Grab Your Partners for a
Barn Dance Party

Barn Dance Party
This is a pretty straightforward party to organise and great fun to host. Costs will depend on the venue, the cost of your caller (if you need to hire one), and your food choices. The more you can do yourself, the cheaper the party should be. It's one of many dance party ideas, but is an ideal 40th birthday idea.

Because there are a few things to make sure you get right, it's best to put together a party plan, or checklist. Simply write out everything you have to do for the party, with dates and times, together with any contact details, costs, and special details. There is a free party planning checklist available fro all our subscribers. If it would help, simply sign up to our newsletter, Party Buzz.

Ideas for Your Invitations

Pick Your Dance Venue

Select Your Caller

Plan Your Decorations

Easy Party Food Ideas

Barn Dance Invitations
Country Squares
Use squares of white paper to write out your party invitations, giving the party persons details, the date, time, venue and RSVP contact information. Roll them up like scrolls and tie off with a piece of red and white checked cloth.

Cowboy Hats
Cut out cowboy hat shapes from brown poster card. Stick a white hat band around the center, and write out your party details. Don't forget your RSVP details.

If You Wanna Get Ahead Get a Hat Invitation
Buy a bunch of cheap cowboy hats. Make sure that they have a hat band. If not, buy some cheap, co-ordinating fabric and attach a thin band of this around each hat. Before attaching one of the bands, sew in a slip of cloth with the word "winner". Cut out squares of white or colored paper, and write out your party details. Tell each person to wear the hat to the party. Fold each square and tuck one into each of the hat bands. When all the guest are at the party wearing their hats, ask them to remove the hat bands and to find out who has the hat band with "winner". This person gets a special party prize.

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Barn Dance Party Venue
For this 40th birthday idea, you will need a party room that is large enough for the dancing, has space to serve food, and for your guests to sit and eat. You may like to have small tables set out to allow people to rest between dances, especially if you have a wide age range of people coming to the party. The venue also needs to have a kitchen if you intend to prepare your own food, with a refrigerator and an oven. It also needs to have a good standard of restrooms.

To find your venue, look through your phone book, search the internet and ask friends and neighbours for ideas. Think about location, as you may need to transport food, decorations, and perhaps furniture.

When you negotiate the price, ask for written confirmation of the all the costs (including heating, lighting, and clear up), the date and the time you can have the venue from, and the time you must vacate by, before paying any deposit.

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Barn Dance Caller
You will need to hire a caller, unless you know someone who can organise the barn dancing, or of course unless you intend to do it yourself. Try and find a caller who will organise the whole dance part for you, by providing the music, the music player, speakers and perhaps even the lights. Discuss the age range of your guests with the caller beforehand, so that they can plan the dancing accordingly. If you select a good caller, they will make sure that everyone participates in the dancing, from the tots to the seniors.

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Barn Dance Decorations
Decorate the room combining the Barn Dance theme, with the 40th birthday theme. To create an atmosphere, arrange tables, seating four to six people, all around the dance floor area. Keeping with the barn dance theme, drape each table with checked tablecloths (pick up check cloth from a discount store), and co-ordinating lamps (gain shop around- I have found lamps for a $1 each at a clearance sale!). To complete the 'barn' borrow bales of hay from a friend who has horses, or buy or hire these, and pile them in one corner of the room. Place bunting, helium balloons, and banners with 'Happy 40th birthday', around the room.

The guests dressed up in the best 'barn dance' costumes, and most of the kids turned up as cowboys and cow girls- and had as much fun dancing as the adults did. My kids have kept the cowboy hats they wore, and I think they'll have these forever!

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Barn Dance Food
Homestyle fried chicken, ribs and baked potatoes are ideal party foods for a Barn Dance. Homemade coleslaw and potato salad, green salad, corn are perfect accompaniments. For party desserts, delight your guests with pecan pie, apple pie, and perhaps a lemon tart.

Use good quality disposable plates and cutlery, and paper napkins. Buy cheap wine glasses and beer glasses, rather than disposable ones, and keep these for future parties. Plastic beakers are ideal for the kids. Large tubs filled with ice will keep the drinks cold.

For the birthday cake, make a '40' cake- with vanilla sponge for the 4, and chocolate for the 0. Cover with your favorite frosting and add 40 candles- 20 on each number.

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