Racing Party -6yr- Zane 600 Race
Tracie in Fort Gay, WV, United States
My son is obsessed with NASCAR and wanted a racing themed birthday. His birthday is in July so this was a perfect theme for an outdoor party. I realized that most of the races are based on miles driven and since my son was turning six that the name of his race should be the Zane 600 (sounded better than the Zane 6). I created a logo for his race (it helps being a graphic designer, but anyone can do this, just look at other race logos for ideas). I used this logo on everything. The invitations were inspired by the racing Pit Pass". I order clear name tags with a velcro closure cord from Oriental Trading - the size is 4" x 3.25" so perfect for children. Using black/white checkered flag down the left side of the invite and across the top in a bold block style font PARTY PASS I found clipart of a race car online and put the number 6 on the hood and side. I placed the logo I created that said ZANE 600 on the invite and at the bottom the following information: Race Day: Saturday July 21 2007; Start Time: 6:00 pm; Track Location: (your last name) Speedway and (your physical address); RSVP is appreciated and phone number.
On the back - I used the same checkered flag down the left side and included directions to our house. Since we were having a water slide I needed to make sure parents knew to send their child for a wet time so I place a picture of the water slide on the bottom of the back side of the invitation with the words THE FUN ZONE: Come ready to have FUN and get WET on the Rad Raceway Water Slide!!!* *weather permitting. When finished this really looked like a Pit Pass. The invitation also was accompanied by a letter from the "owners" of the Speedway. It was slightly larger than the "Party Pass" just printed on white photo paper (I prefer this for the thickness) I could print 6 up and just cut to size. At the top I used black/white alternating checks and centered red boxes and our last name in white block lettering and then used a brush script to say Speedway.
The letter read as follows: Dear Race Fan The (Last Name) Speedway and its owners (First and Last Names of both parents) are pleased to give you V.I.P. (Very Important Partygoer) access to the Zane 600. Please find the enclosed PARTY PASS which is your ticket to all of the action. This pass entitles you to garage area access and fun on the Rad Raceway Water Slide a Tire Changing Challenge and the main event the Zane 600 Race. Don't forget pre-race tailgating and a post-race celebration in Victory Lane complete with cake and ice cream. Children should dress to get wet and everyone should come ready to eat and have a good time! All the fun begins at 6:00 p.m. on July 212007 so race on over and don't be late...Zane is turning six and we have to celebrate!! See you on RACE DAY! R.S.V.P. to (phone number) is appreciated. Both the Party Pass and the Letter was placed in a 5 X 7 yellow envelope with a small checkered flag purchased from Oriental Trading. I was able to hand deliver most but the cost to mail was only 16 cents more than a regular letter with out the flag it could have mailed at the regular postage rate.
Next it was on the the actual party planning phase..We had a newly built garage that was unattached to the house which was perfect. I borrowed 4 large tables and several chairs from our church as well as a round child size table and child size chairs. I covered the large tables with black/white checkered tableclothes (oriental trading) and in the center of the table I made stop light bags using inexpensive gift bags (25¢ each at Wal-Mart) and cut out green yellow and red circles glued them on each side and wrote Ready Set Party on the circles. Two large race flags placed in each bag also from Oriental Trading finished the look. I weighed the bag down with my sons marbles.
I also placed a few small checkered flags on the table with the "Zane Cars" that I made. My son likes the doritos in the on the go plastic cups (Pringles has these too) So I created a car turning these red cups upside down used black craft foam for wheels cut out the number 6 out of white craft foam using a hold punch made head lights in yellow foam and attached all with a glue gun. The best part was the photo of my son waist-up shot with one hand by his side the other looked like he was holding onto a steering wheel. I printed these out and glued it to a popsicle stick and made a slit with a utility knife into the center of the car and inserted it. I really looked like he was driving. (His 3 grandmas loved this and each took one home!!!)
The children's table was covered with a plain red table cloth a small flag placed at each seat and the same centerpiece as the large table. I did place party nosemakers at each child's seat. The garage itself was decorated using red white and black streamers and some large checkered flags however the back wall was covered with black plastic (bought at a hardware store) and I then placed large pieces of white posterboard to create a large black/white checkered pattern.
When finished it was quite impressive. In the center of the garage I tied up (high enough so that little hands couldn't reach it!!) a trophy pinata to which I glued a copy of the Zane 600 logo to each side. My brother made a sign that said Victory Lane and we place a round table covered with a red table cloth in one corner for my son's gifts and placed a bouquet of helium balloons (mostly red/black/white but with a couple of mylar racing themed ones too!) in the center. My husband's work table was very large and made a perfect food buffet. Covered in a black/white tablecloth we served hot dogs baked beans potato salad chips cheetos assorted fruits with dip assorted vegetables with dip marshmallows peanuts party mints cheese ball and crackers and of course cake and ice cream. The ice cream was a fun surprise as it was Race Tracks Ice Cream from Schwans!
