Need side dish's and ideas for a graduation party

mizmomApril 15, 2007

I am planning a high school graduation party for my daughter. I expect to serve precooked, presliced brisket from Sams (in a roaster with bbq sauce), Sams Club rolls, self made fruit and vege trays and a large Sam's sheet cake. We will probably have at least 100-120 people at our home = open house style from 4-8pm. I am already planning to rent a 15X15 tent with tables, chairs and linens and we have a large deck. Darling daughter "face booked" 130 of her "closest" friends today and already has 45 friends who are telling her that they will not miss it. Most of them are athletes and have very healthy appetites. That is not even counting our friends, family and associates. Soda, bottled water and beer (for adults only of course) will be served in cans from coolers. I need suggestions from anyone who has done this before. What works and what doesn't. How much stuff should I plan to buy? I need other side dishes and ideas for decorations that are easy to make in advance and not a problem to store. I only have one fridge and a small chest freezer to store in advance.

Should I have more than one type of meat and dessert?

School colors are red, white and blue and mascot is "patriots" so I should be able to pick up some decorations after Memorial Day for reasonable prices.

Any help or suggestions I can get will be most appreciated.

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I emailed you..have done this type of party several times. I'd be happy to share info.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 3:39PM
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I'd do the brisket and then another big crock pot of cut up sausage in a crock pot with onions and sauerkraut. That is what I have always done when doing brisket.

Sides: huge side of a broccoli ramen salad that I do. It's a nice change from coleslaw. A bean salad. Then a cucumber, tomatoe, onion and vinegar salad. I try to stay away from sides with dairy in them. It is easier to serve on a buffet for that size.

I'd add on brownies and lemon squares. I'd do more than just cake.

Make sure you have plenty of water.

I think you will be fine with everything you have as long as you have plenty to go around.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 10:47PM
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Are there other graduation parties going on the same day as yours? In our area, we go to many parties on the same afternoon or evening, and you just snack at all of them. When my son's graduated, we had a hog roast along with other families, and it was at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday. People came right after church, so they ate quite a bit since that was their 1st stop. I think what you have planned to serve sounds great. As far as decorations, I'd sit up a table with her momento's, awards, photo's of activities she's been in during her 4 yrs. of high school, I had their graduation photo in a 11x14 frame and had it on an easel. Do all those things at different heights on your table. We have school blankets with the name on them, and I draped that on top of the tablecloth....letterjackets, even their cap and grown can be draped somewhere. I did a scrapbook for my 1st son and had it dsplayed on the table (he did well in basketball) and then for my other son, I had a photo quilt made for him and had it hanging on the back wall behind the table. Hope that helps~balloons are always good if you need some color or a pretty bouquet.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 12:33AM
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Thank you for the responses. Our party will be several weeks after most other parties because of other commitments, although the other mom's I have spoken with, haven't really started planning(?).

Kathleen, I didn't receive an email.
Pink and mlea, both very good suggestions.

I know people like to hang out in the kitchen where the food is. Beer will be in the kitchen where I can keep an eye on it. How do you get people out in the yard to enjoy the "hopefully" good weather?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 10:28AM
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I emailed you though this site...guess they are not fwding them.
One thing I mentioned in my email is porto potties. 130 is a lot of people unless you have several bathrooms and a strong septic system. We had a porto potty for the men,( box of handi wipes and waste basket for hand washing) and the ladies used the 3 in the house if they preferrred.
I also suggested having help, either hiring or assigning friends or family. Clearing away the used plates, etc., and refilling the food and ice, etc. I was going to suggest a crock pot of chili which can be eaten out of hot cups or pulled pork.can be served on buns with coleslaw.
As prev poster sugg, trays of brownies, cookies, etc as well as the cake, coffee and tea. Will parking be a prob..notifying neighbors if they will be inconvenienced?? Lots of things to think about, but planning ahead as you are doing is the way to go!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 1:48PM
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My son graduated last year - I had about 125 people at his graduation party. The suggestions you got above are good.

Here are some of mine:

We had a rootbeer keg - it was a big hit. Ordered it from the liquor store, very popular with young and old alike. Our entire keg went in 3 hours. It was set up outside because it gets sticky. We set up a volleyball net in the back yard. The boy vs girl volleyball competition was intense as most of the kids were athletes.

I'd do the extra bars and salads as suggested, borrow coolers if you need to keep them cool.

The only thing that struck me in your email is to make sure that you really can get the red, white and blue decorations you want, lots of other parents might have the same idea and you may have slim pickings if you wait too long. If you are in a big city it may not be a problem but if you are in a town with only 1 or 2 high schools, you might have a problem. The nice stuff will go fast.

Finally, get help to keep the food trays filled, coffee made, trash cans emptied, toilet paper and clean towels in the bathrooms, etc. It's a lot of work and you want to at least have time to say hello to your guests.

Assign someone to take pictures of your daughter and guests, especially those important ones like grandparents, aunts, uncles, best friends, etc..

Good Luck, it sounds like you are already well on your way.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 9:39PM
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