Warm summer barbeque cookouts, friends and family, and all the prettiest fireworks… that’s the Fourth of July for you. So how do you go from hastily putting together a last-minute BBQ party to having a blast (pun intended) on the Fourth of July this year?
Phase 1: Prepping Your BBQ Party
Sending out the invitations
You want to avoid waiting until the last minute to invite your friends and family. Invite them while they are yet to make plans for the Fourth. If mailing your invites, send them at least 4 weeks in advance to compensate for potential delivery delays.
Arranging the Seating
Most houses don’t usually have the seats or tables needed to fit in a Fourth of July BBQ. Arrange additional seating by borrowing from friends and neighbors in advance. Your invitations give a rough estimate of the seats and tables you would need.
Alternatively, organize a picnic-themed Barbeque and ask your guests to bring picnic blankets and sit outdoors. Make sure you clearly mention the theme in the invites.
… it rains?
A completely fair possibility. Rain takes away your liberty for both an outdoor barbeque as well as the staple fireworks of the Fourth. So… what do you do?
Have a backup plan at the back of your mind. Push furniture against the walls to make room for guests to get inside if the weather gets somber. Decide on an alternate cooking method. For example, grill pans are an option for your barbeque.
Phase 2: Deciding The Food
The Classic BBQ Menu
Traditional barbeques can never go wrong. Whether you want to pull up grandma’s secret BBQ sauce or experiment with your barbeque, this menu has got it all. The classic barbeque options for the July 4th would look something like:
- BBQ Ribs with Dipping Sauce
- Creamy Blue Cheese Slaw
- Red-White-and-Blue Berry Pizza
- Old-Fashioned Lemonade
The Fourth of July Potluck
Get everybody involved in your barbeque! Have a potluck where everyone brings a dish and shares it with everyone. Not only are you creating a very collaborative and social setting for your barbeque but you’re also making it seriously easier on your wallet. Way to save (pun intended, again) the day! Here’s what you should be preparing to back up the potluck:
- Whipped Feta with Cucumber
- Cold Spiced Chicken
- Basic Potato Salad
- Beach Cake
- Rocket Jello Shots
The Veggie Fallback
This is your alternative for vegetarians. Despite being slightly difficult, your vegetarian menu reflects thoughtfulness for your veggie friends. Some affordable ideas are:
- Lentil Hummus
- Veg Burgers
- Fresh Corn and Chickpea Salad
- Frozen Tropical Fruit Kebabs
- Icy Watermelon Granita
Phase 3: The Decorations
Decorations are by-far the most straightforward part of the July 4th celebrations. Here’s a list of Fourth of July decorations:
- Affordable decorations, such as red, white, and blue pinwheels and streamers or mini American flags.
- White cutlery, paper plates, and napkins.
- White butcher paper as tablecloths to let kids decorate them
Phase 4: Fireworks and Safety
You can either light your own fireworks, attend the local fireworks show, or watch a televised fireworks display. Go for the latter two only if something goes terribly wrong with your barbeque. That said, taking necessary precautions while lighting up the fireworks can make or break your July 4th. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Only light off your own fireworks where it is legal.
- Have buckets of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire.
- Be considerate about noise. Loud fireworks may bother war veterans, people with PTSD or autism, babies, pets, and others. Avoid setting off loud fireworks in areas where it just isn’t socially suitable.
- Food and beverages
- Adequate Seating
- Festive decorations
- Fireworks or other entertainment
- First aid kit
Your perfect July 4th party is all about engaging your guests. Pair that with great food alongside safe fireworks and you have yourself a memorable day! Have a great barbeque with your loved ones this Fourth of July.
If you need more ideas for a barbeque 4th of July Grilling Heats Up With Spice-Forward Recipes