Planning a barbecue for Memorial Day or thinking ahead to July 4? Holiday barbecues can be just ordinary barbecues, but that doesn’t add the ambience, fun and festivity of a yard or house filled with a sea of red, white and blue decorations, tableware, and such.
So, it you are planning to host the pals, parents or partners on the holiday, make it extra special. Here are some inexpensive ideas:
A Western theme always works with barbecue. Set the tone as the guests arrive with old fashioned patriotic bunting on the porch ($10 for vintage look or $15.51 for larger) or, for a small gathering (or for those with a big budget), bunting on every chair ($9.98 per pair). Greet your guests with classic red or blue bandannas for each guest ($10.99 per dozen). Add cowboy hats adorned with red or blue stars for the kids.
If you are more the sparkly type, hang a giant flag over your front door ($4.80), string red, white and blue lighted windsocks from your trees or patio, ($15 per set), and give your guests hats (from the silly Uncle Sam to the flag-colored Mohawk to fairly normal baseball caps), and add some other light up items.
If you have a pool, have some whimsical patriotic rubber duckies floating around ($6.50 per dozen). The yellow vinyl ducks adorned with Uncle Sam hats look cute and can be favors for the guests. There are also patriotic designs available for beach balls, towels, and assorted yard toys (e.g. flying disks).
What about tableware and serving items? The options are unlimited. Inexpensive paper plates, cups and tablecloths can be a colorful panoply of red, white and/or blue items, decorated with various stars and stripes designs, have a close-up flag picture, or feature classic blue or red gingham (the classic barbecue look). Once you have settled on a look, there are some great centerpieces available. There is even a cute patriotic cupcake holder ($8).
There are some great chains to shop at for Patriotic party gear (Party City and Target would be good options. The items suggested here and links were from two companies I have turned to for several parties: Oriental Trading Co. and Windy City Novelties. Both have great selections and given me quick turnaround. Note: prices shown were as of May 15, 2014.
Now, a word about the food. There are two extremes: the simple burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob barbecue fare with the requisite lemonade and beer to the caterer setting up a formal barbecue buffet and bar. For those somewhere in between looking for some get recipes and ideas, three good sources I always turn to are allrecipes.com, tasteofhome.com and delish.com.