Real Parties: The Gold Rush BBQ from Festivities Magazine, Part 1

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It was soooo hard to pick which photos to use from the Gold Rush BBQ photo shoot for Festivities magazine.  That's why I made Paula from Frog Prince Paperie the Editor-in-Chief title and made her do the hard work.  ;-)  Happily, getting to do blog features as well means I can use as many of the photos as my heart desires.  Hold on to your cowboy hats, people--there are going to be a ton!

It all started with the fabulous new Rustic BBQ printables set from Frog Prince Paperie.  

As soon as I saw those rusty reds and dusty browns, the stars and the gingham, I was hooked.  And I knew exactly where I wanted to have the BBQ:  at Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstition Mountains to the east of Phoenix, AZ.

Legend has it that German immigrant Jacob Waltz found a rich vein of gold in the Superstition mountains, and built a lucrative mine to tap it.  But the exact location of the mine was lost when, on Jacob's deathbed, he had only enough time to sketch out a tantalizingly vague map before drawing his last breath.  Treasure hunters have been searching for the mine since the late 1800s, and many stories and ghost stories have grown out of the original tale, creating a unique piece of southwest lore.

These days, treasure hunters still seek, but the Superstition mountains are mostly a home to a beautiful state park, with wonderful picnic pavillions and trails.  The perfect setting and inspiration for a western BBQ.

Dinner was simple picnic fare--easy to pack and carry to the picnic site.  

Everything was pre-packaged in disposable deli-style containers, but of course I couldn't help but embellish them all to fit the party theme.

Homemade chips from Mike's Burgers, Cheesesteaks, and Ice Cream (a fabulous little diner here in Gilbert, AZ) were a huge hit.  Everything is better homemade, but I don't deep fry.  I'm delighted to let Mike's do that job for me!

Circles of scrapbook paper made easy embellishments to dress up the chip and coleslaw containers.

Instead of disposable paper plates, I used pie plates.  Don't have a collection of multiple pie plates?  Goodwill usually has a good collection of them for about 50 cents each.  A bandana for a napkin, a bit of denim and twine, and wooden utensils made the perfect rustic place setting. 

The floral arrangements couldn't have been simpler:  antique ball canning jars and wildflowers.

Denim accents were used throughout the party design.  Levi Strauss invented jeans back in 1853, during the California gold rush, as a way to provide miners with pants strong enough to stand up to the rigors of the profession.  It was the perfect accent fabric for our gold-rush inspired BBQ.  There they add just a little something extra to the already-fabulous printable water bottle labels.  

Lemonade and water kept the guests cool and hydrated.  I just love this drink dispenser styled like an old Ball canning jar.  How perfect for this theme!

Instead of glasses, quilted canning jars were used.  More circles of scrapbook paper and straws turned them into impromptu sippy cups, perfect for our smaller guests.

A denim table runner with rustic, frayed edges and appliqued bandana-print stars was simple to make, matched the party theme beautifully, and you can bet will be used at many a 4th of July celebration in years to come!

The main course of dinner--hot dogs--was a cinch for this party hostess, because cooking them was also an activity.  Cooking over a campfire is always a ton of fun, and makes the food all the more delicious.

On Monday, come back for the blog post all about the really fun stuff, the dessert table!

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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