Venetian parties – how to organize a Venetian fete of the century?

What is a Venetian fete?

Venetian fetes are celebrations in honor of the long and scorching summer coming to an end. They are usually celebrated at the end of August. Venetian festivities are traditionally held close to the water: sea, lake or canals. A major part of a good Venetian fete is tasty food and drinks, good company, fireworks and enjoying the waterfront and nature.

Historically Venetian fetes were the celebration of water, fire and light. They’ve originated from the annual carnivals in Venice. The lights and shadows playing on the surface of the water were a core part of the historical Venetian festivities. Seatrade played a large role in spreading the festivities outside Venice. Because the festivities were brought to new areas by sailors, the tradition of Venetian fetes is particularly strong in coastal cities. In some cities they have become a huge event which is the highlight of the summer season.

The original concept has been modified a bit by different countries and cultures. However, the core of the festival has still stayed: lights, fire and nature. August nights are perfect for hosting a good party and getting into the true carnival feeling! We gathered together some great tips for hosting a memorable Venetian fete full of light and joy. If you want to take your party to a phenomenal level, make sure you check out our Partyanimal pointers!

Traditional Venetian fete

Venetian feats traditionally involve fireworks, tasty food and a good time together with friends and family. The party venue is usually decorated with lights and tables are filled with gourmet treats. Venetian fetes are usually celebrated with a big crowd of friends and family and the mood is very festive! In some coastal cities the city centers seem almost deserted during the Venetian fete weekend, as people head off to summer houses and cottages to celebrate.

In Italy the carnivals in Venice brought a whole new extent to the European festival culture as the carnivals were the first to introduce the newest invention from China: fireworks. Nowadays fireworks are a huge part of Venetian fetes. Some people are surprised to see fireworks being sold in the summertime as usually they are more linked to New Year’s Eve. It’s important to make sure that the regulations in your city and venue allow fireworks to be shot. Forest fire warnings must also be taken into consideration.

Modern Venetian fete

Traditional Venetian fetes are held at summer houses or cottages, but the younger generation is more and more into having a modern Venetian fete in the city. But how to get into the carnival mood if everyone else has fled the city? The solution is easy: organize the coolest city style Venetian fete yourself!

The essential part of a Venetian fete is being close to the waterfront, being surrounded by awesome people and a great party attitude. The basic goal of the party is to enjoy the dreamy summer night close to nature, so a picnic is a perfect way to host a Venetian fete in the city. A picnic doesn’t have to be just a picnic: bring along some decorations and take it to the next level. A good tip is to organize food for the picnic in potluck style, where everyone participates in the feast by cooking something tasty. This type of picnic is bound to be a success!

Another option is to host the party at home. Put an effort into summer style décor and make sure the soundtrack for the party is filled with this summer’s hottest beats and legendary greatest hits. As Venetian fetes are historically the festival of light, anything that glows, sparkles or otherwise lights up your party suits the theme! Of course you can always close the blinds, pop some corn and dive under a blanket in the dark. In this case we strongly recommend you keep at least a little bit of the festive spirit with you by enjoying your popcorn from a glowing LED-bowl.

Top3 decorations for a Venetian fete

An essential part of a Venetian fete are different types of lights and lanterns. In the darkening end of summer night this type of décor is at its best creating an unforgettable atmosphere! Whether you decide to host a traditional Venetian fete at a summer house or choose a more cosmopolitan approach, here are the best tips for decorations that will pump up your party mood in an instant.

Glow sticks

Glow sticks are perfect for creating a great party vibe after sunset. Glow sticks can be used for many purposes, but they are especially fun as bracelets or necklaces. Glow sticks can also be used as table décor. Wherever you decide to use glow sticks they’re sure to blast your party groove to the max with their bright colors!

Glow sticks are easy to use: they only need a bit of twisting and a few shakes. If you really want to impress your guests, make sure to take a look at some glow in the dark straws for drinks.

Glow in the dark balloons

One might think that balloons are mostly for kids, but LED-powered glow in the dark balloons are a hit for any party you can think of. These balloons bring a touch of fine festivity during the day and serve as dim, ambient lighting as the sun sets. These balloons will party with you all night long as the LED-light inside them works for up to 15 hours straight. Balloons look great as decorations on a terrace or patio and you can set them up as road markers to let your guests know where your party is hosted. Balloons also work great as decorations indoors.

Battery powered LED decoration ball

When you want to create a true wow-effect in your guest, use some beautiful, glowing decoration balls. These balls can be used indoors and also temporarily outdoors. Decorating a terrace, patio or deck with these balls looks stunning and almost magical in the dimming August night! The ball comes with a remote control which allows you to choose and change the color of the ball. The ball creates a soft and ambient glow around it: perfect for the core idea of a Venetian fete!

Venetian fetes are strongly linked to water and the outdoors so be sure to take use of your whole venue by decorating it indoors and out if the weather allows you to. Sparkling lights in a garden or patio create an enchanting atmosphere! You can also include streamers, lanterns and candles in your décor. If Mother Nature isn’t on your side, the same decorations work just as well indoors.

