Written by Daniel Gonzales
THERE IS A SILENCE THAT OCCURS as you bend your knees and begin your back toss, moving the momentum of your body and slightly clutched hand forward. Just as you release the gentle grip of your bent fingers and let go of the canvas bag in one hand, and the liquid in your Bud Light bottle moves from north to south in the other, your eyes following the four-cornered object across the lawn while gravity and wind change its course from rising to falling back toward the earth, and you hear the soft thump of corn kernels colliding against one another and the painted plywood, forcing a puff of dust to rise like flock of frightened birds. Your anticipation builds as that same sewn canvas that once inhabited the palm of your hand is now careening from the bottom of lacquered wood upward toward the pre-drilled hole, that if it weren’t there, your bag would fly off the colorful ramp like a ski jumper. Instead, that bag filled with maize makes one more move, catching the lip of the aforementioned hole and spinning 180 degrees before falling down to its final resting spot, flat against the ground … yeah, ok, that’s a tad dramatic for a cornhole toss, but if you are looking for something fun to do this summer, here is an idea.
Now the baby shower is a long-standing tradition amongst expecting mothers and their friends and family members to celebrate a child’s upcoming birth and gives an opportunity for the loved ones of the expecting mother to offer gifts to help in the process and transition of parenthood. A newer tradition that has come about is the idea of the “pamper party”, which a gathering of the father’s friends and loved ones, in which the guests bring diapers of all sizes as gifts to the expecting father. You can call these gatherings what you want, but as a father of five, and being friends with many parents, I have been to very few baby showers or pamper parties where I was able to keep from nodding off without the aid of espresso and sometimes even wishing I had defibrillator paddles to bring life to those parties.
Cornhole is one of these games that I don’t think anyone seeks out, but instead stumbles upon at some point while on an excursion to Elephant Butte or a family reunion. You may say the first time you see the two boards propped up with a hole drilled in the upper quadrant and eight beanbags, four of one color, four of a distinct opposite hue, “I’ll try it, just one game.” Four hours and a couple cold ones later, not only have you perfected your theory and throwing style, but your competitive edge is at an all-time high, and you’ve researched all the rules and regulations on Google as well as looked up pricing on getting your own set of boards for the backyard.
Whether you want to call it the celebration of life or just an excuse to get all your friends and family together, so that you can play cornhole all day and feel like something is getting accomplished, I recommend having a cornhole tournament for your next gathering!
The idea of this party was:
• Invite 32 family and friends (and only 32, unless some of the party-goers did not want to play.)
• Team selection for our party was random, with this tournament (because we wanted everyone to have fun, the entry fee was only $20) We took a couple boxes of crayons and got 16 different colors from one box and paired them up with the coinciding colors from the second box, and everyone picked a crayon. When you found the person with your matching color, you found your teammate.
• The tournament was double elimination so everyone got at least two games.
• The purse was a winner take all format, but you can divide it a myriad of ways.
The Corn Pies
For food, we tried to keep it as simple as possible, while maintaining the corn theme of the party, making three different kinds of chile, (one red with meat, one red without meat, and one green with chicken) all that were to be placed atop a mound of Frito’s corn chips. We had all the toppings set out that one might desire to put on their Frito pie, and left the set up out on the counter, so that people could eat when they wanted throughout the day. Crock-Pots are a fantastic idea for a party like this, because the food stays hot, and there is very little clean up afterwards.
Don Julio Margaritas – I used Don Julio tequila for these refreshing summertime Margaritas, but in keeping with the theme, replaced the U with an O…and once a guest realized that, their response was usually, “Oooohhh!”
Tito’s Handmade Vodka Moschole Mules – The Moscow Mule is one of the most popular vintage cocktails across the country, I chose to use Tito’s vodka for these cocktails because Tito’s is made with 100%, it fit my theme.
Corn Royal and Coke – this classic highball (normally Crown Royal and Coke) is the most called for cocktail in almost every bar in Las Cruces, and of course was a big hit at the party.
Captain Morg-corn Rum Punch – I may have stretched the puns a little far on the name of this drink, but Captain Morgan’s Watermelon Smash is a wonderful way to cool down in the summertime Las Cruces heat! This is a lower proof alcohol with an almost candy-like quality, so I mixed it with a limeade to balance out the sweetness. (This item comes in a scratch and sniff bottle as well!)
This cornhole party was a blast, and had an easy clean up after. We were so thankful to all our friends and family for their generosity, especially Nate and Ashley Tierney for opening their beautiful home to us. Please always drink and cornhole responsibly, Las Cruces!
Cornhole is one of these games that I don’t think anyone seeks out, but instead stumbles upon at some point…
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