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STORY OF THE MONTH: How to host an AFL Grand Final Party

JULIANA Mare tells you how to plan the perfect Grand Final Day party  this September with surround sound, pies, a BBQ, and your team colours – just like the Aussies do.

The AFL Grand Final is arguably Australia’s biggest sporting event, celebrated by all fans of the game – even those whose team isn’t battling it out for Premiership glory. For those who don’t know much about AFL, check out our guides to the game and the teams.

AFL began all the way back in 1898 and since then Aussies have developed certain traditions and customs that Grand Final day just wouldn’t be the same without. Irrespective of whether you’re a local or not, there’s no escaping the build-up of excitement and betting before the match, the actual coverage (or fiercely competitive atmosphere if you’re lucky enough to score tickets to the MCG) and the post-game celebrations.

This year, the big day falls on Saturday, September 29 so here’s an outline of everything you’ll need to host an epic Grand Final party.

The setup

The first thing you need to do is set up your viewing area so all your guests have a clear view of the TV – extra points if you’ve got a HD flat screen. Aussie indie music icons The Temper Trap have scored the half time gig so also check that your surround sound is working. Pre-game coverage starts before midday so make sure there are enough comfy seats for everyone, this means no plastic chairs allowed.

The food

No AFL party is complete without an Aussie meat pie. Photo: Mr & Mrs Stickyfingers via flickr

Football in general demands meat pies but on Grand Final day, it’s an absolute must. Hot chips and sausage rolls also go down well and there should be an ample amount of tomato sauce in stock.

The iconic Four ‘N’ Twenty pies need 40 minutes in the oven so while they’re cooking, have bowls (within reaching distance of the couch, of course) of Doritos, mixed nuts and lollies for your guests to munch on.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can’t go wrong with a classic Aussie BBQ. Grab some snags, steaks and spuds and you’re good to go.

The drinks

No AFL day is complete without a few good beers. If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, then go for the iconic VB stubbies or for a classier touch, Crown Lager is the way to go.

For the ladies, you can’t go wrong with a good glass of champagne or cider. Swedish brand Rekorderlig have a decent variety of flavours and we recommend Mango Raspberry. But if you want a local brand, go for Tooheys 5 Seeds.

Alternatively a soft drink sugar hit will go far to boost your energy.

Showing your support

The key to a good Grand Final party is lots of cheering!

If you’re not familiar with the game, basically all you need to know is to cheer at the top of your lungs when your team kicks the oval shaped ball in between the white goal posts. It’s not uncommon for voices to go hoarse on Grand Final day as throngs of fans scream and shout at their TVs in support of their team, or disbelief at a controversial umpire decision. Either way, don’t be afraid to get loud.

If after reading this, you’ve decided it’s too much effort to host your own party, grab your mates, a couple of collapsible chairs and a cooler and watch the match live on the screens at Fed Square. It won’t be quite as intense as being inside the MCG, but you’ll be surrounded by other footy fanatics and it’ll still be one hell of a day.

Meld Magazine’s editors picked this as Story of the Month for September for its originality, relevance to our readers and the reporter’s initiative and creativity.

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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