Once the grass finally turns green in Maine, my son’s thoughts inevitably turn to his birthday party—the one we’ll have in September. He spends a lot of time planning and once he lands on an idea, he tends to go all out. Or at least, he likes for me to go all out. He has this in common with Sue Smith, my favorite comic book jewelry designer. Every year, she makes her son’s party dreams come true in wonderful GeekMom fashion.
Last year, he turned six Hazzard-Country-style with a Dukes of Hazzard birthday. Now, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill party request, so Sue had to get inventive.
To set the tone, music from the show was playing in the background. But what do you do to entertain the kids while the banjos are playing in the background? In keeping with one of the overriding images of the show (the General Lee), the activity of the day was reminiscent of the Pinewood Derby. Sue collected a bunch of mini wooden cars and washable markers, so the kids could design their own racers. After the construction and design phase was complete, a homemade track meant that Duke-style races could commence.
There were cowboy hats for the kids to wear and the country theme extended across picnic tables with checkered tablecloths and Mason jars. (Thank you Pinterest for the 1,001 uses of a Mason Jar!) Also present to keep little hands busy, Dukes of Hazzard coloring pages. Who knew that such a thing existed? It seems there is a coloring page for everything now and for that, my inner birthday party planner is truly thankful.
Of course, Sue did have an advantage that would be hard to recreate: She knows a guy! And so, making an appearance at the party: The Jersey General. This particular General Lee doppelgänger has been signed by surviving cast members and many of the stunt team. It is also signed by members of the body shop crew who did all of the paint and bodywork in the first five episodes that were filmed in Georgia. This car is correct down to the pair, pushbar, and interiors. The Jersey General has been used by John Schneider, Bo Duke himself, at the Philadelphia Comic-Con, as well as Ben Jones (a.k.a Cooter) at Fredneck night in Frederick, Maryland.
After my own experience with a licensed product at my son’s second birthday party, I love seeing how other people take ordinary loves and turn them into party themes. The Dukes of Hazzard isn’t something you’ll find at your local party store, but with a little ingenuity and invention, you can make anything a great party idea. Of course, it helps if you know a guy too!