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Tips for Throwing the Ultimate March Madness Party

March Madness is just around the corner, and basketball fans are revving up to make the perfect brackets. Which college basketball teams will make it to the championship? Will your bracket win?

Along with the excitement of creating the perfect bracket, you’ll also want to throw a great party — both to kick off the tournament’s opening weekend and celebrate the winning bracket. No matter what you’re planning, here are some great tips for throwing a great March Madness party.

Make the invitations

You probably want to have the party around the time the final four compete for the championship. This is the most exciting part of the tournament, after all. Once you’ve set the date, make your guest list and send out your invitations.

Invitations can be made using an online design service. You can have them printed and mailed directly to your guests through the service, if you like. However, this is probably more of a casual event, and you might want to simply send virtual invitations.

Evites can be made in just a few minutes and sent via email or text message to everyone on your list. They can RSVP with one click, and you’ll have a list of guests instantly.

Decorate

Before your guests show up, it’s fun to create a little ambiance with your decorations. The focus should be on the basketball, so you don’t need to go over-the-top with your decor. But a few well-placed decorations can go a long way to generate excitement and keep people engaged.

Keep things simple and on-theme. For example, you might put up posters of your favorite teams and players. Decorating in the colors of the people you’re rooting for is also advised.

According to Premier Glow, which specializes in novelty party items, you should also have party favors to send home with your guests. This helps create strong memories and keep people talking about your party.

Plan your menu

Besides the basketball, people attend March Madness parties for the food. It’s all about delicious sports-friendly finger foods. This is the most important part, so make sure you get it right!

You can look up plenty of great recipes for your party, like fried chicken, pizza bites, jalapeno poppers, chips and dip, and more. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can always hire a caterer or order in.

Don’t forget about dessert. Everybody loves those savory delicacies mentioned above during the game, but it’s nice to finish off with root beer floats, basketball-themed cookies, and more.

The drinks are also an essential part of a great party. Provide both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages for your guests. Consider a signature cocktail with a virgin version for those who don’t indulge.

Provide team jerseys

It’s often more fun if you get to dress up like the people you’re rooting for. You can ask your guests to come wearing their favorite jerseys, but there’s no guarantee that everyone will comply. Consider providing your own jerseys — if you don’t have the funds to buy them, you can make your own.

Depending on who you’re inviting, your guest might get a kick out of making their own. Have them come early and decorate their own jerseys with white t-shirts and fabric markers. These will become lucky jerseys that can be worn during any part of the tournament.

With these planning tips, your March Madness party will become one for the books. People will talk about this event long afterward, and they might just ask you to host another party the next year.

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