Barbecue Party Ideas: A Wild Western BBQ Express

These barbecue party ideas are a great way to do your backyard entertaining. Do you dream of the smell of smoking charcoal briquettes in the hot summer sun? Do you fantasize all winter long about shiny new barbecue tools and the zesty taste of the down-home barbecue sauces? Do you attend endless parties with the same old theme are you find yourself daydreaming about grilling steaks, ribs, burgers, chicken, or hot dogs? Are you sick and tired of the fancy food and costumes that go with the fancy theme parties? Are you having trouble waiting for a holiday that focuses on gathering outside and grilling food?

If you have answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, then you are going through "Barbecue Withdrawal". Don't laugh. This is very serious! The only cure is to host the biggest, best backyard barbecue party ever. Invite everyone on your block to come to your backyard for fun in the sun and to sample your famous barbecue recipes.

backyard Barbecue Invitations
Summon your neighbors with a personalized western invitation or a summer design, perfect for any barbecue feast. We love pairing an invitation with a fun western item; try slipping a bandana or a sheriff badge in the envelope (go with a padded one), your guests will be delighted!

Add some western confetti to the envelope and you have a low fuss yet fun invite.

There are also several barbeque party ideas you can employ to make your invitation really special. You may have to hand deliver (or pay extra for postage) on these invitations, but they are worth it:
  • Send each guest a piece of Tupperware with the details of the barbecue shindig inside. Invite each family to make their favorite side dish or dessert (to be placed in the Tupperware) to compliment your culinary creations. (The guests keep the Tupperware as a favor).
  • Invite your friends by hand-delivering specially made "barbecue bibs" entailing all of the party information. Roll the bibs and tie them with red and white ribbon for a festive look.
  • Hand-deliver barbecue sauces to your potential guests. There are so many different sauces to choose from that you can probably send everyone a different one. Create a label with party details and stick it around the bottle.
Whichever invitation you choose to send, your guests will be delighted to see that you made it special with a little extra touch.

Barbecue Decorations and Party Supplies
Welcome your guests with a personalized western banner hanging at the front of the house. Add a balloon bouquet with a big ol' cowboy boot balloon in it to the front of the walk or drive. With these great decorations out front everyone will know where the hoedown is!
 
Our favorite barbeque party ideas to help you set up your party space:
  • Set out several bales of hay for your guests to sit on. You can get them from your local garden or feed store, and they will add authenticity to your western bbq.
  • Set up a campfire area with a fire pit and some lawn chairs for the adults.
  • Wash tubs make great decorations and can double as drink bins if you fill them from ice.
  • On the side of the house or garage hang a few western wanted posters.
  • Don't forget to have some country western music playing!

BBQ Table Decorations and Menu
Western paper products are perfect for you wild west barbeque, and they’re better than washing those dishes in hot water over a campfire…believe you me! Pair them with a silverware bundle made of plastic silverware and a bandana as a napkin. Tie them closed with a piece of twine.

Attach a sheriff badge to each seating card. Or write your guests names on an inexpensive cowboy hats and set them on the chairs; a fun seating card and a party favor in one!

So many different centerpieces can be created for this type of party. Since the party will be taking place in the heat of summer, set a plastic pail in the middle of each table and fill each one with a variety of different sunglasses. Each person can choose a pair to keep as a party favor!

For a creative centerpiece, use an old-style metal coffeepot, baskets lined with with bandanas to use as a bread basket, some old-style metal coffee cups, and several bottles of fancy barbecue sauce. Just put these all together in the center of the table. Tie off the baskets with western boot balloons mixed with red and blue latex balloons.

OK, so what BBQ or outdoor party is complete without those pesky flies and ants? While we can all do without the real ones, why not use plastic ones to spread around the tables as confetti or to freeze in your ice cubes. In fact, put them everywhere-on plates, at your entrance, in the beverage containers. It will start to become very funny, providing hours of amusement to many!

Barbecue Party Activities
Barbecue party games are always a lot of fun. Make sure to have plenty of relay races planned so that everyone gets into the spirit. Here are some barbeque party ideas to help get you started.
  • Tie a Yellow Ribbon - This is a great way to introduce everyone if you have an even number of people at your party. Buy some yarn or ribbon, and cut the ribbon/yarn up into various lengths (at least 100-400 uneven pieces). Put everyone into pairs, and have them search throughout the yard to find as many pieces of ribbon/yarn as they possibly can. They must work with their partners to tie each piece of ribbon/yarn together to create one long piece of yarn/ribbon. The team with the longest piece of ribbon/yarn at the end of 15 minutes wins the game.
  • Couples Relay - When the host/hostess says, "Go," the first partner has to eat two crackers. Then as quickly as is possible, he/she has to whistle a designated tune to his/her partner. When the partner guesses the tune correctly, he/she has to pop a balloon (that is already blown up) by sitting on it. The partners then get together, and must run to the finish line with an orange between their lips. To show that they have finished, one person must sit in the other person's lap!
  • Lay an Egg - In each pair, the partners stand with their backs to each other. Placing a raw egg between their backs, the object of the game is to lay the egg on the floor without it breaking. The first couple to successfully place the egg on the ground without so much as a crack in it is the winner.
  • Belly Burst - Everyone must divide into random pairs. Each couple has to hold a balloon between their stomachs. The couple who is able to burst the balloon first using only their stomachs is the winner.
Of course, there is always the traditional potato sack races, balloon toss, tag and backyard baseball. Badminton, croquet, Frisbee and horseshoes, while seemingly usual, are all actually great ways for people to relax, socialize and be outside. 
 
You can find more games on our Western Party Games page!

Barbecue Party Favors
Send your guests home with something that reminds them of the blast they had at your barbeque:
  • A personalized candy bar wrapper is a "sweet" way to say thanks for coming to our bbq!
  • Some of the most popular favor ideas for a barbecue party are items that glow. Barbecues begin in the daylight but usually last well into the evening. Everyone loves to walk around the party with a variety of body parts glowing so hand out glow jewelry.
  • Send everyone home with their very own "Kiss the Cook" apron. For a laugh, use paint that won't wash off of clothing and put a child's handprint on each apron.
  • Plastic pinwheels, plastic foam plane gliders, kites, bubbles, jump ropes, outdoor chalk and water toys are great favors for kids.
  • Personalized soda bottles, BBQ sauce, BBQ tools or outdoor mugs are all useful and appreciated by adults.
Everyone from Party411.com hopes that you have a great time grilling at your barbecue. Don't forget that the Party Girl and the Party-ettes like their ribs with extra spicy sauce!