My mother is a cake decorator so the cake is always stunning. This year was no exception it was a 12x18 sheet cake iced with white icing on the sides to which she decorated with gold icing to look like bunting and alternated blue and red circles between. The top of the cake was a light green with a gray oval race track we used six of his favorite race cars to go around the track and then stacked oreo's together with icing to look like tires and placed them on two of the four corners. In the center of the cake in red was Happy Birthday Zane and a number 6 red candle. Checkered flag pics were on each corner of the cake as well. There was also a 2-layered 8 inch round cake on a cake plate to which there was short columns onto another plate (like used for wedding cake). This sat behind the larger cake to the left and the sides were decorated like the larger cake except she duplicated the Zane 600 logo onto the front side.
Around the border on the top was checkered flag picks and in the center of the top of the cake was a NASCAR trophy candle (I believe she got this from Wilton). On the back of the top cake was skinny sparkler candles in red and blue. Guest were very impressed to say the least. Just to add a little extra something I added checkered flag cake picks in the center of some of the food dishes baked beans etc. Since it was hot we ate first and so that uneaten food could be put up so it wouldn't spoil. However Cake and Ice Cream was served at the end of the party. Partyware was Large Solo Brand Red Plates for the food smaller ones for the cake/ice cream I bought Welcome Race Fans napkins at the local cake supply store and clear forks and spoons. (I try to buy solid colored plates and clear utensils and only purchase themed napkins so that if left over they can be used for other events.
This is a tip that has saved lots of $$ in the past!) All of the food was placed in White or red bowls/plates or stainless steel bowls for that chrome touch. Onto the Party Fun...I made signs and placed them with ballons along the party route and at the beginning of our driveway was a large sign that said Welcome Race Fans and I adhered the Zane 600 Logo onto it as well. As guest arrived they could play on my son's swing set/fort or smaller children could play with the Little People Garage and matchbox cars (2-3 yr olds opted to do this!!) I knew the Rad Raceway water slide would be the biggest hit I found it at Toys R Us on sale for $79 it was a little more than I wanted to spend but ideal for this theme and since my child's birthday was actually the day before his party date we gave it to him as a present which he opened the day before the party and commented "we can use this for my party and my friends can play on it." Just what I was hoping he would say!!!
All of the kids wore their swimsuits and many even brought their own towels (but have a few towels on hand outside just in case they forget). I also created a race track in the back yard for the "ZANE 600 RACE". With white painted rods (wooden dowels) and then tied checkered pennats around them (100 ft worked great - oreintal trading) I also had a sign that said Welcome Race Fans. In the center of the track I used inflatable tires (pool floats found at Wal-Mart for $4 ea but a local church used them for VBS and sold them to me at 1/2 price) Also blew up some red/white/blue star beach balls small and large sized which guests got to take home. I made traffic cones out of orange poster board and placed them around the outside of the track to add some color. I purchsed some helium filled red black white ballons and tied a bundle of three to every other post (at the Dollar Discount 3 for $1) I then painted two card board boxes - one green one purple (that was the color paint we had on hand. I cut out logos from commonly used products in our home ie Coca Cola Granola Bars pretty much anything would work and using velcro circles attached them to the boxes to make them look like cars.
I cut out numbers of craft foam and attached to all sides of the car. Then cut out handles on each side for the kids to hold while racing. My son had some old safety goggles so each driver wore them while racing. They would go around the track three times and then I would wave the checkered flag. No one cared who won they were just having fun. Even some adults raced!!! The party then moved back into the garage but before the singing of "Happy Birthday" and eating of cake each child was presented with a trophy for racing in the Zane 600. I bought 4" gold trophies from Oriental Trading and created lables on the computer with the Zane 600 logo and using double sided tape adhered them to the trophy. While guest ate their cake and ice cream he began opening gifts and as the party drawed to a close we lowered the pinata and busted the trophy spilling candy onto the garage floor.
Each child took home a Thank You Bag which was made from a plain white gift bag to which I created a label with the Zane 600 logo and "Thanks for Coming". Inside was a black baseball cap with a checkered flag on it a silver whistle racing pencil checkered flag checkered pinwheel racing helmet pez dispenser with pez snack size bag of mini oreos (wheels) wheel shaped bubble gum tape nerd rope (my son's favorite!) a few suckers tootsie rolls assorted mini chocolate candy bars. The age range of the party guest was from 2 to 8 yrs old the party lasted about 2 1/2 hours and all had a blast. It was a lot of planning and work but well worth it. And to say it best one little girl asked as she was leaving " Can I come to all your parties?" "
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