A Super Bowl soiree, Guilford-style

It wouldn't be the Super Bowl without a party — and in Guilford, a fancy one at that.

Entrepreneur Doug Trotter and his wife, Liz, who is retired from the National Security Administration, have been hosting a Super Bowl party at their house in the 4300 block of North Charles Street since the late 1980s, except for one year when mold was being removed from their chimney and the house was torn up. Each year, as many as 90 invited guests, mostly neighbors, friends and colleagues have come to eat, drink and be merry. Former Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel came a couple of years, Liz Trotter said.

Typically, guests are treated to a smorgasbord of food and an open bar as they watch the big game. This year, they can watch all over the house. The Trotters will have five TVs, including a projector and screen, in the sun room, living room, den and kitchen.

"We don't have one in the bathroom," Liz Trotter said.

Menu items are expected to include salmon, crab dip, meatballs, a cheese tray, and any potluck dishes that guests bring, which they usually do. Liz Trotter's friend, Margo Bates, also of Guilford, will bring her chili con queso soup, an annual tradition.

"We have all kinds of things," Liz Trotter said. In past years, "We had enough to feed an army."

Plus, there will probably be a big cake, in honor of daughter Kathleen Trotter's 28th birthday, and everyone will sing "Happy Birthday," her mother said.

She promises champagne if the Ravens win — and if they don't, "We'll drink it anyway."

She had eight bottles earlier this week and said she hadn't been to the liquor store yet.

Unlike last year, when the house featured a big Ravens banner, there will be no Ravens decorations, on her husband's superstitious theory that the Ravens failed to reach the Super Bowl last year, when there were decorations, Liz Trotter explained.

"I have a bow on the door and that's it," she said.

There are also expected to be fewer guests this year, based on RSVPs so far — ironically as the Ravens play for the NFL championship.

"Isn't it strange?" she said.

When the Ravens won their first Super Bowl in 2001, the Trotters had fireworks, but they won't this year, because as her husband observed, "We could have set someone's house on fire."

This year's party was planned relatively late, two weeks ago.

"My husband said last year, 'This is our last party.' But when the Ravens won (this year), we had to have a party."

After the party, what then? Liz Trotter said she'd love to see a parade if the Ravens win.

"We should rent a bus and go downtown," she said.

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