Theme parties give people the chance to dress up (or, in the case of a hillbilly hoedown theme party, dress down) and enjoy food and activities they don't normally pursue. Whether you are planning a hillbilly hoedown dinner party as a random fun event with friends, a birthday party or the coolest wedding rehearsal dinner ever, apply the hillbilly theme to the food, decor and activities to make it a hootin' and hollerin' good time.
Attire and Invitations
Include a "hillbilly dress code" in the invitations to your hillbilly hoedown dinner party so your guests will dress appropriately for the theme. Possible attire includes anything associated with the "hillbilly" stereotype, such as plaid flannel shirts in any colour, battered blue jeans, denim overalls, straw hats, white ribbed undershirts, and ball caps and T-shirts featuring beer-brand logos. For invitations, have someone snap a photo of you dressed in full hillbilly regalia, posing in an appropriate setting like in the woods holding a shotgun. Consider holding a backward-written sign that says "You're invited to a hoedown!" or "Come eat, drink, holler and dance!" Print copies of the photo and glue them to blank note cards. Print the party information on the inside of each note card. Alternately, mail the photos as postcards with the party details printed directly on the back.
Decorate the table in a way that will evoke the humble, rural roots of the hillbilly image. Purchase or borrow heavy stoneware jugs and paint two red Xs on each one to mimic the traditional moonshine marking. Space several jugs evenly along the middle of the table. If you will have more than one table, set one jug in the centre of each. Get whole hides of animals like raccoons, squirrels and opossums and place them on the table between the jugs, or set the jugs on top of the hides.
Whip up a hearty, simple meal featuring the kind of ingredients people could grow, pick or hunt themselves, such as country-style fried chicken and gravy, mashed potatoes, steamed kale, cornbread, berry cobbler, "moonshine" (store-bought whiskey transferred to a rough-looking jug) and homemade ice cream. Take the hillbilly theme over the top by labelling each menu item. For example, the country-fried chicken could be labelled as "fried opossum," the whiskey as "backyard moonshine," and the steamed kale "greens from the holler."
Play lively traditional and modern bluegrass or country western music, depending on your preference and the particular variety of hoedown you wish to foster. If you have the budget or musically minded friends, recruit live musicians and designate a space for dancing after dinner. Otherwise, curate a CD or computer-based playlist of upbeat and slow bluegrass songs, arranging the balance to suit whether you want a raucous uptempo party or a mellower gathering. (Slow songs will mellow the mood.)