New Year’s Eve – 50’s Sock Hop Party
Shake, rattle and roll yourself into the new year with a New Year's Eve 50's Sock Hop. Transform your home into a diner, drive-in or high school gym and roll up your sleeves for some good clean fun.
For invitations, make compact discs with songs from the 50's. (I know they didn't have cd's in the 50's but I don't think your guests will notice too much.) On the jewel case, include a sleeve that state's your party theme: You're Invited to a 50's Sock Hop! Open for details… Then make a disc label that serves as your party invitation. Be sure to tell guests to come dressed appropriately. You may give some suggestions – men in blue jeans, tight white shirts, black leather jackets, women in poodle skirts, off-the-shoulder blouses, bobby socks and ponytails. Mail in a cd box or padded envelope that you decorate with black musical notes.
On the night of the party, first and foremost, make sure you have a dance area. Pull back the rug and remove furniture for adequate space. If you don't have flooring in your home, rent a dance floor to go on top of carpet (or other surface you might not want scuffed up.) Decorate the walls with posters of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and if you can find them, old fashioned cars like a '57 Chevy. Streamers and balloons should be added in bright colors. And be sure to have lots of bubble gum around for chewing.
Hire a disc jockey to play 50's music and get the guests involved in fun dance floor games. Make sure he plays the music of Buddy Holly, Chubby Checker, Fats Domino and of course, Elvis Presley. Have a dance contest that includes dancing the Twist, Mashed Potato and the Stroll. Be sure to include some slow songs for cheek-to-cheek dancing. And how about organizing some line dancing, mixing guests up to travel down the center of the lines. An alternative to a disc jockey is to rent a jukebox and let the crowd select their own music.
Don't forget to do the limbo! Swing those hula-hoops! Ask guests to twist and shout out their requests. Create some drama. Supply the disc jockey with the names of some of your guests and ask him to make up a story about the “popular couple.” For example, maybe he could say he just saw Jane kissing John, while Jane's significant other was kissing someone else. Uh oh. And have packs of gum cigarettes lying around for anyone who wants to act “cool.”
Aside from the dance floor, the kitchen or dining room (wherever you've decided to serve food) should rate as the place to be, and be seen. Follow a red-and-white theme with everything from the table linens to plates, cups, napkins, and of course straws, following that rule. Solids, stripes and polka dots look great mixed and matched. Serve soda fountain favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries and brownies a la mode. If you can, rent soda fountain mugs and parfait glasses. A fun touch would be a server dressed in diner attire, chewing gum and talking with a New York accent, She (or he) could help guests with their dinner selection and serve root beer floats, shakes, and sodas.
Create a “photo booth” for guests to enter and pose for a picture. Take extra large boxes and cut them to create three walls. Use paint to decorate the outside and cut out black and white advertisements with people in them to glue to the outside like photographs. On the side that's open, hang a string of streamers thick enough to create privacy inside. Put two chairs inside for sitting. On the wall opposite the chairs, cut out a large whole that's eye level with the chairs. Have guests ring a bell when they enter the booth and then go over to take their picture with a Polaroid camera, looking through the hole in the wall. The photo can be glued to a larger piece of red poster board with the headline: The Sock Hop of 2004. Make sure guests don't forget this party favor when they leave.
It is New Year's Eve, so as midnight approaches, hand out party hats and crowns, noise makers and confetti poppers to throw as the clock strikes twelve. Everyone should gather on the dance floor for the final minutes before the new year. Ask guests to share their resolutions with one another while waiting for the ball to drop. What ball, you ask? The Sock Hop ball, of course.
Create your own ball drop by layering 10 large red balloons atop each other (use tape or string to keep them in place.) Place a big Styrofoam ball that you've covered with tin foil on top of the balloons. When the countdown reaches ten seconds, pop a balloon with each second, which will lower the “ball.” At midnight, ask all the guests to take off their shoes and do an official “sock hop” around the dance floor.