big hit and we had a lot of fun.  By cooking in advance, I was able just to set up and have fun.

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