Patriotic balloons, decorations, novelties, scene setters, and tableware will give your guests the idea that some serious party plans are on your mind for the 4th of July. Balloons are festive and have the ability to set the stage for any festivity, and the added touches from accent pieces artfully crafted in hues of red, white, & blue will enhance your party, and set the mood for a serious night of fun.
An attentive host or hostess is the key to any great party. The attention to detail really does make the difference from a party that will be remembered to one that guests cannot wait to leave. When inviting guests to your party, you should include some details about the party so that guests know what to expect from the type of attire they are expected to wear, and whether or not they should “BYOB”.
Guests should also be made aware of whether the party will be held indoors or outside so that light jackets are not forgotten, and can be worn as it cools off later in the evening. Try to make provisions for parking in advance. If you will be allowing guests to park on the lawn or in the back yard, let them know in your invitation.
Creating a festive atmosphere with themed decorations, red, white, and blue candles, and music will get people into the mood and also make them feel more comfortable. Hors D’oeuvres are a favorite, and you should plan on making your finger foods to fit your 4th of July theme as well. This will ensure that your guests have something to munch on while you prepare the main course.
Creative lighting in red, white, and blue will add another patriotic touch to the atmosphere. You may even consider replacing a few bulbs with colored lamps or placing strobe lights at various spots throughout the party grounds. Tiki lantern string lights can be used to surround a mosquito tent or they can be purchased with long stakes and placed into the ground next to walkways or around the party table to add a bit of ambiance.
Decorations, Tableware, & Scene Setters
Red, white, and blue table clothes can be purchased at the Dollar store, as well as plastic forks, spoons, knives, and Tiki Lanterns. Party stores are great for finding plates, napkins, lighting, and balloons that will match your party theme. Confetti in the 4th of July theme can be strewn onto the tablecloths, and festive balloons can be attached to tables, mosquito netting and picnic chairs. Miniature American flags can be placed onto tables or as a food decoration when attached to toothpicks.
Hedges, trees, and shrubbery are perfect for strategically placing stick flags, and patriotic lighting. Banners can also be placed along hedges as well, and don’t skimp on the scotch tape and thumb tacks as they are necessary to keep streamers, balloons, flags, and other decorations in place so that your theme is kept in place throughout the night’s events.
Uncle Sam hats can be placed on tables or worn by guests or you could place miniature Liberty Bells onto tables as a centerpiece. Invitations could include a small copy of the Declaration of Independence or simply be decorated with star stickers. Decorative garland in patriotic colors can be hung from porches or tables, and inexpensive serving bowls in red, white, and blue can be purchased from the Dollar Store. Food is the main element of your party, and making food entrees to match your theme only adds to fun that you are sure to have at your 4th of July party.
No 4th of July party is complete without the sparklers, party poppers, Roman candles and the main display of fireworks. These can be purchased in most states or online. M-80’s, M100s, silver salutes, and cherry bombs are illegal in the U.S. To check what fireworks are legal in your state go here.
Patriotic Food, Shots & Drinks
Red & White Dip
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
1/2 cup chopped onion
Sliced olives *optional*
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat the cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, garlic powder and red pepper over low heat in a sauce pan. Spread evenly in a 9-10 inch pie plate then spread pizza sauce over heated mixture. Sprinkle with pepperoni and onion. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot with breadsticks for dipping.
Cold Crab Dip
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. Thousand Island Dressing
2 Tbsp. milk
8 oz. of fresh crabmeat, cut into chunks
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Vegetable or Ritz crackers
Mix cream cheese, dressing and milk in small bowl with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Fold in crabmeat, red pepper, lemon juice and parsley; cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled. Serve with crackers or bread sticks.
90 chicken wings
1 cup Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup butter
Bake wings in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool. Marinade the wings in Tabasco sauce and melted butter for at least 3 hours. Broil 7 minutes on each side. Serve hot with a side of celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing.
Red, White & Blue Potato Salad
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes
21/2 pounds blue potatoes
1-1/4 cup mayonnaise
Juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Hot Hungarian paprika
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
4 scallions finely chopped
Boil the potatoes with their skins on until fork tender. Let potatoes cool. Cut potatoes into bite size chunks. Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasonings, and chopped scallions. Add mixture to potatoes and stir until potatoes are evenly covered. Sprinkle salad with Hot Hungarian paprika for garnish. Chill for at least an hour so that the flavors can marry.
Stars & Stripes Cake
1 box of white or yellow cake mix
1 container of white whipped topping
1 1/3 C of blueberries
2 pints of fresh strawberries or raspberries
Bake the cake in a 13×9 cake pan. Let cool. Slice 1 cup of strawberries, set aside. Place the cake onto an attractive serving plate. Frost the cake with the whipped topping. Arrange strawberry halves or whole raspberries’ and blueberries on whipped topping to create a flag design. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Red, White and Blue Trifle
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup raspberry jam, divided
3 cups fresh raspberries and blueberries, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
2 cups whipped cream
Toasted almonds, sliced *optional*
Prepare the cake according to package directions using a 9-inch cake pan (reserve one layer for another use). In a large bowl, mix together berries and sugar; let set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to let juices form. Slice one baked cake layer horizontally into two equal layers. Place one sliced cake layer into a glass bowl with straight sides; cover with 1/2 cup raspberry jam and 1/2 of berries and juice. Place the second sliced cake layer on top and cover with remaining raspberry jam, berries, and berry juice. Prepare the vanilla pudding according to package directions. Pour pudding over the top of the cake and spread to the edges of the bowl. Spread with whipped cream. Decorate with toasted sliced almonds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, decorate top with whole berries.
Blue Margarita Jell-O Shots
1 large box Lemon Jell-O
2 cups boiling Water
1/2 cup Lime Juice
3/4 cup cold Water
1/2 cup Tequila
1/4 cup Blue Curacao liqueur
Stir boiling water into Jell-O until dissolved; add lime juice and cold water. Allow to cool a bit before mixing in the Tequila and Curacao. Pour into pan and chill until set. Cut into squares to serve.
The Red, White & Blue Shot
1 oz Aftershock
1 oz Goldschlager
1 oz Peppermint schnapps
Layer Aftershock, Goldschlager and then the peppermint schnapps on top in individual shot glasses.