Menu for Venetian fetes

It’s not a Venetian Fete is you don’t have tasty food and drinks to go along with your good company and festive décor. As the party is held in August, summer style foods are always a good choice: grilled treats, salads and fish dishes. Vegetables also allow you to create some scrumptious additions to your feast. The end of August is the time for harvesting so be sure to check which vegetables are in season and choose the freshest ingredients for your party. You can add a little bit of the taste of summer by cooking your dishes on a grill or open fire. Good choices for dessert are for example berries combined with cheesecake or sorbet.

If you’re planning a party for a bigger crowd, it’s good to think about dishes and cutlery well in advance. Will you be able to gather enough proper dishes that go together and do you want to spend time washing them the day after the party? Or would it be easier to choose disposable dishes that come in all kinds of festive prints nowadays? This choice is important especially if you’re hosting your party at a venue with limited kitchen facilities. Whichever you choose, you can brighten up the table with small additions such as glow in the dark straws and ice cubes.

Even though Venetian fetes are held at a point in the year where summer starts turning to fall, are fresh summer drinks and punch a great choice. Add some fresh berries to your punch and mix it up with soda to create a fresh and summery combination. If you want to add an extra touch of summer, be sure to add umbrellas and swizzle sticks to give a final touch to your drinks.

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The nights in August can be a bit chilly sometimes. Surprise your guests with a warm cup of hot chocolate when the sun sets (add a tweak of mint liquor for extra warmth). Being cold a big party pooper, so be sure to prepare with some blankets in case guests get chilly.

Program for a Venetian fete

As Venetian Fetes typically have a relaxed carnival atmosphere, party games are a great way to get your guests mingled and having a good time. No need to play it cool, just throw yourself out there and play along! Good party games are for example classic card games, especially if there are players in many different ages. Some popular family card games are for example slapjack, crazy eights and play-or-pay. You can find rules for these games here. Also, any games played outdoors are always a good choice!

Nothing gets your party groove going like a good drinking game. Beer pong is a classic drinking game that is usually played in pairs or teams of a few people. The main idea is to bounce a ping pong ball into the opponent’s cup. If you succeed, your opponent has to empty their cup by drinking. Once the cup is empty, it’s removed from the table. You can read more detailed rules here. To get an authentic American vibe to beer pong be sure to use legendary red cups. Why are they so legendary? You have for sure seen these iconic red cups in American movies and TV-shows. They are a core part of the American party culture.

Even though there are countless drinking games out there, why not create your own? If you have room or you neighbors are playful people, you can challenge them into a light signal drinking game. The idea is to send messages to each other using only lights. The one who guesses the message faster gets to choose what the other team has to drink.

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With modern technology and smartphones almost everyone has a camera on them 24/7. Still somehow no one ever takes photos from parties! The solution is to make a photo scavenger hunt part of your program. This way your guests will be more prone to taking photos and you’ll get to collect lots of memories to treasure.

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Glow sticks allow you to take cool artsy photos by changing the lighting time on your phone/camera. Streaks of light will start living their own life in the photos!

A Venetian fete’s, as with any party, program is really up to what type of guests you are planning to have at your party. If your guest list includes kids it’s important to think of something fun for them to do. A bored kid with nothing to do is a huge party pooper for his or her parents. Luckily there are solutions to prevent this! Depending on what age the kids are you can organize for example an exciting treasure hunt for them. Older kids will enjoy party games. Just make sure they are suitable for kids. It’s also good to stock up on some paper and coloring pens just in case. Bubbles are a classic hit with kids as well.

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Treasures don’t have to be huge and expensive. An inexpensive way to put together a treasure hunt is by using glow sticks, which come in five colors. Shape the sticks into bracelets, necklaces and crowns that the kids will have to find. Glow sticks will keep them busy long after the treasure hunt is over!

Life after a Venetian fete

Venetian fetes are a marker for the end of summer. After the party many start shifting their focus to the upcoming fall and only dream about the memories of the past summer. There’s no reason to feel down –we promise there will be life after Venetian fetes! There might be chaos waiting for you the next day but remember that time heals and makes your memories pure gold. Soon you’ll only remember the amazing moments from last night as you are packing away decorations to re-use next year.

Luckily you won’t have to wait a whole year to let your inner party animal back out. Once you’ve wrapped up your super cool Venetian fete, move your thoughts to the upcoming pre-Christmas party season. It’s only a few months away! If your mind is blank of party ideas, don’t worry: we gathered up some good tips for hosting the most epic pre-Christmas party (COMING SOON!). If you feel the need to host a good old house party just because you can, don’t miss out on our tips for hosting house parties.

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You can save money on party decorations by using timeless decorations as the base of you party décor. Add seasonal pieces and you’ll easily be able change the mood and get the right look for the party at hand.