Theme: Country
Concept: Country Hoedown

Reference: Think...farmer’s market meets backyard fall festival 

Party Title: Country Harvest Hoedown

Whether you hearken from the hills of Appalachia or the wild Western plains, autumn festival customs of outdoor food and fun are at the core of keeping good company. Recreate the spirit of the old-fashioned harvest feast in your own backyard with seasonal country food selections and country dancing to traditional regional tunes.

  • Create an autumn season walkway lined with pumpkins and an archway of vines and fall leaves.
  • Incorporate a wheelbarrow or baskets of autumn gourds, squashes, pumpkins, berries, apples and corn stalks for a show of seasonal bounty.
  • Be sure to provide plenty of electric outlets for the sound system, band, and/or DJ. 
  • Construct or designate a flat, hard surface as the dance floor so guests won’t lose their footing on uneven ground. 
  • Ensure adequate lighting for an evening event with electric string lights, hanging lanterns, and flameless votive candles.
  • Accent barn rafters, railings and tents with fall-colored sashes in orange, olive, plum, cream, scarlet, toffee and/or mustard.
  • Set up outdoor stations for food, drinks, and other activities to form a circle with tent and activity area entrances facing inward. 
  • Arrange draped hay bale seating around the periphery so revelers can take a breath without losing momentum.
  • At the center of the outdoor area, construct more bench seating out of hay bales draped with red gingham cloth or plaid blankets and adorned with fall-themed throw pillows. 
  • Use free-standing barrels, cross-sectional logs, or wooden crates as side tables.
  • Erect a rustic wooden directional sign pointing the way to key party areas. 
  • Position a friendly scarecrow holding a chalkboard “Welcome” sign announcing food, drink, and activity selections.
  • Add accent lighting with sand-weighted mason jars holding flickering votive candles (battery-powered recommended).
  • Decorate food areas with red gingham tablecloths and sumptuous bouquets of fall-colored blooms.
  • Group pillar candlesticks and candy dishes of different heights with pumpkins instead of candles to create a unique fall table centerpiece.
  • Build a mini maze of hay bales.
  • Fill rusty pails with chrysanthemums, and place carved or painted pumpkins atop hay bales.
  • Men: Invite men to wear trousers with suspenders or overalls
  • Women: Invite women to wear overalls, gingham or square-dancing dresses
  • Alternate: Cowboy/cowgirl attire
  • Savory table: 
    • Crockpot stew and chili
    • Roasted squash or corn
    • Pork roast
    • Ham
    • Casseroles: potato, sweet potato, green bean
    • Quiche
    • Deviled eggs
  • Sweet table: 
    • Pies: pumpkin, pecan, chess, apple
    • Banana pudding
    • Rum cake
    • Pound cake
    • Peanut butter brittle
    • Peppermint bark
  • Signature Drinks:
    • Washington Apple
    • Spiced tea
    • Spiced apple cider
    • Hot chocolate
Motifs (Items associated with this concept):
  • Fall leaves
  • Scarecrow
  • Fall flowers
  • Gourds & pumpkins
  • Hay bales
  • Crows
  • Rustic décor
  • Fall corn stalks
  • Red gingham
  • Cowboy hats & boots
  • Tractors
  • Farm animals
    • Horses
    • Cows
    • Pigs
    • Chickens
  • Barn & silo
  • Wagons & wheels
  • Milk cans
  • Moonshine jugs
  • Windmills
Music & Dancing:   

Square-dancing songs: 
  • Turkey In The Straw
  • Virginia Reel
  • Ozark Rag
  • Barn Dance Medley
  • Cotton Eyed Joe
  • El Paso City (Marty Robbins)
  • Sugarfoot Rag (Red Foley)
  • Back In Baby’s Arms (Patsy Cline)
  • Walking After Midnight (Patsy Cline)
  • Cold Cold Heart (Hank Williams)
  • Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Line-dancing songs: 
  • Cha Cha Slide (Casper)
  • Electric Slide (Marcia Griffiths)
  • Shout (Blues Brothers)
  • Apache (Sugarhill Gang)
  • Footloose (Blake Shelton)
  • Honky Tonk Badonkadonk (Trace Adkins)
  • Watermelon Crawl (Tracy Byrd)
  • Good Time (Alan Jackson)
Bluegrass songs: 
  • Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Flatt & Scruggs)
  • Blue Moon of Kentucky (Flatt & Scruggs)
  • Rocky Top (Everly Brothers)
  • Orange Blossom Special (Johnny Cash)
  • I Wonder How the Old Folks are at Home (Carter Family)
  • Appalachian Mountain Girl (Alan Jackson)
  • Trouble in Mind (The Boxcars)
  • Buttermilk Road (Claire Lynch)
  • Letter from Down the Road (Della Mae)
  • And...anything by Frank Solivan & the Dirty Kitchen