Creating an award-winning watch party

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By Taylor Villanueva
Signal Staff Writer

The flashing cameras, the red carpets and of course, all the A-List celebrities from our favorite movies, music and shows on TV at the same time can only mean one thing — awards season is upon us.

The flashing cameras, the red carpets and of course, all the A-List celebrities from our favorite movies, music and shows on TV at the same time can only mean one thing — awards season is upon us.

Whether you enjoy watching the Grammys to see the best musical talent, the Emmys for TV’s finest or the most storied and well-known of them all, the Oscars, most of us usually don’t get that close to a red carpet, unless that happens to be the color of that old rug in your den. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

Millions have fun each year reveling in the festivities from home, in some of TV’s most highly watched broadcasts for these award shows.

An at-home viewing party is a great way to celebrate and cheer on your favorite luminaries, and here are a few ways to entertain as a host with the most this season:

Decor

One way to really get in the Hollywood spirit is give your party that award show feel, and there are even a few places where you can have your guests enter the party on a rented red carpet, which you can even compliment with lights and a photo booth.

Krystina Reyes, owner of I See Party Rentals, says people can customize their own at-home decorations.

“We have basic ‘step and repeats,’” Reyes said, referring to the backdrops that the events often use for photographers, which have the event’s logo. Customizing them is a popular option, she added. “Most of the time (people) get their own made.”

Having a personalized backdrop makes for memorable pictures, allowing your guests a bit of fun at the beginning or even throughout the night, whether you want to make it a “dress-up” event or a fun and goofy addition to a laid-back get-together.

I See Party Rentals even offers ropes to line the red carpet and “uplighting” to add to the award show  illusion, even with customizable colors.

And one last upon-arrival suggestion — nothing saying over-the-top Hollywood experience like a limo to the party, which also means guests don’t have to worry about a designated driver: “There are groups we work with that we often recommend,” says Stacie House of 24/7 Events.

“We can coordinate on behalf of the client. We can pick up all your guests in one of our limousines.”

It’s also an option for a watch party you start at a restaurant or bar, and finish in the comfort of your home.

Food and drinks

Once your guests have finished strolling your red carpet and posing for the “paparazzi,” serving champagne or a signature cocktail is another way to get the party going and keeping up the celebratory mood.

“If you want to do drinks, we have different glassware and bars,” said Stephanie Parr, event representative at AV Party Rentals.

After cocktail hour, even if it’s just snacks or hors d’oeuvres, catering can be a fun option for special occasions that can help the host be more available during the party, and leave less of a mess afterward, too.

The experts also threw out suggestions such as personalized name plates at table settings if you want to give your event a “gala” feel. “If you need black and white chairs, we can do that,” Parr added.

“A lot of times customers have their own vision and they work off of our supplies,” explains Parr.

“They add their own decorations, but we give them something to build off of.”

Creating your own vision of a Hollywood-themed viewing party at home adds creativity that can’t be replicated.

Party games

Party games are not only a great way to have fun and break the ice with your party’s guests, but also a great way to learn new fun facts about your favorites shows and performers.

Play red carpet bingo by creating different bingo cards and filling in each space. Examples can be outfit-related bingo spaces, like sequins, lace or a big bow on a celebrity’s dress. And another fun game idea is to have all the nominees written out on a sheet of paper. Guests have to fill out who they think will win for each category. The person with the most correct guesses can win a prize or just bragging rights among friends.

The Academy Awards Twitter account has already gotten in the spirit and started tweeting out fun trivia questions you can use.

“Awards season is a great time to be glamorous and glitzy and enjoy and have fun,” House said, but as with any great party, the real trick is to surround yourself with friends and family who enjoy the events as much as you.

24/7 Events is located at 26529 Ruether Ave., Santa Clarita 91350. Call 661-775-8111 for more information. AV Party Rentals is located at 23800 Newhall Avenue in Newhall. For more information, call 661-259-2151. I See Party Rentals is located at 18964 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. For more information, call them at 661-298-1900.

BREAKOUT BOX Upcoming award shows

The Screen Actors Guild Awards is on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

The 46th Annual Annie Awards (for animated TV and film buffs) will take place on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California.

This year’s Grammy Awards will be on Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Staples Center. The BAFTAs, which Britain’s greatest awards shows for the arts, is also Feb. 10.

The 91st Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The 73rd annual Tony Awards will take place June 9, at Radio City Music Hall.

The 71st Emmy Awards is scheduled to take place Sept. 22.

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