A Hot Mexican Fiesta

When I was young, all I knew about Mexico was Speedy Gonzales the impish little cartoon mouse who always taught those cats a lesson. Little did I know that there was a whole country beyond the cartoon world of Speedy and those pesky cats! The beauty, the culture the history and particularly for me, the food all go to make Mexico a country of true wonderment.

And all of this really comes to shine at Fiesta. A Mexican fiesta, meaning festival, party or holiday is a riot of colours, sounds and smells as people come together to celebrate whatever is being celebrated or perhaps more simply to celebrate the celebration itself. In part, you can recreate this atmosphere by throwing your own Mexican Fiesta themed fancy dress party. Your choice of location need not be limited you could celebrate your Fiesta at home indoors or outside, in a hall or arrange it for a local Mexican themed restaurant if you wish to have less stress as they will arrange the menu and drinks.

Select your date, select your venue and create your guest list. Now prepare your invitations. These can be pre-printed and purchased from your local party shop or stationery store and these are perfectly ok, but for something more spectacular why not design and make your own. This always allows you to be creative and you can theme the invitation to the character of your guests. Maybe you would want to cut your invitations into the shape of Mexico and colour using the national colours of the Mexican flag. Or use a computer printed Sombrero which you can also cut out. Or for something awesome, you might want to create your invitation in the form of a Tacho with shredded green tissue for lettuce etc with the invitation being either on the Tacho shell or inside on the ‘filling’ – hey, why not go all the way and use real Tacho shells! If you are planning this as a fancy dress party, be sure to include this on your invitations.

Once you have the invitations out it’s time to consider your decoration. You can have a background theme of Mexican flags, Sombreros and Cactus plants. If the thought of live cacti scares you, there are plenty of cheap cardboard cut-outs which can be suspended from the ceiling or fixed to the wall. There are also three dimensional honeycomb paper cacti which make perfect table centres or buffet table decorations. If you are looking for maximum wall coverage at a reasonable price, why not use a large map of Mexico and if you are well travelled, or your guest are, you can mark it with all of the places you have been and for an added personal touch, you could mount some photographs or postcards and draw a line back to the location that they came from.

If your Fiesta is outdoors then flag bunting in multiple colours makes a great addition providing you can get it high enough. This may require special supports but the results are always worth the additional effort. And don’t forget the piñata which are available in all manner of shapes and sizes.

Mariachi is the music of a Mexican Fiesta. If you can afford it, you could hire a Mariachi band otherwise spend some time in the CD library and find something appropriate. For alternative background music try a little light listening with Herb Albert and his Tijuana Brass and any guests dressed as Mariachi musicians can play all of the air instruments that they can imagine!

Ah! the food. Grab our specialist Mexican cookbook gather your ingredients and cook away my friends and I’m savouring the results right now. If you are new to preparing Mexican cuisine, a little practise may be required, especially if you plan to use fiery chillies. Calm the fieriness of the jalapeño with the coolness of the avocado both really invocative of Mexico. And I’m sure you will find plenty of willing volunteers to help you judge your results as everyone loves a Mexican feast. For some quick Mexican snacks, try salsa with tortilla chips, tacos, enchiladas and the list goes on.

The invitations – done. The decoration – done. The music – done. The food – done. And now the costumes, there are plenty of Mexican themed costumes available to rent or buy from your local store or online and these can be vary from the simple to the very elaborate. Take time to look around for the available costumes; Mexican Mariachi musician suits, Mexican ladies, Mexican Bandits, Tequila Shot man and for the more whacky of you, Mexican man on Donkey and Tequila Bottle. Costumes – done.