Everything You’ll Need for the Best Fourth of July Party
Whether you're the hostess with the mostest or a patriotic guest, the following will give you ideas on what exactly to have prepared so whatever Fourth of July party you throw or attend will make a boom. From what to eat & drink to how to set the stage for a night to remember, you'll feel like you were born to celebrate America's birthday.
Let's get cracklin'.
What To Eat
Even if you are not hosting a Fourth of July party, but plan on attending one, it is standard party etiquette to show up with something to offer. We'll start off with food, because it's about 90% of the reason's we enjoy having parties, right?
Beer Cheese Chicken Sliders
Chicken, beer cheese and pretzel buns: I don't see how this could ever not be a crowd pleaser and somehow it seems to add to the ambiance of this jubilant holiday. Click the photo for the exact recipe and prepare for waves of compliments. Not to mention this finger food is extremely practical for outdoors, indoors and on-the-go. Use as an appetizer or meal.
7 Layer Dip Cups
Everyone loves 7 layer chip dip, however, everyone does not love crowding around the plate and the awkward processional reach from chip grabbing to dipping. That's why the geniuses in our great nation can show up to the party with individualized 7 layer dip freeing us all from the compounds of the food table. It also free's you from extra dish washing! If you're worried about the extra waste, be sure to have separate and clearly marked recycle bins around the party, and make sure the cups you use are recyclable. Brilliant.
If you couldn't tell how party-perfect I think this concept is from the picture above, then it's really going to hit home now. By individualizing your veggie dips, it saves you from the menace of those pesky double-dippers, and takes the stress away from knowing if you have a fair dip-to-veggie ratio compared to the plate version. Another win-win plus they are nutritious and versatile so use the veggies you like and leave out the ones you don't.
Sparkler Confetti Cake
Oh this is a great time of year indeed, for who doesn't love occasions where you can acceptably top your confetti cake with actual showers of sparks? When you successfully intertwine entertainment and dessert you know you've done it, so roll up your block party sleeves and have some "fetti" fun this fourth.
Star Spangled Cookies
While I'm the biggest fan of sparkler confetti cake, I think it is important to have other dessert options that are maybe, shall we say, a little more practical and enduring? Can't ever go wrong with cookies and these have a fun American twist with red, white and blue swirl frosting. And if you really want to rock it, let your kids have fun while helping you out and put them in charge of frosting each cookie.
What To Drink
I am a firm believer that lemonade and summer are a packaged deal, but this recipe helps it blend in with the occasion. If it's a big party, you can be sure to please the majority with this one and it is super easy to whip together last minute if that's the kind of summer season you're having. (Aren't we all.)
Red, White & Blue Sangria
Sangria is like the lemonade of adult beverages and equally pairs as well with summer events. For the adults at the party this is a fruity and sip-worthy drink to get you through the heat. And talk about presentation - it doesn't get much better than this.
How To Decorate
DIY American Flag Backdrop
I've never been a fan of the overly cheesy Fourth of July decor, but this is an easy-to-make (and look at) piece that is practical too if you want to set up a photobooth station somewhere in the backyard with your Polaroid camera or smartphone. And if you're arriving as a guest, it says much more knowing you handmade something your hosts can use for years to come.
So this one might be mostly geared towards the host as it requires pre-party planning, however, a true block party is all about collaboration, so if you have extra outdoor or Christmas lights, call the host ahead of time to see if they'd like to borrow yours. Trust me you'll be the star of the show. Another bonus is that these lights are celebratory but also universal meaning if other party cleanup takes precedent, they won't be the needle in your side in terms of a rush to take down post-fourth.
Here are a couple examples:
The Final Details
DIY Citronella Candles
Everyone knows how pesky those mosquitoes can be, especially at dusk, so whether you're a crafty host or guest you can make sure everyone enjoys the backyard parties bite-free. The great thing is this recipe uses essential oils so it is fairly "customizable" to whatever scent you prefer if the classic citronella scent is not your thing.
In the event there are people (a.k.a. your children) who would like to light sparklers outside of their cake, be sure their tiny hands are protected with the extra plastic cups you didn't use in your 7 layer dip and veggie cups. Simply poke the sparkler through the bottom of the cup and BOOM spark-free sparklers.
Any good fireworks show has a soundtrack to go along with it, so whether you're watching the works from afar or up close you can complete your party by playing God Bless America into the morning light. (Or at least until the kids are ready for bed.)
Have a safe and very happy fourth of July from our home to yours!