July 4 weekend is one of the few weekends of the year when families and friends everywhere get together for parties and barbecues and to enjoy the holiday weekend. Whether you are always the one hosting the barbecue and getting everyone together or you or playing host for the first time this year, you already know that a lot has to go into the planning process. From choosing the right location to selecting the menu, you must pay attention to the details. Here is a guide to planning a great barbecue for yourJuly 4 weekend celebration.
Your own backyard is the ideal place to host your barbecue. It will be convenient to be able to go into the house if you need anything or if the guests want to use a restroom. Also, in case of inclement weather, you can easily move the party indoors. If you have a pool in your backyard, you can also open the pool to your guests and turn the barbecue into a pool party as well. If you choose to do so, let your guests know ahead of time to bring swimwear. Since July 4 weekend is a popular time for people to go to the beach, you can also have the barbecue at the beach if your local beaches allow barbecuing. Having the party at the beach will allow your guests to enjoy the sand and the water, especially if you do not have your own pool. If you have a large guest list, you can also have your barbecue at a park if your parks allow visitors to bring grills and barbecue. Before you decide on a location away from your home, be sure to check the restrictions and guidelines pertaining to parties and grilling.
The food is probably what everyone looks forward to most. You can always create your own menu with foods you know your guests will enjoy, but there are certain traditional barbecue foods that are expected. Essential foods to have at your barbecue are:
- Hot dogs
- Corn on the cob
- Macaroni salad
- Potato salad
- French fries
- Chicken to grill
- Steaks to grill
- Fruit platter
- Vegetable platter
- Chips and dip
You can serve small pastries such as cookies and cupcakes as dessert. Be sure to have enough beverages including lemonade, sodas, juices, and plenty of water.
If you are having your barbeque at a beach or park, you won’t have to decorate much since the space is too large, but you should have red, white, and blue tablecloths for your tables. If you are having your barbecue at home, you can decorate the house and the backyard with red, white, and blue balloons and streamers. You should also have tablecloths to cover all tables being used for the party.
Use red, white, and blue plastic serving utensils. Because of the holiday, you can also buy serving utensils decorated with the American flag. You will need the following serving utensils:
Whether your barbecue is at home or at a public space, you should have music playing in the background throughout the party. If possible, try to have some games or activities prepared for any children attending the barbecue. If your barbecue is at the beach, bring along some beach activities including a volleyball, and encourage your guests to bring any equipment they might want to use on the beach. Encourage your guests to also bring along anything they would like to use at the park such as roller blades or bikes.
If possible, have the barbecue at a venue that has its own fireworks display at the end of the night. If you having your barbecue at home, make sure you and your guests tune in for the annual fireworks display.