Norway Drive Winter Olympics: Part 1

Me in my toga, awaiting partygoers. I picked the picture where the cat looks most annoyed. Yes, that is real ivy on my head.

Me in my toga, awaiting partygoers. I picked the picture where the cat looks most annoyed. Yes, that is real ivy on my head.

Sometime in the last few years, I told Alice that I’ve always wanted to go to a toga party. Much like a food fight, it’s something I’ve seen in movies but always wondered if it would be cool if it actually happened.

“We should do something in the winter when it’s boring.” Alice said.

“Like a long john toga party!” And the idea was born.

We encouraged our friends to dress up in togas, giving out prizes to the male and female best dressed.

To give the event a bit more clout, and to combine two good ideas into one, we decided the toga party would be an excellent way of having opening ceremonies for a sort of ‘olympics’ we would host.

Since this summer, Derrick and I have talked about having some kind of game day at his house where we set up things like our badminton set and get friends to have fun and be slightly competitive. Since life is slower here in the winter, this seemed like a ‘winter olympics’ kind of thing.

The Olympic Planning Committee set the agenda and a date. These winter games (with a snow and no snow plan) would be an excellent weekend event people could look forward to, whether they were into the party the night before or the day of games and fun the day after… or ideally both.

After the lighting ceremony, we all enjoyed the fire. Great photo by Derrick!

After the lighting ceremony, we all enjoyed the fire. Great photo by Derrick!

We decided to hold a ceremonial torch lighting to ‘open’ the games and light off  a few fireworks this night before to make the toga party not only a fun (and slightly random) event but to give it some importance.

You know you’ve thrown a good theme party when people who *aren’t dressed up feel uncomfortable. And this was one of those cases. Good thing Mike and Lynne, veterans to throwing great parties, brought extra sheets and ivy to dress up everyone.

Here’s a link to the video of the torch lighting to give you an idea of the feel of the toga party: https://vimeo.com/60926465

I’ll post some more pictures of the whole event tomorrow but here are the takeaways:

1) Toga parties are fun. Like in the movies.

2) Have extra toga materials on hand if you want stragglers to participate and feel like part of the group. We will definitely do this.

3) People will eat as much food as you put out. Remember they are there for fun, not to judge your hors d’oeuvres.

4) Tell people the date waaaay in advance. Over and over.

The toga group, good times!

The toga group, good times!

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the games and post some fun pictures. In the meantime, if you were at the Olympics and want to share your photos, request to get added to the official Dropbox folder where you can upload your events and see everyone else’s. Or on social media (all except Facebook), you can tag your photo #ndwo13 and I’ll be able to track it down and put it in the album!

Nicole Ouellette
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she's not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

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