Hollywood's biggest night is creating plenty of excitement here in New Jersey. To start, Director Tom McCarthy could be a big winner for “Spotlight,” up for six Oscars including best picture. The Union County native was born and raised in New Providence.

NJ is rooting for Director Tom McCarthy at the Oscars (Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Entertainment)

Aside from being able to root for a Jersey guy, plenty of local movie buffs are gearing up for viewing parties. There are red carpet events happening at a few spots, including Atlantic City. Plus, I've grabbed a few hosting tips, especially if your Oscars party includes the "PG" crowd.


Red carpet night out in Atlantic City

(Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)

Borgata is hosting its own red carpet affair at Wolfgang Puck American Grille on Sunday, starting at 6:30 p.m. Chef Puck is again crafting food that the Oscar contenders will eat at the post-show Governor's Ball. Some of the same signature small bites are being served, like Mini Maine Lobster BLT'S. That's alongside Moët & Chandon Champagne and handcrafted cocktails. Tickets are $150 a person.


Oscar Night Viewing Party in Cherry Hill

Less expensive (as in free to attend) is the OSCAR Night Viewing Party by the South Jersey Screenwriters. The group is holding a gathering at PJ Whelihan's in Cherry Hill, starting at 6 p.m. Sunday. By attending, you can help support local filmmakers. PJ's will donate 15% of each tab to the Greater Philadelphia Film Office as part of their Dine and Donate program. Pre-registration is encouraged.


Oscars style catering for hire

Café Pierrot in Sussex County has you covered if you're looking for that special flare at a home viewing party.  From Oscar cookies, to 'tuxedo' chocolate strawberries and mini cannolis. With two locations in Andover and Sparta, they've been serving food and baked goods in north Jersey for 25 years.


Oscars 2016 menu ideas

Serious Eats put together a nice selection of Oscar-inspired menu items, like The Big Short Ribs. They also renamed "Brie Larson and Nutella" grilled cheese, in honor of the frontrunner for Best Actress.

A couple movie-inspired specialty drinks can take any casual party up a notch. Here's one to toast Best Actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, should he finally get a little gold man to call his own.   

The Revenant Rocky Mountain Bear Fighter Shot


How to party for the Oscars, with kids

(Beistle via Amazon)

Fandango did a nice roundup of ideas for the all-ages crowd, with the key idea being participation. Roll out your own red carpet, and draft a few older kids to 'interview' guests. This one's for sale at Amazon at http://amzn.com/B0077RRJHG.

You can also take a cue from the latest 'photo booth' trend, and gather up some boas, costume jewelry, fake mustaches and other props for a spot to take "Oscar-ready" selfies.


Erin Vogt is a lifelong Jersey Girl, whose first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fn of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.