You’ve designated yourself with the monumental task of hosting a backyard Memorial Day barbecue. Now, here is a complete shopping list of what you’ll need to make it as memorable as possible. With the list written up for you, all that’s left to do is set up, fire up the grill, and have a great time unofficially welcoming in the start of summer.
Food and drinks
- First, you’ll need to go shopping for some all-American barbecue staples including, but not limited to, burgers, hot dogs, buns, ribs, chicken, sausage, potato salad, fruit salad, BBQ sauces, coleslaw, watermelon, chips, salsa, dip, mayonnaise, relish, mustard, ketchup, pickles, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, etc.
- For dessert, serve up an ice cream cake with an American flag design. Another great idea is to get a bonfire going and make s’mores. If you would rather play it safe, purchase a fire pit instead.
- You will also need to provide your guests with refreshing drinks. Buy coolers and bags of ice and fill the coolers with water bottles, cans of beer, and soda. Fill lid-top pitchers with lemonade, fruit punch, and iced tea. Label each pitcher to avoid confusion. Keep an ice bucket by the beverages so guests can add ice to their drinks as they wish.
Before you start grilling, make sure you have everything necessary to do so. You’ll need a spatula, basting brush, prong fork, and tongs. You will also need to make sure you have charcoal or propane and lighter fluid to fire up the grill. Gather up a few serving platters to place the food on once it’s done.
Get an idea of how many guests you will have so you can figure out how many tables and chairs you’ll need. Don’t be shy about borrowing them from family or friends.
- Set up a buffet table for food, drinks, plates, cups, utensils, and napkins. If you’re hosting a large party, you may need separate stations for food and drinks.
- Set up an appropriate number of tables and chairs for the adults and a separate table for the children. You may want to opt for tables with holes in the center so you can slide an umbrella through each and provide your guests with some shade.
Purchase patriotic-themed paper plates, cups, utensils, napkins, and tablecloths. You can buy tableware with the American flag on it or simply buy each item in either red, white, or blue.
- Hang an American flag.
- Sprinkle star confetti onto each table.
- Hang red, white, and blue garland from the buffet tables.
- Make simple red, white, and blue balloon centerpieces.
Make sure the party can go on after the sun goes down by keeping the area lit. You can string paper lanterns around the deck or stick a few tiki torches into the ground.
- Music is a must for any party. Create a family-friendly playlist and set up some speakers outside.
- Have items handy for the kids to play with such as footballs, soccer balls, and frisbees.
- Buy sparklers for when it gets dark out.
Make your job easier and the party more enjoyable by having these items on hand as well:
- trash cans and recycling bins
- large trash bags
- bug spray
- citronella candles