Tips and tricks for the perfect Super Bowl party

Jan. 31, 2013 at 4 p.m.
Updated Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:01 p.m.

Canyon Shackelford sat beside the water at Riverside Park, taking in the breezy Wednesday afternoon. The quiet moment was a bit of calm before the storm as the 21-year-old Victoria resident gears up for a big-time football game Sunday.

Super Bowl parties are a tradition for the AutoZone sales manager and 30 or so of his closest friends, and this year is no different. He said he and the others plan to gather for barbecue, drinks and a chance to watch the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens duke it out on a friend's 70-inch TV.

"The Super Bowl is a good time to get your friends together, hang out and eat," said Shackelford, who said the major party prep would come Saturday. "It's a good time."

Still, party planning isn't always easy. Here, Crossroads residents offer up their best tricks of the trade.

Josh Vega, assistant manager with Champs Sports, suggested people get creative with their party garb.

The game is just days away, he said, and people won't likely find team shirts or merchandise unless they place rush orders.

"Make your own customized shirt or even signs and posters," said the 49ers fan, who plans to host a barbecue with friends that day. "Just make it fun."

Keep the theme going with the decor, suggested Louie Miller, who manages Wally's Party Factory. His store offers a variety of football-themed plates and cups, for instance, while balloons are also available.

This year's game is taking place in New Orleans, so Mardi Gras decorations and beads are also selling well, he said.

"Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl blend together this year," he said. "They go hand in hand."

Cindy Bird owns Main Course Catering and, although the company doesn't typically cater Super Bowl events, she did have suggestions for food.

People enjoy grazing, she said, so offer a variety of sweet and salty foods, as well as something with a kick. Chicken wings, Chex mix and brownies are all options to consider.

She said those looking to really make a statement can dig out cookbooks or old recipes for dishes guests might not have tried before.

"Wow them with something new," she said.

Margaritas are the go-to drinks for Super Bowl Sunday, said Billy Driver, who owns Central Liquors. The drinks are customizable, he said, depending on people's taste and budget.

Those looking to spend a bit less can opt for lower-grade tequila, for instance, although a purer tequila will taste better. Premixed drinks, which just require ice, are another option, although they cost a bit more.

Then again, Driver noted, Crown Royal is another popular adult beverage option.

"You have to get a half gallon of Crown, so you can mix Crown and Coke and that kind of thing," he said. "Or take a couple shots after everybody scores."

As for Shackelford, he had his own advice.

"Get a lot of friends together," he said with a smile. "And a big TV."



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