Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! It’s Super Bowl madness.
OK, so I don’t know a gosh darn thing about football, the MetLife Stadium, Seattle Seahawks or the Denver Broncos, but I do know about how to score a touchdown by hosting a great party, sports themed or otherwise.
If you’re hosting something at home, hopefully you’ve got your guest list and invites out by now, by word of mouth, Facebook or otherwise. Also, I hope your television screen or digital projector is in working order.
The next thing to focus on is food. If you’re planning to order massive amounts, it’s best to put in your orders to your favorite take-out places now, otherwise risk being hungry and waiting on game day.
If you’re going to put out a spread of your own, make sure you have a mix of snacks and beverages. Personally, I always like to have hot and cold foods, savory and sweet and at least some fresh fruit and veggies for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free friends. Or, you could have a potluck party.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to go beyond the wings, chips and dip and pizza menus, be sure to check out berkshireeagle.com/food for reader recipes from our Super Bowl recipe contest. There you’ll also find recipes like "Beef Brisket Chili" by Route 7 Grill Chef Christophe Jalbert in Great Barrington and "Classic Chicken Pot Pie" by Chef Brian Alberg of The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge. Yum!
Though Super Bowl Sunday tends to be a big adult beverage day, I also like to have some fun non-alcoholic drinks on hand, like iced tea, sodas, lemonade or limeade, for designated drivers and people who just don’t care to drink the hard stuff. At past parties, I’ve filled tailgating coolers with ice and put beverages, bottle openers and cups strategically around places where people will be sitting.
Which brings me to another important detail -- seating. If you’re afraid you won’t have enough, ask people to bring their own folding chairs, or put out blankets and pillows for people to cozy up with while seated on the floor. Bonus points if you find or make football shaped pillows.
If you’re feeling festive, ask people to wear their favorite team’s jerseys, or have a make-your-own T-shirt pre-game party. Lots of area supermarkets and places like the Party Barn in Lanesborough are stocked with other football-themed favors to help decorate your place. And of course, for DIY inspiration, Pinterest is a top destination.
Finally, it’s helpful to think of entertainment beyond the big game. The best Super Bowl parties I’ve been to have places where football fans can focus on the game, and other rooms or area of the living room where casual watchers can hang out, eat and talk. Having a deck of cards or a few board games are always fun.
Other entertaining ideas include Super Bowl trivia (be sure to have fun prizes on hand), rating commercials, Super Bowl bingo (get board ideas here: http://bit.ly/1aESIKP) or pick a player. Taste of Home has a great list of games and instructions here: http://bit.ly/1hIOroA.
If all of this sounds like too much work, you can head out to pretty much any bar or restaurant in Berkshire County with a television set and surely find a game there. Here are a few other special events happening:
Super Bowl Sunday parties in the Berkshires
Thistle and Mirth in Pittsfield is partnering with Dottie’s Coffee Lounge to host a Super Bowl Potluck Party with a Purpose. Starting at 5 p.m., people can bring some food to the bar, located at 44 West St., and enjoy the game streaming live through a digital projector onto the bar wall.
There will be a contest for best potluck dish. The winner will score a gift certificate to Thistle and Mirth.
There is a suggested donation of $5 for the event, which with benefit Berkshire County Kids’ Place (kidsplaceonline.org). The bar will also donate $1 for every pint purchased to the cause.
Michaels of Stockbridge will also host, starting at 5 p.m., a free Super Bowl XLVIII Party, including a free halftime Italian buffet. No reservations will be accepted, so show up early.
The Beacon Cinema on North Street in Pittsfield will also host a free screening of the big game on the big screen.
Wahconah Country Club in Dalton will host a Super Bowl Party starting at 5 p.m.
PortSmitt’s Restaurant on Pecks Road in Pittsfield will at 5 p.m. host a Super Bowl Party with an all-you-can-eat buffet for $10 per person.