Hi everyone! I’m having peeps over to my house tomorrow for parade watching (happy carnival!) and trying to figure out what to feed and drink them. It’s a little hard because people will come over any time as early as 4 or straight from work, the parades start at 6:30, and go til 9 or 10ish. It’s a laid back affair with a good amount of boozing, but the time frame makes it seem appropriate to have something more than typical just snacks. I also have no idea how many people are coming! And the budget for this is... not extensive.

For the main item I am thinking I’ll go with an old standard of mine - mac and cheese bar. Big pans of mac and cheese (one gluten free), and then little dishes with add-ins to customize - bacon, green onion, salsa, sriracha, jalapenos, etc. I’d love more suggestions if you’ve got them of add-ins to use! Ideally, they’re not anything I have to cook or prep myself (for instance, I’d love to have something like sauteed mushrooms but something like that is probably a bit much).

I’m also going to do cupcakes in the parade colors, for something sweet and festive and easy.

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I’m also thinking chips and salsa/queso, cocktail weenies, veggies? What else is good and easy and cheap?

For booze, I’m thinking a case of beer, several boxes of wine (cheap but decent brands recommendations welcomed!) and does anyone have a good and potent mixed drink that works for a crowd that preferably doesn’t have vodka in it? Or something I could do warm in my crockpot (that isn’t cider and whiskey)?

If anyone has any thoughts on how to make something like this practically with a booze mixture in it, I’m all for it! They’d be perfect to have while actually watching the parades.

Obviously, you are all invited to come and enjoy the fruits of your recommendations!