Host a Salsa Competition Party

After going to a local salsa festival last year, my husband and I talked for months about hosting our own salsa competition party. We finally did this a few weeks ago, and it was a lot of fun. A competition-themed party is a great idea to get everyone involved. Another advantage is that it can cut down on your own expenses because your guests are encouraged to bring some of the food. Here are some ideas for hosting a low-cost salsa competition:

 Buy inexpensive prizes for the winners that go along with your theme. We bought a mini food processor (for making salsa) and a small crock pot (for nacho cheese sauce) from Wal-Mart to give away to the winners. They were on sale for five dollars a piece!

 For our party, we asked guests to bring their favorite salsa—homemade or store-bought—and we provided chips and drinks.

 A really cheap way to decorate: String dried chili peppers on a string and hang.

 Go to your local library and find some Mexican music CDs to play for some ambience. Or, if there is a local Mexican radio station, just turn it on for everyone to hear.

 Print out cards for people to write the name of their salsa. We had a space for the salsa name and a place to circle mild, medium, or hot so everyone knew what to expect.

 If you really want to go all out with the salsa theme, you could even try teaching salsa dance lessons! Learn some salsa yourselves before the party, and then teach it to guests at some point during the evening.

 If there will be kids at the party, have a piñata. Heck, you could also have a piñata without any kids!

We just love salsa, so this was a lot of fun for us. Of course, you could do any type of food competition you’d like (pies, soups, BBQ ribs, chili, etc). Be creative. What other types of competition-themed parties sound fun to you?