Ideas for creating perfect eclipse celebrations

(NBC) — Tens of thousands of  Americans are going to stop what they’re doing next week for two solid minutes and watch the sky turn completely dark. Weekend festivals, watch parties and cities are hosting events coast to coast to celebrate the solar eclipse. It’s not too late to host your own event at home.

As the solar eclipse slices across the sky on Aug. 21, what better place to be watching than your own celestial celebration?

For professional caterer and party planner Andrew Matroni an event of galactic proportions revolves around the little details.

Andrew Matroni, Founder and CEO of Queen City Catering says, “You have to start with the end in mind.”

Let the invitations and decor set the tone.  Online retailers and party stores have plenty of options from plates, to cups, party favors and customized labels for your drinks.

Consider adding a celestial backdrop for photo-ops and themed parties allow for a little more creativity with food.

“We want it to be different,” says Matroni. “We want it to be creative, but we want it to be something you’ve had before.”

Matroni’s solar eclipse menu includes savory macaroons, solar inspired cocktails and a liquid nitrogen ice cream bar.

“All we want to do is set the mood.”

Provide guests with NASA approved safety glasses and follow along with NASA’s live streaming video as the eclipse moves from Oregon to South Carolina.

And keep kids in mind too as favorite treats can double as learning tools.

“It’s as easy as twisting off the to p of the Oreo and carving away the crime to show all the different phases of the moon.”

And don’t forget to cue a perfect playlist.

According to Maureen Petrosky, Entertaining and Lifestyle Expert , “There’s tons of fun music like ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart,’  ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.’”

Food, music and, of course,  the sun and the moon all coming together to create an out of this world experience.

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