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Pool Party Tips

How to throw the ultimate pool party



©haveseen/istockphoto

The smell of charcoal on the grill and the sun's warmth on your face can only mean one thing: summer has arrived. And what better way to celebrate the beautiful weather and some much needed time off than with a fabulous pool party?

If you're picturing yourself throwing a bunch of noodles into the pool and serving up some melted macaroni salad and warm beer — think again. We've got tips from party planner Rosinne Chlala, of Festivities, that will help you throw a lavish event with delicious food and great entertainment.

Now, I understand that "pool party" and "a touch of elegance" are phrases that do not typically appear in the same sentence. But, it's easier than you think...

Plan, Plan, Plan: Planning ahead of time is a must, but don’t make it more than it has to be. “A pool party should be casual and relaxing, an afternoon of easy,” says Chlala. First, choose your favorite color palette. Bright blues and yellows are always big summer hits. Next, nail down a food and drink menu centered on a theme, like Mexican, Americano, or Mediterranean. Your guests will appreciate the attention to detail, and fun delicious food always sparks interesting conversation.

Don't Forget the Food: Offer different tastings every half hour to keep your guests’ palettes guessing. Or, try doing watermelon “five ways,” in a fresh salad, a mouth-watering punch, or dessert. Stay away from creamy dressings and heavy foods, as the summer heat doesn’t mix well with mayonnaise. Also, be sure to keep food on ice and don’t keep it out for more than one hour for safety reasons. “As I like to say, it should be easy for the hostess and easy for the guests,” explains Chlala.

Always be prepared: Being a hostess can be tough. Oftentimes, you’re so busy taking care of your guests you forget to relax and enjoy the party. “When you are relaxed, your guests feel relaxed. Fun can still be functional,” says Chlala. Be sure to have plenty of towels, cold beverages, sun block and ice. Also, keep safety in mind. Avoid using glass cups or plates. Accidents happen and bare feet and broken glass is a recipe for disaster. If entertaining kids, be sure to always have a set of eyes on the pool and remember no running! Having a first-aid kit readily available is also a must.

Entertainment: Themes can be kitschy, but let’s face it; you are throwing a pool party. Keep your guests entertained in and out of the pool with some classic summer games. Set up a volleyball net or basketball hoop in the pool, so guests can cool off while still having fun. Lawn games are always a hit. Try horseshoes, cornhole, bocce, ping-pong, or ultimate frisbee. The theme doesn’t stop with food and drinks. If you’re going for a Mexican fiesta, get your guests on their feet with some authentic Mexican music. If you’re throwing a special event, send your guests off with a great party favor. Fill a summer tote with a cute beach towel, your favorite summer foods, a frisbee or whiffle ball set and other summer essentials.

Make a splash! It will be an event to remember.

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