Start Your Own 4th of July Tradition

It seems like everyone makes plans to party on the 4th of July! This festive summer holiday is a perfect time to create lasting family or neighborhood traditions, such as an annual 4th of July party. Your party doesn’t have to be patriotic themed either. Focus in on a specific element of America or American history that you love and celebrate that! Have a party themed around the Old West or celebrate the U.S. Navy with a nautical party. For an evening affair, center the whole event on the stars of the Star Spangled Banner. For a causal party, host a 4th of July Luau. The possibilities are limitless!

Use these tips to help your party go off without a hitch!

The first step for hosting your party is sending out invitations! Send out your invites at least 3-4 weeks in advance of the party. This is especially important for a party around the holidays as many people will be invited multiple plays or will be traveling. Send out Summer Turf invitations (and buy the matching tableware). For a personal touch, attach a small American flag to each invitation or put a pinch of patriotic confetti in each envelope.

Once you’ve set your guest list and sent out invitations, decide on a budget and start planning your decorations!

Start outdoors by lining your driveway and sidewalk with flags on posts and patriotic luminaries. Dress up your patio with flag garland and buntings.

Hang a personalized 4th of July banner to welcome guests to your party or wish the neighborhood a happy holiday. With a personalized family banner, you can send a greeting from each member of your family!

Statue of Liberty CostumeGreet your guests in a Statue of Liberty costume and usher them through an Americana Arch into your patriotic event.

Next, transform the inside of your house into a patriotic party place. Ground your decorations using a focal point such as a giant patriotic top hat or a red, white and blue cake decoration.

Shower the room in red, white and blue latex balloons, accenting each bunch with a patriotic popsicle balloon. Fireworks latex balloons or stars around balloons also make for festive bunches. Secure your balloons with curling ribbon to the back of chairs or place them wherever you want using balloon weights.

Create a festive backdrop for your decorations using star-spangled gossamer and striped paper in corrugated or flat textures. Create simple accents using patriotic streamers. For a 3D effect by hanging patriotic spiral decorations from your ceiling.

Patriotic Cake DecorationIf your party is in more than one room add metallic curtains to your doorways to section off your space and add a gleaming accent to your decorating. Add the finishing touches by placing giant USA letters and patriotic columns by your food table or using them to divide a large space.

Once your party space is fully decorated, move on to your party tables. Match your plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery to your party décor using our U.S. Pride Tableware Ensemble or the Summer Surf and Turf Ensemble. Create interesting appetizers by serving popcorn, trail mix, pretzels or candies in our patriotic top hats, turned upside down.

Cover your party tables in red, white and blue gossamer or a plastic table cover printed with waving flags or assorted stars. Finish the covering off with red, white and blue tableskirting. For the finishing touch, top each table with a firecracker centerpiece.

Many Independence Day celebrations start in the afternoon and continue on into the evening hours with the grand finale being an awesome fireworks display! Since the celebration can last for several hours, here are some fantastic ideas to keep all of your guests lively even in the summer heat.

• Organize a good old-fashioned game of baseball. For those guests that insist on sitting in the stands, have them sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and serve them Cracker Jack™ and Coke™ while they watch the game.
• Be silly by creating your own fun photos with a Patriotic Couple Photo Standee.
• Create your own Fourth of July parade by having everyone decorate a bike or wagon!
• Make two large copies of a map of America. Cover up the state’s names and have a competition between the boys and girls to see who can identify all 50 states the fastest.
• For a meaningful activity, have the older generation pass on stories about America when they were growing up. Ask each guest to share what they like the most about living in the USA.
• Plan a trivia contest with fun facts about American presidents, history, inventions, and folklore.
• Pass out Red, White and Blue Poms to all the kids and have them create a fun patriotic cheer for our Land of the Free!
• To pass the time between the cookout and fireworks, have the older kids paint the younger girl’s fingernails red, white, and blue. Add a Flag Funtoo to their cheeks!
• If you don’t have access to a professional fireworks display, create your own show by passing out sparklers and balloons. Let everyone take a turn twirling the sparklers and popping the balloons – it’s sure to inspire lots of “oooh’s and aaaah’s”!

Patriotic Party PackFor a fun patriotic look all day long, present each guest with a 4th of July party favor at the door. A Patriotic Celebration Kit includes hats, tiaras, leis and noisemakers so that each guest can have his or her own party accessory.

Kids will love glitter star head boppers to wear around while adult guests will capture the party mood in red, white and blue glitter derby hats.

To emphasize the worth of our freedom and the sacrifice of our troops, you may want to give a meaningful favor to your guests – especially this year. Support Our Troops Candles are perfect choices to provide your family and friends with a special way to remember our wonderful country.

Give children glow necklaces as the sun sets so you can easily keep track of them after dark, even when they’re running around playing.

Once you’ve got all your decorations and favors planned and set up, it’s time for food preparation! For this party, you definitely want to plan a simple menu. Don’t get stuck in the kitchen preparing and cooking while everyone else is relaxing and enjoying the day! Once the menu is planned, accept the offers of friends and family to bring something.

• Start by having an old-fashioned Fourth of July picnic, with fried chicken or grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, baked beans, various salads, and, of course – apple pie and brownies for dessert! Be sure to stick a few Flag Picks in your dishes for a proud American touch!
Americana Arch• Prepare red and blue Jell-O™ Jigglers and cut them into the shape of stars using a cookie cutter.
• Prepare plenty of fresh red and blue fruit and place them on flag-topped skewers. Include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and watermelon and serve with a white fruit dip!
• Cook up a special red bean salad using dark red beans.
• Serve the children this mini kiddy cocktail:
Before the 4th, freeze blue juice and red fruit punch in star-shaped ice cube trays. Just before serving, pour 7-up in individual clear glasses. Add a few of the fun shaped ice cubes to each glass along with a straw for stirring.
• For the adults, have plenty of coolers of pop, water, and beer on hand. Don’t forget tons of ice, as the weather is certain to be hot and dry!

Finish the day with a patriotic July 4th Firecracker Cake! Here’s how you make it:
Bake three 8″ or 9″ round cakes in any flavor. Once they are cooled, layer them on top of each other with frosting in between layers. Frost the top of the cake white, and stripe the sides with red, white, and blue frosting. Using a decorator’s tip, pipe the top edge of the cake with a line of white frosting. On the top of the cake, stick a small bunch of Milky Way Garland in the center to finish the firecracker! This cake is sure to make an explosion of fun at your party.

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