Make Father’s Day entertaining a HEROic fete

McClatchy-Tribune News ServiceJune 8, 2014 

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Hero: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. So says the dictionary. Sound like anyone you know?

How about the guy who goes above and beyond to bring home the bacon (and cook it), fix a flat, build a fort, and oh-so much more.

This June 15, don’t forget to celebrate the hero in your house. Make this Father’s Day an occasion of heroic proportions.

‘H’airy, heroic, humorous house parties

Go full bore this year by extending Father’s Day entertaining to family and friends. Appeal to the humorous dads on your docket by hosting a facial-hair inspired party.

Check out Pinterest for a fruitful array of the ever-popular mustache party theme. In addition to stache-themed decor, offer each dad a “stache bucket” containing manly swag such as bottled beer, packaged snacks and chips. Satiate his sweet tooth with cupcakes topped with a printable Fu Manchu.

For a more gritty guy, go all out with a Beards and Brawn party. Send your invitations early in an effort to encourage beard growth prior to the event. Award a high-end barbershop gift certificate for the “best or most creative” beard. In addition to robust snacks like beef and deer jerky, create a spread of grilled game -- try duck, deer or bison. Allow the boys to demonstrate their brawn by way of their barbecue skills.

If your fella gets fired up over the revving of an engine, revel him with a NASCAR or sports car shindig. Feature an evening matinee of “Le Mans,” “Talladega Nights” or “Fast and Furious.” Provide pitchers of lemonade labeled “antifreeze” and serve with black-and-white checkered bags full of popcorn labeled “fuel,” alongside red, yellow and green “stoplight” cookies. Try to procure an orange construction cone or two to put atop a black plastic tablecloth for added street appeal.

‘E’at, drink & invite Barry, Larry and Gary

If Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and the more recent Derek Jeter put a glisten in the eye of your guy, what better way to celebrate Father’s Day than by treating him to a baseball game? Make it a family affair, or invite a few of Dad’s closest friends. Help create a special day by bringing the best in tailgating goods.

Pack him some lawn chairs with a basket full of peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jacks. And don’t forget the beer. “Buy him a pilsner or a light pale ale like Sweetwater 420. It’s dry and clean, light bodied with a touch of hops,” said Jon Richards, a certified Cicerone Beer Server at The Greenville Growler Station (in Greenville, S.C.). “They’re light enough on the alcohol so Dad won’t have to stop after three.”

If the Majors are out of your league, no worries, simply create a ballpark ambiance at home or at a local park. Offer a hot dog buffet equipped with hot dogs, buns, chili, onions, cheese, jalapenos, sauerkraut and condiments. Include sides such as corn on the cob, baked beans and potato salad.

‘R’elatives and rough housing

“Make an extra effort this year for Father’s Day,” said Ashley Bailey Farley, Owner and Founder of LE Events (www.leeventchicago.com), “by bringing together as many generations as possible for an afternoon barbecue. Shared moments of quality time is on the top of every dad’s wish list. Add personal touches by branding family initials into the steaks and burgers.”

Be sure to include Dad’s favorite side dishes and beverages. “If you’re grilling, brats and beer go extremely well together. Basically, every sausage was made for beer, and vice versa. If you’re having Italian sausage or Kielbasa without too much spice, then try serving up Hefeweizen or a pilsner,” Richards said.

‘O’llie, Ollie, oxen free

If organizing a game of “kick the can” is too primitive for Dad and his buddies, how about flag football, baseball or volleyball? Nothing puts heroes in the limelight like friendly competition.

Gather friends and neighbors for a midmorning “Hometown Heroes” park brunch, followed by a sport of choice. Offer a buffet of Dad’s favorites or, go full bacon with Shrimp and Bacon Kabobs (recipe at www.aroundmyfami lytable.com), Bacon Pancakes and/or Chocolate-Bacon Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche frosting (find it at www.foodnet work.com).

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