Idea No.


Tropical Caribbean Party - Free Hats & Trinkets



April 2002


Mayra in Orlando, Florida  USA

Honorable Mention

Luau Party

Adult Tropical/Caribbean Party  My sister was turning 37 and was really depressed about it, so I decided to plan a surprise party for her.  I had my husband make a caricature picture of my sister.  It was her face on a voluptuous woman's body wearing a bikini top, shorts and a beach hat, and drinking a tropical drink on the beach.  On the inside was a poem with all the party information.  "Though she feels like crying, because of getting old (Name) is having a Caribbean party, so put the date on hold.   Then I included the date, place and time and made sure to let them know that it was supposed to be a surprise. 

She was going on a cruise for her birthday, so I planned the party for the day after she came back (Sunday).  I planned a pool party at my house.  I didn't want to give it away, so I didn't decorate the porch.  But as soon as you walked in, the house looked so cool!  I hung a net on the entrance wall and I put plastic lobsters, crabs and starfish on it.  I had a basket full of sunglasses, maracas, and seashell necklaces.  I also had beach hats.  Each guest could pick one item from the basket and a hat. 

I had flower garlands everywhere inside and outside.  The party really took place outside, but people had to go through the house to get to the backyard.  I set up a table with snacks like chips and salsa, dip, fruit, shrimp and vegetables (all on ice) on the porch.  I hired a bartender and we had an open bar.  I also hired a salsa and meringue band to play tropical music. They also played some reggae and calypso. 

I set up tables and decorated them with orange, red and yellow table coverings.  I assigned seats using sand dollars.  I used tropical plants as centerpieces and decorated the trees with white Christmas lights.  I also hung tissue fish around the porch.  I didn't decorate the pool area too much, because I didn't want to make it look cluttered.  Everything looked perfect. 

The guests were asked to arrive at 6:00 PM.  I asked my sister to be at my house at 6:45.  I told her I had made dinner for her.  She did not have a clue.  When she got there everyone hid in the living room and when she walked in they jumped out yelling "Surprise!"  She loved it! 

Since it was a party for adults, games were a little difficult, since older people are more uptight than little kids.  We had a limbo contest, which everyone enjoyed and we danced all night to the tropical music.  I bought my sister a huge cake (there were 50 guests), decorated with palm trees and a blonde mermaid (my sister has blonde hair). 

On top of the hats and the items from the basket, each guest got a maraca key chain.  I used permanent marker to write: (Name)'s birthday party and the date on each key chain.  My sister loved her party.  She got a lot of funny and nice gifts and her spirits were lifted. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it.

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