How to Throw a Trophy-Worthy Oscar Party

So your invitation to the Academy Awards got lost in the mail? No worries! Throw an Oscar party, invite some friends over and you can all feel like members of the audience.

"The Oscars is a great excuse to have a party," Lara Shriftman, party planner for the stars and author of "Party Confidential," told

For some folks, it's the party of the year.

CLICK HERE to print an Oscar ballot to pass out at your party.

"There's nothing like the Oscars," said Frank Rizzo, a writer for Variety and the Hartford (Conn.) Courant. "It's sort of like the Super Bowl for people who are into sports. For different types of people, especially people interested in the arts or pop culture, it has such a long tradition."

Like the Super Bowl party, the Oscar party has also become something of a tradition. "We want a sense that we're in that Oscar audience, too, so you have to have a crowd," said Rizzo, who has been hosting Oscar parties since college, some 30-plus years ago.

Kimberly Wade, a 40-year-old office manager from Wilmore, Ky., started her annual Oscar party 10 years ago, when it became clear that her husband did not share her love for Hollywood's biggest night as much as her girlfriends did.

Now, guests at her girls-only event get to walk their own red carpet outside her front door, dress like movie stars and vote on the categories like Academy voters on official ballots.

"It's a great time to get together with my girlfriends," Wade told "It doesn't cost them anything. And it's good clean fun."

Her husband and two children "stay pretty clear of the whole thing," although this year her 11-year-old daughter is excited to show off her "dressy dress" that she got from a local thrift shop.

If you live in Los Angeles and work in the industry like Ava DuVernay does, an Oscar party is de rigueur. This year's party -- her seventh -- has outgrown her home, so she has moved it to a refurbished 230-seat movie theater in downtown Los Angeles.

"Literally every soul I have ever met has been invited to this thing," DuVernay, who owns a media and marketing company, told

An Eclectic Oscar Party Guest List

The guest list is as eclectic as always and includes industry colleagues as well as folks from Compton, where she grew up. "I was looking at the guest list and saying, 'Wow, this is wacky,'" she recalled. "I've got Earle [of Earle's Grill], who started out with a little hot dog cart, next to someone who has an Academy Award."

Shriftman, who has had Oscar parties great and small, also believes in mixing up the guest list. Other than a few dos and don'ts, such as make sure your television works and you have enough comfortable places for people to sit and watch, Shriftman encourages party hosts to get creative.

To help with some ideas, asked Shriftman and the others how they throw an Oscar party:

Break Oscar Party Up Into Areas


"When you're having an Oscar viewing party, you want to have one serious area for people who want to view the Oscars and another for people who are socializing -- and that's where you want to keep the food and the drinks," she said.

As for the food, keep it simple and something guests can eat with their hands. "Slumber party or diner food," such as mini grilled cheese sandwiches on skewers, mini hamburgers and pigs in a blanket, always go over well.

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