So you couldn't get tickets to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but still want to cheer Team USA on to Gold Medal victory? It's easy to throw your own Olympic party complete with authentic Chinese cuisine, decorations, and charged Olympic atmosphere.

Taste of Home is here to help ensure that your Olympic bash takes the gold with entertaining tips, recipes, and decoration ideas.

Menu

Serve Chinese food to capture the essence of Beijing.


Olympic Village Videos

Here are some delicious videos with Chinese recipes to help round out your Olympic menu.


Invitations

Make your invitations enticing by using colorful paper and calligraphy techniques. Some paper stores sell paper in traditional Chinese patterns. Or, write the particulars on postcard flags from Olympic teams.

Be sure to have guests RSVP so you'll know how much food and drink to prepare.


Decor

For your party you can decorate in two themes, Chinese or Olympic.

If you want a Chinese theme, use red tablecloths with gold accents. Hang paper lanterns and Chinese firecrackers around the room. These can be found at most party supply stores. To really make your guests feel as if they were in Beijing, set your table with chopsticks as well as flatware.

For an Olympic theme, create a centerpiece for your buffet table using flags from around the world. Let Mylar balloons in the shape of different summer sports float around the room. Show your Team USA pride by hanging patriotic garland outside. Serve the food and drinks with patriotic plates and cups.


Setting

Rearrange your furniture so everyone has optimal viewing of the TV. Use over-stuffed pillows and cushions for floor seating. We don't want anyone to miss Michael Phelps winning his 8th gold medal!

For the Olympics, there can be two kinds of viewers. There are the mainstream viewers who mainly watch the more popular events, such as beach volleyball and swimming. Then there are the more obscure viewers who watch events such as fencing and table tennis. If you can, set up two televisions to satisfy all sporting palates—so no one misses a minute of the action.


Favors

Don't forget to say 'thank you' to your guests. Chinese cartons make excellent gift bags and can be filled with fortune cookies, or delicious Chinese Almond Cookies. The cartons can be found at most paper or party supply stores.