Hola señor y la señorita! Wanna spice things up for your next party? Then be sure to have your very own Mexican fiesta! Feel the movement in your hips as the salsa music starts to play and the sting on your tongue after a bite of a spicy fajita. Fiestas are a great way to bring everyone together for a fun time, whether you're celebrating a birthday, Cinco de Mayo, or you just have a craving for tacos. Mexican culture is becoming much more prominent now and it has some of the best food around. This article will help you figure out everything needed for a fiesta like no other.
Fiestas are all about bright colors, so you need to make sure that you decorate with as much red, green, yellow, orange and bright blue as possible. They are also all about having fun, so keep in mind that the decorations should show off how fun you are. Start by hanging up a colorful sign like the Fiesta Sign Banner or the Metallic Happy Fiesta Banner at the entryway of the party. If you are having an outdoors fiesta then make sure to use something all-weather proof like the sign banner or the Fiesta Pennant Banner so they don’t get ruined during an unexpected rain shower or strong winds. The bright greens, reds and gold will capture everyone’s attention and right away they will be in the mood to party.
A fun addition would be to put up a Jointed Cactus or two marking the entrance so that the guests feel like they have traveled south. These would also be great throughout the entire venue. Line every hallway with some type of fiesta themed garland or streamer to keep the decorations flowing throughout. Adding some Fiesta Whirls with the tequila worm and tres equis beer medallions will entertain any kids who attend as well as the adults. As your guests arrive to the main event area, whether outside or indoors, they should be surrounded by bright decorations and hear lively music. If you are lucky enough to have a canopy outdoors decorate it as much as possible. Hang either Drop Fringe Garland or the Plastic Mexican Cutout Banner in horizontal rows taking up the entire canopy. You can also use the plastic cutout banner to hang horizontally in rows across a section of wall so that guests can stand in front of it taking fun pictures. Underneath the hanging garland you will definitely want to have an area for dancing and this area should be kept very simple so that nothing gets damaged.
Wherever you have the guests sitting and dining should still be very festive though. If you have access to chair covers in red, green or yellow make sure to use those. If not, then you can either leave them plain or use bright ribbon and wrap it around the backs of the chairs. For small side tables, cover them with large brightly colored place mats and use a Miniature Mexican Sombrero and a Margarita Shot Glass as a centerpiece, so that there is enough room for plates. Also, make sure to place Sombrero Coasters throughout the entire venue, but definitely on the small side tables for people to rest their drinks on. For larger tables, like dining tables and a buffet table you will want to decorate them a bit more. Start off by covering the tables in a Red or Golden Yellow tablecover because Mexican food can get pretty messy, especially when served buffet style. Then place a woven Mexican table runner down the center of the table, or you can use a Fiesta Paper Table Runner to save the woven one from any stains.
It is up to you how busy the table decorations should be, but the dining tables should definitely have more decoration than the buffet tables. Use more colorful place mats and you can either use paper plates so that cleanup is easier, such as the Caliente Tableware set, or if there are less people you can use red, green and yellow ceramic plates. Mix and match all of the colors so that no place setting looks the same. Use either brightly striped cloth or paper napkins to wrap the silverware in, which can be plastic or silver. Set a Neon Translucent Margarita Glass at each setting and again make sure that everyone has a different color. Along side the margarita glass you can place a Cactus Shot Glass. Not only do they make great decoration, but they are also perfect for letting the guests take home as party favors. For those who do not drink, make them a virgin daiquiri and put a fun Party Parasol Pick on fresh fruit in the drink.
As for the centerpiece, there are many different ways to make the table standout. One option would be to keep things basic and use something like the Tissue Chili Pepper and the Fiesta Centerpiece (a tissue sombrero). If you opt out for these, make sure to alternate them on the tables so that each table is different. Another option would be to decorate the center of the tables with a bunch of mini sombreros, real or plastic, and Fiesta Maracas, which also make great party favors. Plastic Chili Pepper Trays at the center or the whole down a long table doubles as a centerpiece, as well as holding chips and salsa for your guests to snack on. Also, use a lot of brightly colored flowers on the table. It is best to cut the stems and place the flowers in a short vase so that the guests are able to see and talk to each other from across the table. They can either be real flowers, or you can make tissue flowers to keep costs down. When it comes to the buffet table, it should mostly be covered with food, but you can always place mini sombreros and maracas between the dishes and fill any other space with Fiesta Fanci Fetti for some color and shine.
