There's a little something coming up that (understatement alert) is cause for celebration around these parts.
It would prompt many to host a gathering under normal circumstances, but now has the greater Modesto region in full-fledge party-hearty frenzy mode.
It's the Super Bowl, of course, and the big game looms oh-so much larger this year. Not only is a Northern California team playing, but that team's sudden-superstar quarterback hails from Turlock, and his parents now live in Modesto.
Hello, party time!
Fans will gear up for next Sunday's big game in a big way, with many hosting soirees celebrating the San Francisco 49ers and quickly accomplished quarterback Colin Kaepernick. A few might be rooting for that other team that's also playing (we hear they're from the East Coast or someplace), and others might just want an excuse to throw a party.
No matter why you're inviting folks over, consider elevating your Super Bowl party by tapping into the hometown fun with décor and serving ware that celebrate the connection.
Because Super Bowl parties tend to be more laid-back events, there's no reason to stress: The focus is on the game, not the accoutrements. But part of the fun still lies in making the surroundings reflect what's unfolding on the big screen.
And it's important to get a good game plan together now so you're prepared when kickoff comes later.
Party stores in the region are now, or will be, receiving their shipments of 49er party ware, from plates and napkins to wind-up toys. Spokespeople at some stores said their supplies were exhausted by the Niners' successful playoff run. But fear not, party planners, they say more is on the way and will be here in time for the big game.
Most wares are mass-produced and aren't specific to Turlock pride Kaepernick no No. 7 references on those 49er paper cups but there are options to Kap-ernize your event.
Grand Events in Modesto, for example, makes custom banners that can be personalized any way customers want, and in a variety of sizes. There also are pre-made banners available, touting the Niners, specifically, or the Super Bowl, in general.
Then there are the balloons. At least a couple of local balloon purveyors are all over the 49er theme, and one in particular has embraced the Kaepernick connection, full on and almost at full size.
At Cloud 9 Balloon Co. in Modesto, owner Leslie Akulow has created a party decoration that's sure to get guests' attention: a nearly life-size balloon statue of Kaepernick, complete with No. 7 on the "jersey," a football in hand and even a nod to those famous tattoos.
"It's a stand-up character, about 5, 6 feet tall with big muscles. We make him look like Kaepernick," Akulow said. "It's really funny."
She said she was making a standard-issue 49er (she's done such twist-balloon creations before) when her husband suggested they make him look like the Pitman High graduate and standout quarterback. The balloon statue will sell for $45, plus a $10 delivery fee, Akulow said.
At My Little Balloon Co. on McHenry Avenue in Modesto, owner Denise Seymour said she expects balloon bouquets to be popular, particularly her $17 bouquet, which can be either tall, to set up on the floor, or shorter, for a table top. The store will offer balloons for Baltimore Ravens fans, too, or in a more team-neutral Super Bowl theme, she said.
She's expecting a lot of orders between now and next weekend.
"Usually, the last thing (party hosts) do is get balloons," Seymour said. "A few years ago, when the Raiders were in (the Super Bowl), we did so many parties like 100 different parties for that."