(BPT) – The competition, the commercials, the camaraderie — we’re ready for all the excitement of the Big Game, even if it is going to be a little different this year. With nearly a year of social distancing under our belts, we’re ready to celebrate — safely — and that’s why so many people are turning to virtual gatherings to watch this year’s Big Game. Without the stress of actually having lots of people over, you can plan an epic gathering (virtually) for friends and family by following just a few simple tips.
1. Send out themed invitations
Although most will be watching the game from home, you can plan to gather together through a video meeting platform. Designate a time and link and share in an official party invitation. Being able to chat up the game and feel the energy of each other’s reactions is important, so encourage your guests to position their video facing them rather than the TV. That way, you can see their reactions to those intense game moments, big plays and, of course, the commercials.
2. Drop off goodie bags
Food and the Big Game go hand-in-hand, so ahead of gameday Sunday, help get guests ready with some surprise treats. Pack a recyclable grocery bag with lots of fan favorites, like Farm Rich Mozzarella Bites and Loaded Potato Skins, guacamole, chips, drinks and more. You can drop off bags yourself or opt for online grocery delivery for convenience or non-local guests. Then, everyone can easily make these bite-size snacks at home to enjoy together as the virtual party kicks off!
3. Show your team spirit
Whether it’s an official jersey or just wearing team colors, show your team spirit and wear it loud and proud. Hats are especially encouraged because they’re so visual during a virtual connection, so get out the cap, beanie, headband or bandana. The most daring will go all out with face paint in team colors … non-toxic, of course! You could even hold a competition where folks win prizes for "most team spirit” or “most creative dish.”
4. Spice the menu up
New tastes are a fun way to jazz up the menu. Sure to be a hit, check out Spicy Sriracha Meatball and Sweet Potato Bites and this four-ingredient recipe for Slow Cooker Meatballs With Grape Jelly Sauce from Elizabeth Heiskell, author of “What Can I Bring?” Heiskell’s newest cookbook, “Come On Over,” comes out this spring. Send out this recipe to guests so they can cook up a pot of meatballs for gameday. The recipe can even be made a couple of days ahead.
“I promise you, these meatballs will be the hit of any gathering — virtual or not — and are SO easy to make,” Heiskell says. “They’re the perfect addition to your Big Game bites.”
5. That’s entertainment!
Keep everyone engaged through your virtual gathering with a little extra creativity. During pre-game, long timeouts or halftime, hold a trivia contest featuring fun facts about each team. Rank the halftime commercials to name your gathering’s “Top 5.” Take a poll to see which gameday snacks scored big. (We’re confident new Farm Rich Sweet Onion Petals, made with real onion pieces coated in crispy panko breading with Aussie-Style Dipping Sauce, will top the list!) You can even host a raffle where guests have a chance to “score” some fun gifts you can send out after.
Farm Rich is one of America’s favorite frozen snack brands and you can find them at all major grocery stores and online. For more gameday inspiration, visit FarmRich.com.