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An Election Night Party

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Sure I'm interested in the outcome of this year's U.S. presidential election. After all, the winner will be leading the United States for the next four years. So, just like my neighbors, I'll be staying up late watching the election returns and listening to the tedious commentary and dull prognosticating most of the evening. The excitement of following the returns is similar to watching the grass grow, except that there are many more talking heads offering their opinions. To help you stay awake while you wait for all those Pacific Time Zone states to turn in their results, I recommend an Election Night Party.

Since this is a patriotic occasion, you don't have to think long and hard about your color scheme for decorations, tablecloths, and party goods. A Patriotic Tabletop with red, white and blue colors will do just fine. Use up the leftover plates from your July 4th barbecue and nobody will know that you've finally cleaned out a cabinet. A Patriotic Centerpiece is easy to create in any season. Stuffed elephants and donkeys pulled out of your kids' toy pile will be the perfect touch for adding that patriotic, two-party spirit to your buffet table. Look under their beds for Beanie Babies that represent both parties if they've been collectors for a while. Just for fun, if you really want to get into the mood, make paper chains out of sample ballots to drape around your room as party streamers.

For fun and games in between the latest breaking returns, play presidential trivia. Or if you have serious history buffs among your guests, play presidential charades. You could even turn this into a costume party and ask your guests to dress like one of our more colorful presidents or as one of the Constitution signers. How about setting up a betting pool for the projected outcome of various races betting on the winners and the winning voting percentages?

Finally, I've put together a buffet menu that pays tribute to the two main presidential candidates. We have recipes from Illinois, the home state of President Barack Obama and Massachusetts for former Governor Mitt Romney. May the better candidate win!

Election Night Buffet

Lobster Nachos
Nachos are great at any party. Add lobster to them and you have a very tempting New England snack.

Broccoli Deep Dish Pizza
Chicago is popular for its deep dish pizza. This version includes a lot of tasty veggies along with the sausage and cheese.

New England Clam Chowder
Here's the perfect New England dish for a chilly November evening.

Chicago Hot Dogs
Adding this Chicago favorite to the New England dishes on your menu, will heat up this party even more than the political discussions.

Red, White and Blue Cake Bites - These easy to make, patriotic desserts will keep fit in with your overall patriotic theme.

Eli's Chicago Style Cheesecake
Cheesecake is best made a day or two prior to serving, making it a very convenient dish to prepare for a party.

Granny Smith Apple Pie
An All-American party deserves a like-minded dessert.

Red, White and Blue Shooter
This fun, layered cocktail will lend a patriotic spirit to your party, no matter which candidate is your choice.

Other assorted snack foods and beverages such as popcorn, chips, pretzels, and soft drinks. Don't forget the coffee since it's going to be a late night!

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