Creating a Fourth of July Themed Barbecue

Creating a Fourth of July themed barbecue is fun, affordable, and easy, if you organize in advance. Nothing says "Americana" like an old-fashioned Summer barbecue. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a Summer cookout call to mind early July days spent having fun in the sun, with friends and family, awaiting the mouth-watering offerings from the grill with almost as much anticipation as lighting sparklers at dusk. Wouldn't you love to create those same memories for your children, friends and extended family?

As with any planned event, begin with your guest list. Determine the amount of children, their ages and the needs of your guests in general. If you have youngsters who'll be attending, make sure you have plenty to keep them occupied, yet out of harm's way. Swimming pools need to supervised and cautions need to be understood. Should your evening's events include any fireworks, will also need adult supervision, and a handy garden hose.

Planning the Party

Once all the caveats are taken care of, you can concentrate on getting your patriotic celebration underway. Of course, the area in which you plan to center your guests will need to be decided upon so that you can decorate. Will this be an outdoor affair? If so, do you have accommodations to move the party indoors in case of rain? Will you set up tents with tables for your guests in the event of in climate weather?

A barbecue is an informal, paper-plates-and-napkins type of dining experience and you can adorn a buffet table in many fun and creative ways. Take advantage of the use of red, white and blue tablescapes. Homemade centerpieces from reused baby food jars and other items, table runners, napkins, plastic ware, paper plates and holders can all reflect the theme of your party by sporting renditions of Old Glory. Streamers, confetti and even red, white and blue balloons can be strewn about in an artful manner.

A lovely and inexpensive adornment for your dining tables is to take clear glass vases, fill them with water, tint the water in each vase either red or blue and fill them with white Shasta daisies. The effect is pretty and it costs next to nothing. You can repurpose the vases to correspond with future holiday themes and colors.

If you enjoy baking and cake decorating, a cupcake tower makes an inexpensive and versatile centerpiece for your table. Simply bake your cupcakes in themed papers, ice them with tinted icing and festive Fourth of July sprinkles. Voila! Easy, affordable and you have dessert all set!

Music is a big part of any holiday celebration and your Fourth of July barbecue is no exception. So many songs have been written and recorded about this great country that finding music to celebrate the birthday of the USA is easy. If you know of someone who's able to access and record the music for your party, ask them to help out. If not, you can find patriotic themed CD's at your local music store. You can choose from John Philip Sousa music to tunes from current artists.

When creating a Fourth of July themed barbecue, the biggest stars are the food and the fireworks. Planning a menu is easy especially when you have willing participants. Consider taking some of your more familiar guests up on their offer when they ask "What can I bring?". Covered dish parties can be a lot of fun and everyone gets to enjoy a taste of something different. Keeping safety in mind, plan on having minimal fireworks and then only with adult supervision. Better yet, consider enjoying any community fireworks from your own yard.

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