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25th Wedding Anniversary Parties: A Retro 1980s Party

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Retro Food for a 1980s Anniversary Party
Retro candy

Abbazabba, Dots, Pixy Stix and other old school candy make a sweet ending for a retro party.

Photo by Jackie Burrell

If you're celebrating with a 1980s theme party, certainly you can serve your guests modern refreshments. But there’s lot of amusement to be had by setting up a buffet of retro ‘80s foods.

A Swanky 1980s Party

Go the swanky route by stocking the bar with ingredients for a Kir Royale, a sparkling wine and crème de cassis aperitif that was the Cosmopolitan of the 1980s. Offer Sangria and Perrier too. Then host a sit-down dinner or buffet with then-trendy blackened Cajun seafood, cooked Paul Prudhomme style, served with baby vegetables and pasta with pesto.

Too swanky? Go the opposite route instead...

A Casual 1980s Party

The ‘80s was a time of onion dip and Ruffles potato chips, spinach dip in a bread bowl, Fresca and Coke Classic (you haven’t forgotten the Coca-Cola Company’s ill-fated attempt to tweak the beloved soft drink, have you?). Serve up cocktail weenies and meatballs with that oh-so-retro mixture of half grape jelly and half Heinz chili sauce.

If your 21st century palate rebels at the very thought of such scandalously outré food, you can opt for a more modern take: Aidells’ mini-chicken-apple sausages, for example, or turkey meatballs in an orange-cranberry glaze; high quality sweet potato, beet and potato chips served with caramelized onion dip (blend half a cup mayonnaise, half a cup sour cream, a pinch of cayenne pepper and flavorful, homemade caramelized onions to taste).

Either way, fill a galvanized bucket with ice and tuck in small glass bottles of Coke, Fresca cans, and Corona beer, whose popularity began rising stateside in the ‘80s.

The Dessert Buffet

A wedding anniversary party should end with a wedding cake, perhaps iced with chocolate frosting instead of wedding day white -- or a tower of cupcakes. But adding a candy buffet with 1980s sweets can be a very fun touch. Go for a little whimsical romance with Wax Lips, Bit O' Honey, Sweet Tarts, Sugar Babies and Ring Pops. Or look for Smarties, Jolly Ranchers, Fruit Stripe gum, Pixy Stix, Pop Rocks and Bazooka gum from old-fashioned candy stores or online at www.groovycandies.com or www.oldtimecandy.com.

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