It has become tradition to celebrate America’s independence with friends and family. While everyone looks forward to the spectacular fireworks after dark on 4th of July, be sure to spread the fun over the entire day.
Whether it’s a backyard BBQ, a swim party or a picnic in the park, fill your gathering with the themes of patriotic freedom. While flags and banners are an obvious way to decorate, any use of stripes or stars in red, white and blue will emphasize the point while welcoming your guests.
Games and activities are important, too. Start a friendly game of baseball or organize your own Olympics with a collection of volleyball, basketball, three-legged races and water-balloon toss. If it’s raining, you can move the games inside with an interactive video game competition. The Wii Fit and xBox Kinnect present great options.
Not all activities need to be active. Your guests, especially younger children, may enjoy decorating their own cupcakes. Have lots of patriotic options on hand: frosting, sprinkles and shaped candies or stencils. You could even sponsor a cupcake cake contest. Guests could compete to create the most patriotic dessert puzzle. We featured a great example on our blog for Memorial Day.
All the other details are fun, but food is definitely the most important part of holiday festivities. For the 4th of July you have a vast array of appropriate options. You could stick with traditionally American dishes like Roasted BBQ Spare Ribs, Baked Beans and Cherry Pie. Or you could emphasize our nation’s diversity by featuring a collection of international dishes featuring an American twist, like Salsa Made with Grilled Peaches. We have created an extensive collection of recipes specific for this holiday. You’ll find plenty from which to choose.
Your venue, of course, should play a part in the menu planning.
If you will be away from home, at a park, the pool or a friend’s house, ensure that your dishes travel well and keep for the necessary amount of time. While Brussel Sprouts with Bacon is a delicious choice, it is best served immediately rather than after a 20-minute drive. Chicken Fruit Salad is a nice choice for potlucks. A small squeeze of citrus juice, such as lime, will keep your avocados from oxidizing too quickly.
If you plan to prepare your dishes after traveling, confirm with your host whether or not you’ll have access to all the tools and appliances you need.
And don’t forget dessert. Colorful fruit salads are always a festive hit, but you may also consider something a little more elaborate, such as an Aloha Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie or Crispy Pineapple with Coconut Ice Cream.
If you plan accordingly, the day will go seamlessly. Prepare to grab a sparkler and have fun!