4 Tips For Planning The Perfect Fourth Of July Party

Are you hosting a Fourth of July party this year? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by the planning process? Hosting a party can certainly be fun, but it can also be stressful, especially if you have a lot of guests coming over. With a little planning, though, you can keep your party well organized and ensure that everyone has a good time. Here are four good tips for making sure that your party is a fun, enjoyable, and stress-free affair:

1. Create separate stations. You may be tempted to put all of the food and drinks together in one location. However, that could create a huddle of people waiting around one area. Instead, put the food out in one area, perhaps in your kitchen where the temperature is nice and cool. Then set up a bar in another area, possibly on your deck and patio. By separating the two spaces, you can ensure that there's plenty of room for guests to serve themselves whenever they're ready to eat or drink.

Also, if you're going to be watching fireworks at your house, consider setting up a viewing area in one corner of your lawn. You can designate the area with small American flags in the ground and then set up folding chairs and blankets. When the fireworks start, your guests can easily transition from the party to the viewing area.

2. Make cleanup easy. Often, the hardest part of a party isn't planning for it, but cleaning it up. You can make cleanup easy with a little bit of advanced preparation. Buy two or three large garbage cans at your local hardware store and then set them up strategically around your yard. Then, at each can, wrap several garbage bags around the handles. When each can gets full, you can quickly pull the bag out and have a new one ready to go. You'll likely find that your guests will be more proactive in helping with cleanup if the cans and bags are readily available.

3. Make it self-serve. If you're looking to reduce your stress and responsibility, get rid of the idea of serving everyone their own plate. Instead, create a self-serve buffet. One great idea is to create a slider bar so guests can build their own mini burgers. That way, your guests can decide whether they want a small snack of one burger or a full meal with several. Make small burgers out of ground beef, grill them, and then set them out with plenty of fixings, like lettuce, tomato, onion, and kosher dill pickles. Add some side options and then your cooking duties will be done for the day. No more serving or food preparation is necessary.

For more information, visit your local deli or butcher. They can likely recommend some other great menu items for your party.