Between the outspoken candidates and the ability to share opinions on social media, Americans seem to be more interested in the 2016 presidential race than any other recent election. Just look at the turnout of voters. According to the Pew Research Center, the first 12 primaries for this year saw the most republican voters since 1980 and the most democrats since 1992.
Why not take advantage of this trend by throwing a presidential debate party? Whether you host a soiree with friends who are are #WithHer, on the #TrumpTrain or somewhere in between, there's no better way to show your American pride than by throwing an outdoor bash for the occasion. The first presidential debate kicks off on Monday, September 26, according to Election Central, and here's what you need to plan a party to remember:
Set the scene
First and foremost, you need to set up a place to watch the debate on TV. It will air on ABC, C-SPAN, FOX, CBS and NBC, so make sure these channels come through crystal clear. This requires a test run. After all, you don't want to be scrambling to the neighbor's living room at the last minute to catch this important event!
If you have the appropriate outdoor media, host the party in your backyard. By September, the weather will be cool enough that you and your friends can sit comfortably in the open air. Since you'll likely be viewing the debate after the sun sets, have plenty of outdoor lighting options so everyone can safely navigate through the yard. Hang twinkling string lights now to brighten the space all fall long, or use fixtures that coordinate with your outdoor decor. Do you have a beach vibe happening in your space? Opt for seaside-esque lanterns!.
You'll have to decide whether you want to serve dinner or snacks. The debate will follow the evening meal, so you can get away with starting the party around 7 p.m. when everyone has had supper. However, if you're feeling up to the task, grill some burgers and hot dogs on your barbecue island. It's an easy meal that's always a crowd pleaser.
For snacks, consider some of the options you made for the Fourth of July. For example, you can serve cupcakes with festive icing and star-spangled sprinkles. Otherwise, dip pretzels in chocolate and drizzle them with blue- and red-dyed white chocolate.
Set the scene with festive treats
"Leave an hour or so post-debate to share thoughts."
Be ready to entertain
While the debate will interesting to watch, you might benefit from setting up games for before and after. Wizzley proposed the idea of "Pin the president in the white house." Cut out head shots of the candidates and stick tape to the back of the pictures. Hang a poster of the white house (your own creative drawing will suffice) on the wall. While blindfolded, guests will do their best to place their preferred president in his or her home for the next four years.
The Stir suggested playing health care charades, which requires knowledge of each candidate's platform. One player acts out an injury, and each guest gets to say how the issue would be resolved under each nominee's health care plan. For example, how would Hillarycare address an injury that requires emergency care? What would Trump's policies say about preventative measures like the flu shot?
Leave time for discussion
This facet of the party depends on how well your guests can handle differing opinions. If your friends can discuss the debate without burning down the house in a political rage, leave an hour or so post-debate to share thoughts.
You can even have this discussion without directly talking about the candidates' policies. For example, you might focus on how each nominee was treated by those asking questions. Did each person get the same amount of time? Who dominated the conversation?
If you have a well-designed home to show off and the space to invite over friends and family, turn the presidential debate into an event. There's no better way to show your pride than fighting for your right to party!