Fiesta Menu Ideas
Mexican is most definitely one of the best cultural cuisines out there and in general it is all very easy to make, or at least buy. Of course you are more likely to have better and more authentic Mexican the further down south you travel, but Mexican gems can be found elsewhere. If you have a favorite Mexican restaurant don’t be afraid to buy a lot of take out from there and just plate it at your party, or you can make your own. Here are some necessities to have at your fiesta: guacamole, chips, salsa, chori queso, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, refried beans, Spanish rice, quesadillas, burritos, churros, sopapilla cheesecake, margaritas, tequila and Jarritos. You can obviously create your own menu, these are just suggestions that your guests are sure to love
One of the most delicious Mexican dips, guacamole is always a big hit at fiestas. This recipe requires 4 ripe avocados, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 diced garlic clove, ½ cup diced cilantro, ½ cup chopped green onion, ¼ cup chopped tomatoes, ½ tsp cumin and ½ tsp salt. Serves 4-6 and takes about 20 minutes.
- Cut each avocado in half. Pit and peel the avocado halves into a large mixing bowl.
- Mash up the avocado with a fork.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.
- Taste and add more of any ingredient if necessary.
Pico de Gallo
Another Mexican classic, pico de gallo is a traditional Mexican salsa that all of your guests will find refreshing. What you’ll need: 3 large tomatoes, 1 medium onion, ½ bunch of cilantro, ½ lemon juiced, ½ tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp salt and 2 jalapenos. Serves 8 and takes 10 minutes.
- Dice tomatoes and onion. Chop cilantro and jalapenos.
- Combine ingredients in bowl.
- Add salt, garlic and lemon juice. Mix it all together and serve with chips.
This recipe is perfect for a buffet style setting. It’s a creative twist to the usual taco and is easy to carry around the fiesta. What you’ll need: 1 can refried beans, ½ lb. cooked taco meat, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1 cup salsa, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup sliced jalapeno peppers and 1 bag of Tostitos “Scoops.” Serves 8-12 and takes 10 minutes to prepare.
- Cook and drain taco meat in a saucer.
- Set out the “Scoops” on a platter.
- Layer ingredients in each chip: beans, meat, cheese, salsa, sour cream and jalapenos.
Rather than using the regular beef and chicken, try shrimp instead. What you’ll need: 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil, 1 green bell pepper sliced, 1 red bell pepper sliced, 1 lb. medium shrimp (cooked and deveined), 1 cup chopped onion, 1 package taco or fajita seasoning, 3 tbsp water and 6 flour tortillas. Serves 6 and takes about 30 minutes to cook.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add green and red peppers and onion. Cook, stirring frequently until hot and then remove from skillet.
- Pour ½ tbsp of oil into skillet and add shrimp. Cook, stirring often until pink.
- Reduce to low heat and add the peppers and onion back to the skillet. Stir in seasoning and water.
- Serve in warm tortillas.
A favorite Mexican treat amongst both adults and children this is sure to be a favorite. What you’ll need: 2 quarts vegetable oil, 1 cup water, ½ margarine, 1 cup all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp salt, 3 eggs, ¼ cup white sugar and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon. Serves 24 and takes about 1 hour to make.
- In a heavy deep skillet or deep-fryer heat oil to 360 degrees F (oil should be about 1 ½ inches deep)
- In medium saucepan heat water and margarine to boil.
- Combine flour and salt and stir into boiling mixture.
- Reduce heat to low and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball.
- Remove from heat and beat in eggs one at a time. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bad fitted with a large star tip.
- Squeeze out 4 inch long strips of dough directly into the hot oil; fry 4 strips at once until golden brown. Remove from oil to drain on paper towels.
- Stir together the sugar and cinnamon and roll churros in mixture while still hot.
Frozen Strawberry Margarita
For a refreshing twist on the normal lime margarita try this strawberry margarita your guests are sure to love. What you’ll need: 6oz tequila, 2oz triple sec, 8oz frozen sliced strawberries in syrup and 4oz frozen limeade concentrate. Serves 4, takes 10 minutes to make.
- Fill a blender with ice and crush.
- Pour in tequila and triple sec, add the strawberries and limeade. Blend for 30 seconds, or until smooth.
- Serve in margarita glasses with the rims dipped in powdered sugar.
Fiesta Activity Ideas
Now that you have the venue decorated and the food prepared you need to figure out different activities for your guests to participate in. A must is dancing, a lot of dancing. This is why it is important to have an area designated for dancing, although most likely your guests will be dancing their way around the party. If you have the resources, try and book traditional Mexican dancers who can perform a salsa dance or candle dance. As for an activity for the guests to get involved with you can always pull out the Limbo Kit to see who can go as low as the floor. Another fun activity is to have the guests dress up and take pictures. Collect a box of fun accessories like maracas, sombreros, over-sized sunglasses, fiesta fanci frames, fiesta party beads, woven sweaters and blankets as well as plenty of fake mustaches. Place the box by the wall covered in the plastic Mexican banner. Leave a couple of disposable cameras nearby and let the guests take pictures in the Mexican Apparel all day/night long. And last, but not least there most definitely should be a Mexican themed piñata. Whether the party is for just adults or kids too, everyone loves taking a whack at a piñata and wants to see what was stashed on the inside.