Tips for summer parties | Independence Day

I think Buster Poindexter must have written the lyrics for Hot, Hot, Hot during a summer heat wave. Well, maybe not, but when the weather is sizzling I search for a diversion, like a party. If no one else is having one, I pony up and start planning. Do you ever think about the elements that go into a great summertime bash?

From a DIY perspective, here are my tips for throwing a great party for Independence Day (Fourth of July in the US).

Set the tone with color. I steer clear of the red, white, and blue brights every store offers up this time of year. But how to choose. I take my color cues from what’s in season – cantaloupe and honey-dew melons, strawberries, peaches, and cherries. What’s not in this list is watermelon, it’s just too messy. Add to this citrus – oranges, limes, lemons. Tone set.

Food. Keep it cool. I’ll have on my serving table, three types of cheeses cubed…Greek yogurt dill dip and potato chips…vegetable tray with baby carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes…orange cake with pink lemonade icing…and the best for last, *cheesecake-stuffed strawberries (see photo above).

*You can get the recipe for Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries here. When I make these for a party, I always substitute graham cracker crumbs for the chopped almonds. It’s only fitting since a few guests are EpiPen®-allergic to nuts.

Drinks / cocktails. For summer parties, I offer light soda 3-1 over the darker colas. Drinks just look better in glasses so save the paper or plastic for the kids, or for poolside. I get out my tallest tea glasses and fill them to the brim with Sonic® ice; but any crushed ice will do. Pour in the Sprite. Add a couple of orange, lemon and lime wedges (squeeze some out first). Top with a Maraschino cherry along with a teaspoon of the juice. I add a splash of vodka for those who want it.

Always buy fresh flowers. Don’t be saying they’re too expensive. At my local grocer, I can get a pretty seasonal bouquet for $5.00 USD. And what you can do with that single bouquet would amaze you. Separate the flowers out and place in bottles. I reuse malt beverage bottles, with the labels removed, it’s the perfect size. See above, an example of this technique. The center vase used to store pesto.

Decor. I use what I have in my house first then borrow from friends. Only then will I allow myself a trip to the Dollar Store.

Here’s a closeup of one of the malt liquor bottles re-used as a vase.

Keep things cool. Make sure the night before your big bash, you turn your thermostat down some. Lower it a couple more degrees the morning of, remember lots of bodies generate lots of heat.

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“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Bacardi via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Bacardi.”


  1. Leah Burks says

    I’m not ashamed to say I ate nearly that whole tray of delicious strawberries. ;-D Lovely ideas!

  2. Missy says

    I absolutely LOVE these ideas. My husband and I rarely entertain with parties, but I think we might just try this with a few couples! Thanks for the very practical ideas. I may substitute water for the light soft drinks since my husband no longer drinks soft drinks, and some of our friends and I rarely do. I can use the same concept…lemon water, etc. Fresh tea is a summer staple in our house, so green tea could be in order. Thanks again!

  3. James Turpin says

    I love the tips and the sight, beautifully put together. Very professional and informative.

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