Dazzle Brickyard party guests with festive racing theme
By Patti Denton
Many NASCAR fans are having parties at home Sunday to savor the action at the sold-out eighth running of the Brickyard 400.
It's a given that buckets of fried chicken and plenty of black-and-white checkered flags will help rev up the crew gathered around television sets for the 12:30 p.m. start of the race.
But the sponsor for Tony Stewart, one of the three Indiana natives who will speed around the oval, has some better ideas to give parties a distinctive NASCAR-garage flavor.
Designers for Home Depot, the home-improvement business that supports Stewart's team, suggest:
• Cover the main buffet table with a section of green indoor/outdoor carpet and cut roofing shingles into an oval "track" as a centerpiece. Place miniature racecars at intervals around the track.
• Use the small replacement tires for hand trucks and wheelbarrows as inexpensive bases for bowls of dip, salsa or other side dishes.
• Line serving trays with NASCAR-themed wallpaper borders, black-and-white checked contact paper, or racing images from your favorite NASCAR magazines.
• Use new, clean small screwdrivers as "forks" or skewers to spear pickles, olives, cheese cubes strawberries, pineapple chunks and other such tidbits on antipasto or fruit trays.
• Serve a variety of chips and salsa or dips from clean toolboxes, which can be bought for between $12 and $20. Line the bottom of the toolbox with black-and-white paper or cloth napkins and fill to the top with chips. Use the top tray for a selection of nuts.
• Use galvanized aluminum buckets, found in home improvement stores and in craft and garden shops, to ice beverages. If the buckets have handles, wrap them with yellow and black electrical tape to add color.
• Turn small toy race cars into mobile salt and pepper shakers by gluing miniature shakers to the tops of the cars. Guests can roll them across the table to each other.
• Secure napkins with hose clamps from home-improvement or auto-parts stores instead of napkin rings.
• Purchase mini-flags at party stores or cut black-and-white contact paper into various-sized rectangles. Peel away about an inch of the adhesive backing and attach the rectangles to the ends of thin wooden dowels. Orange or yellow- and-black caution tape, found in the hardware department, also can be used for streamers.
• Decorate the patio or front porch with "tread beds" -- colorful flowers potted in the center of an old tire. Some old treads can be had for as little as $1. Call ahead to a tire-related business to make sure they have some on hand.
Bob Marley's Race Party Ideas
1) Have a lot of cool Bob Marley music playing on your stereo mon.
2) Fire up your grill for some delicious Jamaican chicken and pineapple mon.
3) Pour some Jamaican rum over some ice mon.
4) Light some incense and smoke up mon
5) Grab your woman and dance mon!
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