From casual to sophisticated, plan spring parties that are COVID-conscious, but still rock.
By Christine Mahoney
This spring, parties on a grand scale will take a backseat to more intimate events, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wow your pandemic pod-mates. Local event planners Mary Spicer and Jenny Baker-Strasburg, co-founders of JAM Productions CO, say you can be creative while prioritizing guest safety. “Events will go on, COVID or not, but there are things you can do to mitigate risk,” says Spicer, a certified COVID compliance officer who also holds four other safety certifications.
Party In a Box
Focus on individual containers like cute baskets or “party in a box” sets with prepackaged snacks and bottled drinks, perfect for an outdoor movie night. “Socially distance the blankets and pillows, give each person a box, and everybody has their own ‘station,’” Baker-Strasburg says. Or go bigger and rent a popcorn or cotton candy maker. Spicer recommends having just one person (masked and gloved) staffing snack stations. You can DIY or let an event planner take the stress out of morphing your yard into a theater. “We look at your backyard, and we create pods or individual stations—even sanitizing stations—and all the little touches you may not have enough time for.”
“Safety” Dance Party
A level patio can quickly transform into a dance floor, complete with a DJ and cocktails. JAM Productions works with DJ Rock Star Aaron, who shows up with lights and a curated playlist to get the party rockin’. “You can put a line of plants down the middle to keep quarantine pods on their own sides,” says Spicer. Want to avoid a crowded bar? Cocktail Squad in Boulder delivers classic, canned cocktails (think portable, individual servings—no mixing required).
Focus attention on the guest of honor with a customized (outdoor) singing telegram from George Peele. Baker-Strasburg says clients are regaled by two to three songs and gifted handwritten lyrics as a keepsake. Kitschy songs not your style? Consider booking local musicians (from high school students to pros) for a donation-based driveway concert through the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.
The COVID-safe 21+ crowd can consider including cannabis and CBD products for spring gatherings. Katharine Leonard, co-founder of Palmer Jane, a new online marketplace for the canna-curious, shares cannabis dinner recipes and links to local dispensaries for contactless, curbside product pickup.
Plan B: Bad-Weather Busters
Springtime in Colorado comes with notoriously volatile weather. Baker-Strasburg encourages having an inclement-weather plan in place and budgeting for that on the front end. “We let tents sit an extra day, so we can see where they might sink a bit in wetter weather,” Spicer says. Event planners can also scope out snow-rated tents and heaters.
Finally, remember to check and follow current local government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for your parties, including the number of guests and households allowed.