Best Party Paraphernalia - 2003
"We sell fun!" is SFParty's motto, and if there was ever such a thing as truth in advertising, this is it. The huge barnlike space is packed floor to ceiling with just about everything you could possibly need for that special wingding, from banners and confetti and balloons to streamers and sombreros and specially tinted light bulbs. The store's absolute dedication to all things festive came in handy a few months ago when we couldn't find suitable décor for our annual Mardi Gras fete. A quick trip to SFParty yielded feathered carnival masks, beads in several varieties, Creole paraphernalia, and purple, green, and gold balloons, doorway curtains, centerpieces, and even wigs -- items impossible to find anywhere else. (Another wing of the store was entirely dedicated to St. Patrick's Day.) Among the more elaborate gizmos available for rental are smoke machines; confetti cannons; hot dog steamers; disco balls; nacho cheese warmers; carnival mirrors; onion blossom cutters; helium tanks; margarita machines; imitation-flame torches; balloon bouquets in the shape of a palm tree, a cactus, or an ice cream cone; even Santa himself (real beard $160/hour, fake beard $125/hour). Party on.