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Host a Melbourne Cup Party

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by Emma Brown (subscribe)
I'm a freelance journalist and public relations consultant specialising in arts and entertainment.
Event:
Celebrate the race to stop a nation with a Melbourne Cup Party.

2010 will see the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup. Host a champagne breakfast, a lavish corporate function, work party or run your own race party at home to celebrate the milestone event.

If you plan to serve a tower of overflowing champagne, a lush garden setting with dramatic fashion or hold a kids broom pony race in the backyard make be sure to set the tone with an invitation to outline the theme and punter requirements such as hats are compulsory.

You can send out either elegant paper or online colourful invitations. See a creative invitation for inspiration or you can choose party templates or find designs and send out invitations online with My Invites.

Set the scene for all the racing fun with elegant table settings, flowers, even astro turf. See a modern over the top interior designed marquee at the Birdcage or see how it's done at the elegant atrium on the Flemington course.

For an over the top office party decorate with Melbourne Cup themed balloons or decorate a restaurant table with colourful jockey hats, whips and horse table scatters.

For a family party thrill the kids with horse piñatas and super sized horse balloons.

If you can raise money for a charity whilst enjoying some decadence all the better.

A sweepstakes is essential; you can print one out a Melbourne Cup Sweep form here when close to the big day or from any metropolitan newspaper.

Set the sweeps price such as $5 each, cut out each of the squares (with jockey colours and horse details) fold them in half and drop them into a box or hat, for guests to draw one out and record their name next to the corresponding horse list. Usually first place gets 60% of the takings, 2nd 20%, 3rd 15% and last place gets 5% or a booby prize .

To keep the adrenalin pumping host other prize winning events from lucky draw tab mystery bets, for the kids a toy prize to the winner of the backyard broom pony race or a gift voucher to the winner of a Melbourne Cup trivia competition. Also you can vote on which jockey will be the most successful on the day to win a bottle of champagne.

To throw your own fashions on the field event hold a competition for best dressed lady, gentlemen, couple, hat or equine themed outfit to win a gift bag or pamper package. Fashions on the field state winner Laura Bassett provides the ideal example of equine inspired fashion.

If all that competition has created a ferocious appetite in your guests be sure to provide a selection of scrumptious goodies and keep the good cheer flowing. For the up-scale event a seafood bar and high tea decadence with scrumptious colourful cup cakes is in order.

Popular choices are Champagne, buck fizz (champagne and orange), chicken sandwiches, roast beef buffet lunches, salad, sushi and cheese platters.

Finger food is ideal so in the middle of noshing a dash can be made to see the action on screen or to place a bet before the thoroughbreds jump out of the gates.

To keep in touch with what's going on at the Flemington track ensure you have a screen the larger the better to watch all the action on especially at 3pm when the race that stops a nation starts.

With the TAB experiencing its biggest day of the year it's best to place your bets early but ensure betting facilities are available so patrons can have a flutter with preferably a bookie on site or at least a lap top to make online bets.

You don't have to be in Melbourne or even Australia to enjoy the day if your overseas check out how Aussie expats celebrate the Melbourne Cup in style internationally.
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Why? Celebrate the race that stops a nation
When: Melbourne Cup Day Tuesday November 2
Where: At home, office, club or restaurant
Cost: Depends on your budget
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