How to plan a 4th of July party

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Decide your menu. A buffet is a good idea for a 4th of July party since it is easy to set up and prepare. A menu with dishes that you can make in advance is perfect so that you can cook conveniently. Grilled food is popular for a 4th of July party since it is easy to prepare.

Plan on different meats to please even the most difficult guest in your 4th of July party. Use fish, boneless chicken, and ribs. Fish and chicken cook faster so have more of these meats. Marinate them using different rubs and spices so that you have good flavor and color. You can even cook the meat in advance and heat it up on the grill before serving.

Cook your own barbecue sauce. You can do this at least 2 days before your 4th of July party. Making the sauce on your own is economical and comes out delicious too. Check out the Resources section for some good recipes. Make an easy and attractive salad by layering different varieties of lettuce, corn, beans, olives, boiled pasta, garnished with taco chips. Whip up a quick dressing by blending olive oil, vinegar, fresh or dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Serve homemade or store-bought bread rolls or cornbread. An easy recipe for cornbread is in the Resources section below.

Make a red and blue Jello dessert for kids by layering colored Jello and serving it chilled with whipped cream. You can do this a day in advance too!

Decorate your party area. You can use red, white, and blue balloons for a quick festive touch. Also use red and blue table cloths, and 4th of July themed cutlery and disposables. They will add to the party atmosphere.

Make your own 4th of July party favors! String together red, white, and blue beads to make necklaces or bracelets. Or give out paper flags for guests to pin on themselves in the patriotic spirit.

Make dessert the highlight of your party. Follow the 4th of July theme and make the dessert that is in the Related Articles section. It is quick to make, and you can have kids help you too!

Enjoy your party! With decoration and food ready, you hopefully will not have much to worry about.


  • Use flavored vinegars to add zing to your salad dressing.

  • Have kids help you out with minor tasks in decoration and food prep. This will keep them from getting bored in the summer and also get them excited for the party.

  • Have a potluck or have guests bring over marinated meats to be grilled at the party. This will also keep your party costs down.

Photo courtesy: Kathryn McCallum


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