10 Ideas for Hosting an All-American Fourth of July Barbecue
Whether it’s your first time hosting or you’re a seasoned party-planning professional, throwing a killer Fourth of July barbecue can be a daunting task. Luckily, the likelihood of sunny skies and good-vibes guests makes this party a little easier to plan than others. Consider our list of ten unique barbecue ideas to help you celebrate America’s freedom in style.
1. Consider a theme
While the Fourth of July celebration has an obvious theme, America and patriotism, consider implementing an additional theme to make your party truly unique. Go all out, make sure all of the food you prepare is in a red, white, or blue shade, or come up with decorations or activities that recognize each of the nation’s presidents. Be creative, and remember that most decorations can be purchased at a low cost from a local dollar, bargain, or party store.
2. Get creative with your libations
Instead of throwing all of your beverages in your faded old cooler, consider a creative display with your drinks. Toss some food dye into traditional lemonades or iced teas, or dump the beer into a kiddie pool or old bathtub for a fun twist on a classic barbeque staple.
3. Set the tone with tunes
Music is a must for any backyard barbeque, but especially for one as important as Independence Day. Consider investing in an inexpensive pair of waterproof speakers, mounted deck speakers, or other wireless speakers to take your dance scene to the next level.
4. Plan some America-themed backyard games
While the adults may be focused mostly on the food, drinks, and company at your barbeque, games are an absolute must if you plan on inviting kids (or the kids-at-heart). Make an American-flag themed cornhole board by painting an old piece of plywood and drilling two large holes, or set up a lively game of beer pong with red, white, and blue cups for the grown-ups.
5. Set up a party pool
Have a swimming pool that you plan to open for your Fourth of July barbecue? Consider squirting a few drops of pool dye into the water. Most dyes available for this purpose are formulated so that they won’t leave any coloring or residue on swimmers, and you can purchase them in colors such as red and navy blue to give your pool a patriotic hue.
6. Don’t forget the fireworks
A Fourth of July celebration simply isn’t complete without some snap, crackle, and pop! Due to the risk of fireworks in most residential areas, the use of firecrackers by homeowners is prohibited. You can still have fun with sparklers and novelty items such as “snappers.” While using with caution, you can buy a wide variety of these firecrackers and go to town.
7. Decorate in style
Get creative with your decorations. You don’t need to break the bank for this, but can instead repurpose old items from around the house. For example, cut up an old pair of jeans to make a fun, patriotic, and attractive denim American banner, or use strips of red and white fabric to create a hanging cloth display. You can paint American flags, large or small, on old pallets or make them out of popsicle sticks. For an even quicker decoration, paint red, white, and blue stars onto your lawn that will last as long as the sunny weather.
8. Illuminate your outdoor space
Whether you plan on having a bonfire at your barbeque or not, it’s important that you consider how people will see and be able to interact once the sun goes down. Invest in a good set of solar lights, or hang string lights from your deck or pergola. If that’s not your style, set up tiki torches to help keep things illuminated–and keep bugs away–all at the same time.
9. Start a bonfire
Make sure you have plenty of ingredients for s’mores once you start a bonfire. Stock up on marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers, and consider splurging for the red marshmallows to give this classic campfire treat a patriotic spin. You can even add colored flame crystals to your bonfire so that even your fire glows in a patriotic hue.
10. Honor those that have served
This idea isn’t necessarily designed for the purpose of having fun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun carrying it out. Recognize the true meaning of the holiday by recognizing those that have served. Before you fire up the grill, pay a visit to the memorial of a loved one, or write a thank-you letter to a friend or family member serving overseas. Make one of these a fixture at your next backyard celebration, and you can be sure the gesture will not be forgotten.
Remember the meaning of the holiday and be sure to share some of your party-planning duties with friends or family so that you don’t become overwhelmed. And the most important tip of all? Make sure you have some fun!