Sadie Hawkins Day Progressive Dinner Party

Sadie Hawkins dinner party

Gather the girls for a fun Sadie Hawkins Day Party!

For 15 years, Sadie Hawkins, daughter of Dogpatch’s earliest settler, had failed to catch a husband. Her Pappy in desperation one day called together all the eligible bachelors of Dogpatch…

“‘Boys! Since none o’ yo’ has been man enough t’ marry mah dotter, ah gotta take firm measures!! Ah declares t’day “Sadie Hawkins Day” — When ah fires all o’ yo kin start a-runnin’! When ah fires agin—after givin’ yo’ a fair start—Sadie starts a-runnin’. Th’ one she ketches’ll be her husband!’”

Well, Sadie did catch one of the boys. The other spinsters of Dogpatch reckoned it were such a good idea that Sadie Hawkins Day was made an annual affair.

Sadie Hawkins Day is a tradition established by the 1930s comic strip Lil’ Abner. Today it is celebrated around the second Saturday of November, when a girl gets to ask a boy to a party. This becomes even more fun when a group of girls get together to celebrate with a group of boys. Here are some ideas for a progressive dinner party celebrating this all-American holiday.

Sadie Hawkins Party Preparations

There are a few things to know when preparing for a Sadie Hawkins party. First, because Lil’ Abner and Sadie were hillbillies, we are giving this party a hillbilly country theme (you can change this if you wish.)
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Next, since this is a progressive dinner party, you will first need to gather four hostess families. The party will move from house to house over the course of the evening. Decide who your hostesses are, and what part of the evening they each feel most comfortable having at their home.

Finally, consider location and travel logistics when planning your party. Who will drive? How many can each vehicle fit? How far is each stop from the next? Map out an efficient route so your party can run as smoothly as possible.

If you have the capability, consider renting a hay wagon and driver for the night. Then you have one vehicle that everyone can ride in, as well as a designated driver!

Sadie Hawkins Day party ideas

Sadie Hawkins Day Party Invitations

Wooden Barrel Invitations — Make an invitation in the shape of an old wooden barrel. Then on the front, write

Sadie Hawkins Day Party
Gals: Meet at __________’s house at ________o’clock.
Guys: Prepare to be kidnapped from your house between ____ and ____ o’clock.
RSVP _________________

Here are a few other invitation options that we really like, available from

Cowboy Party Invitations

Bandanarama Party Invitations

Bandanna Print Stationery

Sadie Hawkins Day Party Decorations

Since this is a hillbilly/country themed party, you won’t need many fancy decorations (remember, your guests will be wearing their scruffiest rags!). In fact, if the weather permits, consider hosting your event outside with picnic tables and hay bales.

, cowboy hats, and western lanterns, along with ball jars full of sunflowers (tied around the neck with raffia) can make great centerpiece combinations at a Sadie Hawkins Day party. Each stop in the progressive dinner party can add its own special touches. Have your hostesses get together to decide who will do what.

MUSIC — Country music can play a big role in setting the tone for your party. Whether you like modern country, bluegrass fiddles, or country classics, find your favorite hits and let ’em roll!

Hosting a Sadie Hawkins Day Progressive Dinner Party

Some of the best features of a progressive dinner party are that they are fun to plan as a group, the hostesses share responsibility so there is less pressure, and there is no time to get bored! Here is a breakdown of how the evening might be planned:

HOME #1 — APPETIZERS — After you have kidnapped all of the guys, bring them back to house #1 to start the festivities. This home is where you will serve appetizers (and if you are of age, cocktails). To keep with the hillbilly theme, make things simple and down home. Crackers with cheese, mini sausages, a fruit or veggie tray, and meatballs, are all good choices.

Activities — A fun activity to set up at home number one is to have a
photo backdrop prepared (Hang a large piece of gingham fabric and set out a hay bale). Take pictures of all the couples for a fun keepsake of the evening. Then hold a costume contest to see who best got into the spirit of the night. Give the winning girl a vegetable corsage and the winning boy a broccoli boutoniere.

HOME #2 — SALAD — Use glass jars, tin pails, or cleaned and filed tin cans (be sure to get rid of any sharp edges) to serve up potato salad or your favorite recipe for macaroni salad.

Activities — At this home, set out a few old fashioned games to play. Horseshoes and volleyball are good for getting everyone involved, or set up some old school events such as a potato sack race or bobbing for apples.

HOME #3 — MAIN COURSE — Serve a country menu like fried chicken or barbecue, corn on the cob, biscuits, and drinks served in glass jars. (Silverware not allowed)

Activities — Before the party, try to collect a baby picture from every guest who will be there. Set up a board with the pictures put up and numbered. Have your guests see how many of their friends they can identify.

HOME #4 — DESSERT — Make your own sundaes! Set out bowls with ice cream and a variety of toppings and let everyone go to town!

Activities — The sundae bar can be its own activity for the last stop of the evening, or here you might opt to host the traditional Sadie Hawkins dance. Fire up the fiddles for a square dance, or turn on whatever tunes get you moving to dance the night away.

If you enjoyed these Sadie Hawkins Day party ideas, you might also enjoy these parties:

backyard barbecue party

soc hop party
Sock Hop
nightclub themed party


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