Shake out the winter blahs with a hot Havana party that’s full of tropical warmth and Cuba’s unique Caribbean flair.
Havana Party Settings
Consider a Havana theme for cigar parties, winter fundraisers and New Years’ celebrations. Lots of color and music with distinctively Cuban rhythms are key.
In warmer climates, apply your Havana theme for a party around the pool or at the marina with nautical party supplies and palm tree décor. Colder locales can shut out the snow and cold by bringing the party indoors and re-creating the Tropicana.
What About the Tropicana?
In the era of lavish hotels and casinos (1930s-1950s) the Tropicana was the center of the nightclub universe.
The Tropicana originally consisted of a casino, an indoor dining room and stage and an outdoor dining room and stage. It is the outdoor venue, set among the royal palms, beset with voluptuous, scantily clad showgirls, that is pictured when imagining Havana’s exotic nightlife.
The legendary Tropicana is still in Havana – minus the casino – and the outdoor stage is a lovely setting to re-create, even for indoor events.
Start with the Palm Horizon backdrop silhouette, with its amazing 8-foot by 32-foot dimensions, to suggest the outdoor venue, and the Havana Nightclub Bandstand, shown above right, as your showstopper piece.
Take your cue from the bandstand piece for your color palette. You’ll be able to find bright pinks, greens and yellows in solid color tableware, for example, that you can mix-and-match to your heart’s delight. Place these bright pieces against midnight blue or deep purple table covers and skirts, and tropical luau centerpieces.
Back a stage/DJ area with colorful metallic fringe curtains, and finish decorating with strategic placement of free-standing palm tree décor and theme mylar balloons in palm tree, parrot and flamingo shapes.
Havana Food & Drink
Cuban culture took the hamburger and transformed it into a frita. We recommend you find a recipe for fritas, such as this one from Three Guys in Miami, and grill them small as sliders in keeping with one of the popular trends in party food.
Along with your fritas, Cuba libres would put a fun, Caribbean twist on the burger-and-cola tradition. Build a Cuba libre in a tall glass with a squeeze or two of lime, a few ice cubes, 2 ounces of your favorite rum (we prefer a dark, molasses-y rum for this) and enough cola to finish filling the glass.