Celebrating America’s Independence Day doesn’t have to bring on a firework of headaches. With a little pre-planning, you and your guests can enjoy a relaxing Fourth of July get-together that’s festive and fun. Here are some tips.
Make a plan.
Plan to do as much as possible in advance. Look for red, white and blue paper products at the dollar or discount store before stocks run low. Plan a menu that lets you make side dishes or do food prep in the days leading up to the party. Planning in advance means less work and more time enjoying your guests on party day.
Ask your party guests to pitch in and bring any extra tables, folding chairs, table covers or shade tents that you need. This will lighten your load and lessen the strain on your party budget.
Stock up on sales.
Whether you go for all-American standbys like hamburgers and hot dogs or a more elaborate menu of shish-k-bobs, steaks or ribs, shop early. Before the holiday, look for sales on popular meats for grilling and stock your freezer. Sales on barbecue sauces and ingredients for sides also are common before the Fourth of July.
Give your menu a twist.
If you are firing up the grill for familiar standards, add a creative twist to your sides. Try a different type of salsa, a unique potato salad or coleslaw recipe or an unusual dessert. Ask you friends to bring their specialty dishes to vary the menu.
In the days leading up to your get-together, gather paper products, put plastic utensils in holders and assemble serving spoons. Cut up fruit or veggies, prep ingredients and make casseroles and desserts. If you can, set up tables and chairs on the day before the party. On party day, you’ll just have to whisk on table covers.
Fourth of July is famous for heat and humidity. Be sure to have plenty of bottled water on hand or ice down pitchers of water with orange, lemon or lime slices. For a creative twist on an adult beverage, make an alcohol-infused frozen slush or fruit punch. Freeze individual fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in ice cubes to freshen up any beverage. Freeze wine into cubes to keep wine chilled on a steamy day.
Make patriotic treats.
Use the essential red, white and blue food groups – Kool-Aid, yogurt and berries like blueberries and raspberries – to create your own patriotic frozen popsicles. String marshmallows, blueberries and strawberries on wooden skewers to make fruit kabobs. Put together a colorful trifle with chunks of angel food cake, vanilla pudding, red and blue berries and whipped topping.
Light up the party.
Besides sparklers and fireworks, create a festive environment with twinkle lights. Get those Christmas tree lights out of the attic and wrap them around trees and drape them around the party area to contribute to a magical night.
Get tunes ready.
Download your favorite patriotic songs or tune into a radio station with patriotic tunes to play as the fireworks are being lit. It will remind you and your guests of the freedoms we celebrate on this special day.
With a little advance planning, you can host a spectacular Fourth of July party that will wow your family and friends.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.