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SHOP TALK : For Fans Aiming to Throw Ultimate Super Bowl Party : Thinking of hosting a football bash, and a six-pack of beer just won't do? Here are some options.

January 20, 1994|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

We think we understand your dilemma.

You're a football fan. The National Football League conference championships will be played this Sunday, the Super Bowl is a little more than a week off, and you're beginning to think party--or maybe even PAAARRRTY .

And for once, you decide, you're going to be the host.

Normally, your idea of a party is beer, a stain-proof floor and more beer. But now that you are playing host, suddenly there is more of an obligation to make things look just right.

Unfortunately, the mere thought of going to a store to buy some crepe paper and balloon thingies makes you sick to your stomach (not unlike how you're apt to feel the day after the big game).

To make things worse, any store that would be carrying such decorations will probably have shelf upon shelf of Valentine's Day accessories--and who wants to think about a mushy event like that when there's a football championship on the line?

But you know you have to do it. And we decided to help you out. We checked out a few of your party supply options to ease you through your pain.

First off, there is absolutely nothing wrong with crepe paper and balloons. Your average convenience stores will carry these. We checked out Kmart and found more than enough.

A 27-yard streamer in black (for Raider fans in mourning), blue (Bills), or white (just about anybody), goes for 89 cents. A bag of 25 balloons in the same colors goes for $1.57.

The Ventura Kmart was also selling Dallas Cowboy hats for $6.99. Not bad if you happen to like those guys.

Now, if you really want to go all out, you probably want to find an actual party supply store. If they don't have football-themed items, they'll certainly have the cups, plates and napkins you'll need.

We visited Parties Galore in Oxnard (there's also a Parties Galore in Thousand Oaks) and were amazed to find that there are, in fact, sports-related party supplies.

The most surprising item in stock was a bag of Sportsball Pasta--12 ounces of macaroni in the shape of basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, baseballs, and yes, footballs. It's $3.95 a bag. Who cares what you do with it, it's kind of a must, don't you think?

As for items specifically for Super Bowl XXVII, there are a variety of party invitations ranging in price from $2.35 to $3.15 for a pack of eight. Napkins run $1.95 (large) and $1.55 (small). Tablecloths are $4.75 (plastic) and a package of two paper ones for $4.15. Sixteen-ounce paper cups are eight for $2.50, a 12-foot banner is $3.15 and a pompon is $2.50.

You can also get a customized Super Bowl centerpiece--the ones displayed ranged from $17 to $21; a pinata that looks like a Dallas Cowboys player for $7.95; and a poster featuring replicas of ticket stubs from past Super Bowls for $7.99. Psssst: We hear that a purchase of $25 or more will get you the poster free.

Speaking of replicas of past Super Bowls, we checked with The Card Dealer and Sportings Goods Store in Fillmore and they have (or at least had) trading cards featuring those ticket stubs and other mementos of bowls past. At a price of about $6 for a 100-card set, they aren't a bad party favor for real fans.

Now, good luck, we hope your team wins, and remember to look for other deals at stores throughout the county as the Super Bowl gets closer.

Leo Smith is a regular contributor to Ventura County Life. Write to him at 5200 Valentine Road, Suite 140, Ventura 93003, or send faxes to 658-5576.

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