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One of the joys of owning your own home is getting to host parties with your friends and family. But you don’t have to limit the fun to simply birthday parties. There are plenty of occasions to bring people together and enjoy a special day. 

Kentucky Derby: This takes place the first Saturday of every May and is a wonderful event to create a party around. Considered “the fastest two minutes in sports,” the day will be much more than just watching an exciting race. Have people dress up the way they would at Churchill Downs, which means plenty of bow ties, fancy dresses and elegant hats. Serve up the Mint Juleps and offer traditional Southern fare for food. Have every guest choose a horse in the race and offer prizes for those whose horses finish in the top three. Or better yet, have everyone throw in $10 (or some other figure) to a pot and let one person walk away a big winner, just like they do in Kentucky.

The Oscars: This is a great night to gather up your friends, dress in fancy clothes, and cheer on your favorite movies from the past year. You can play on the movie theme by having people dress as their favorite movie characters, decorating with movie memorabilia and posters. For a little more fun, have a red carpet at the entryway for people walking in, and buy a large Hollywood backdrop for taking pictures. Hold a contest to see who can pick the most winners and have a fun prize for the champion—movie-themed of course.

Super Bowl: You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy a Super Bowl party. Considering this is often the most-watched television event of the year, it only makes sense to watch with your friends. Food doesn’t need to be anything glamorous—barbeque, nachos and other typical bar-type food are big hits, and beer is usually the drink of choice. Run a contest where everyone puts their name in a box so they have scores to root for to win money. This way it doesn’t matter if their team is in the game or not, they have something to root for regardless.

Murder Mystery: About a decade ago, Murder Mystery Dinner Theater was all the rage, and now those fun nights are finding their way into homes with themed murder mystery parties. You can buy a board game or find rules for a game online, but they generally involve inviting a group of guests and giving each instructions on how their character should act at the party. Since it’s themed, people will have to wear a costume to go along with their character and then during the party they will get more details on what their character should be doing, all the time trying to decipher who the murderer is. It’s a great game to see a new side of your friends come out.

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