This post was sponsored by World Market and may contain affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own. See my full disclosure HERE.
The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to love entertaining. I don’t always love the prep work involved, though. Through lots of trial and error, I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good routine down when it comes to hosting and learned a few little things to make it much easier and enjoyable for myself. In honor of the CMA Fest Concert being aired soon, I decided to throw together a little how-to with some entertaining tips and tricks that are perfect for hosting a CMA Fest viewing party.
Let me back up and give you a little backstory on myself though… My dad was a professional musician my entire life, and even extending back into the early 80’s before I was born. For the vast majority of that time, he worked and played for George Jones. Before that it was Mark Chesnutt and the list goes on. So, my childhood was a little….unorthodox. I grew up spending free time out “on the road” with my dad and mom, traveling with the bus, sitting backstage, having free reign over concert venues, running (literally) into the likes of Tim McGraw and Joe Diffey and Dierks Bentley.
When George passed away in 2013, my dad decided it was finally time to retire from touring. He had been at it for almost 30 years! It was an adjustment for all of us, I think. There were definite perks, like my dad actually being home all the time – which was something that none of us were used to. Yet, part of me was sad that my daughter wasn’t going to get to run around backstage at the Ryman, like I did, and watch Big Daddy out on stage doing his thing. Then, I realized that country music would always be a part of me. I mean, how couldn’t it be?! Living outside of Nashville, there’s so many opportunities to take advantage of the country music pulse that runs through the city, like CMA Fest and the broadcast of the CMA Fest Concert.
So now that you know why I love country music so much and wanted to throw together a little viewing party, lets get down to the specifics!
Unless you’re hosting an all out dinner party, try not to overthink things. Just stick to the basics – drinks and snacks. My favorite thing to put out is a cheese tray assortment. Even with picky eaters in my house, cheese and crackers are always a winner.
I included several different types of block cheese, crackers and soft cheeses, then spiced things up with spicy salami, dried cranberries, cashews and hot jelly. Can you believe that I got ALL of this food from World Market?! Everything is linked at the end of this post!
For the drinks, I like to include spirits, like beer or wine, and some non-alcoholic choices as well. This World Market beer sampler is perfect for hosting and sparkling water and sodas offer a delicious alternative.
Layout your platters in a pleasing, yet functional arrangement.
Group similar foods and drinks together.
This makes it easy for your guest to help themselves and keeps the eye moving through the table layout.
I used one platter for the soft cheeses.
A raw wood charger for the salami and spicy cheese.
And a cutting board for the cheddar and assorted crackers. The nuts and dried cranberries filled things in.
Add in some height differences.
I used this wooden stand and several stacked raw wood chargers to create visual interest by raising the drinks off of the table a bit.
Label your food.
These cute (and resuable!) chalkboard picks are perfect for hosting.
You can also write directly on the slate cheese board to label your food, as well.
Have fresh flowers on hand.
No matter what the occasion, or season, a simple and small bouquet of fresh flowers goes a long way.
Its really that simple! No stress and no fuss for you, and its guaranteed to be a hit with your guests.
Now you are all ready to host your very own CMA Fest Concert viewing party! The show airs Wednesday, Aug. 16 (8:00-11:00 p.m./ET) on ABC. The three-hour special will be hosted by Thomas Rhett & Kelsea Ballerini with performances by: Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell, Old Dominion, Kelsea Ballerini, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Dan +Shay, Brett Eldredge, Rascal Flatts, Brett Young, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Karen Fairchild, Brothers Osborne, and Chris Young! For more information, visit CMAfest.com.
Did you know that Cost Plus World Market attended the CMA Music Festival? Yep! They even held meet-and-greets with seven world-famous country superstars, including Scotty McCreery, Easton Corbin, Maddie & Tae, Thompson Square, RaeLynn, Eric Paslay and Tyler Rich.
CMA Music Festival directly benefits music education programs across the country, as every artist at the Festival donates their time, performing for free. The result of that generosity is that Festival proceeds support in- and after-school programs touching the lives of 1 million students nationwide through the work of the CMA Foundation.
So who’s pumped for the concert and their own viewing party?! If you put any of these entertaining tips and tricks to good use I’d love to hear about it!
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