Finding the right theme for a bonfire party makes a 16th birthday a memorable occasion. Modern "sweet 16" parties are often extravagant events involving large rental halls, expensive entertainment and big expense accounts. Having a bonfire party at a quiet location instead can set the party apart from all the rest. Plan ahead for the location of the party. Most cities have strict fire codes and camping and nature preserves typically require reservations.
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Home on the Range
For the country-loving boy or girl, the days of cowboys riding the range holds a special place. Back in the day, groups of cowboys would camp on the open range and cook around the campfire. Incorporate these activities of the Old West into a 16th birthday party. Request the partygoers wear Western gear. Let the guests roast hot dogs or sausages on sticks over the fire. Serve baked beans and beef jerky. Serve water in canteens or tin cups. Have someone play the guitar and let the guests sing or dance along with the music around the fire. For a more modern touch, hire a disc jockey to perform Western dance music.
In the lore of the roaming Gypsies, the nomads made camps in the woods and roadside areas of the old countries. They set up carnival-type parties and danced around the fires in celebration. Transform the legacy of Gypsies into a 16th birthday party. Set up small, open-sided tents in proximity to the bonfire. Have a fortune-teller read a crystal ball and "medicine man" promoting his special remedy in the form of shot glasses of soda. Set up a buffet of food including fire-roasted kebabs and cut fruit. Ask the guests to dress in Gypsy-style attire. Play traditional Romanian love songs mixed with modern dance music while the guests dance around the fire. Consider hiring dancers to perform old Gypsy dances for entertainment.
Scary Sleep-Away Camp
The basis of many classic horror movies revolve around young people at sleep-away camp. As they sit around the fire enjoying the night, the monster in question takes them away one by one until only the hero of the movie remains. Build a bonfire birthday party theme around this idea. Plan the party at a wooded park or primitive camping area. Assure you get the proper permission for the bonfire and let the park management or rangers in on the premise of the party. Set up a tent a good distance from the bonfire. Keep all the drinks and food in the tent so the guests need to leave the fire area to get refreshments. Let most of the guests in on the joke. As they leave the fire area, hide them behind the tent. As more and more leave the area and disappear, the guest of honour will finally be left alone. When they come to search for their guests, everyone jumps out at them from behind the tent to yell "Happy Birthday."
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