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July 4th Party Ideas & Recipes

There’s nothing like laying a blanket across the grass and sitting down with friends and family to watch the fireworks go off on the 4th of July, but before it gets dark make sure to throw the best BBQ anyone has ever been to. Everyone should be proud to be an American and the 4th of July is the best time of the year to show off your pride. Whether you keep things simple with a small intimate family picnic or invite over the entire neighborhood and then some, a 4th of July BBQ is the best way to celebrate. This celebration can be held indoors or under the warmth of the sun outside. You can browse our 4th of July and Patriotic categories to get some ideas, or follow these easy steps to have an unforgettable party.

Happy 4th of July Sign Banner

4th of July Picnic

Picnics are always best when kept simple and intimate with your closest friends and family. The first step to planning the perfect picnic is choosing a location. Do you want to stay at home and play in the back yard? Or maybe head down to the lake and picnic with other families so that you can all watch the fireworks over the water? Wherever you decide to go you can still set up the same way.

As you pack up the car make sure you have a blanket or two (especially ones you are fine with getting dirty), a picnic basket full of delicious food, all of the tableware necessary and just a hand full of decorations and games to play during the day. If you don’t want to get the blankets covered in food you can always place a Patriotic Tablecover on top while everyone eats, or just make sure everyone eats neatly off of their 4th of July Tableware. This patriotic tableware is perfect for celebrating the 4th of July because it shows off the great red, white and blue stars and stripes our nation so proudly displays throughout the entire year. Set all of the tableware out on the blanket and all of the food in the center so people can help themselves to a tasty buffet.

Patriotic Tableware

4th of July BBQ

Whether you have an annual 4th of July party or you want to do something big this year, these 4th of July BBQ ideas are great for any patriotic occasion. Before you get started though, you need to figure out how many guests you plan on inviting. A BBQ is pretty much a magnified picnic with a lot more people, food and decorations. After you figure out the guest list, or at least have a rough estimate as to how many people may just show up, start planning the menu and picking out your decorations.

4th of July Decorations

As long as you have a nice sized venue, outside in the backyard or renting a tent at a local park, you can have as many people as you want. One of the few musts for throwing a 4th of July BBQ is decorating with as much red, white and blue as possible. Start with the entryway by hanging up a Happy 4th of July Sign Banner and some Patriotic Pennant Banners. Both the sign and the banners are work for indoor decorating, but are also perfect for outdoors because of the all-weather plastic they are made out of. The sign should be placed right at the entrance, whether it is above the doorway to a tent or on fence gate.

Star Shimmer Garland

The pennant banner can be used in many different ways, such as hanging from a banister or gate and even decorating an outdoor tent. If you attach it to posts it can also be used to designate a walkway. If you are using a tent, make sure to decorate above because guests will look up. Use a lot of hanging decorations such as the Star Shimmer Garland and the Patriotic Star Garland. In addition to the banners put up some Patriotic Tissue Decorations and Stars. The stars each have a perforated hole at the top, so you can actually hang the stars at different heights which will add a great three dimensional effect. These simple decorations will add the right amount of patriotic spirit that your party needs.

Flag Cascade Centerpiece

Next, it is time to start decorating the tables. Whether you are eating on a picnic bench, on the grass or folding tables and chairs you still need to get plates and napkins for all of your guests. Take a look at the selection of 4th of July Tableware offered to get the perfect pattern for your event. If you opt to go with solid blue, red and white plates make sure to mix and match each setting. Cover the tables with Patriotic Tablecovers so that your guests can eat as sloppy as they please this holiday and you won’t have to worry about getting the tables dirty. Add some flare to the tables by decorating them with one or many of the Patriotic Centerpieces we offer. If you want to get creative with your centerpieces, turn some of the Assorted Patriotic Plastic Topper Hats into a unique table decoration (and use the extra as party favors). You can either set the hat on its brim, or turn it upside down filling it with party beads, some hanging off the brim, and surround the hat with Patriotic Fanci Fetti. Another option would be to use the Miniature Patriotic Toppers, especially if using smaller tables or the food takes up most of the table. These mini hats would also make great place setters if you write the name of each guest on the striped part of the band with a black permanent marker.

4th of July Recipes

One of the best things about the 4th of July is all of the great food. There are many traditional American foods you can serve at the BBQ, so it is up to you as to which foods you choose. Some classics are hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQ chicken, pork BBQ, baked beans, corn on the cob, deviled eggs, macaroni salad, potato salad, apple pie, watermelon and of course red, white and blue cake. Some unconventional ideas are Mexican bean dip, patriotic hot wings and red, white and blue nachos. No matter what you choose to cook the grill will be your best friend. You will definitely want to start preparing everything a few days before the party so that you don’t spend too much time on the day of the event preparing.

4th of July Recipes

Uncle Sam Burgers

A great twist on the normal hamburger, these juicy Uncle Sam Burgers are sure to be a hit! This recipe serves 4. Ingredients: 1 ¼ lbs. ground beef, 3 tbsp. steak sauce, 1 tbsp. spicy mustard, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp. minced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 tbsp. minced oregano.

  • Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands.
  • Shape into 4 patties (multiple the ingredients based on how many burgers needed)
  • Grill the burgers, turning them once. Should only take about 4 minutes for each side.
  • If desired, top off with a slice of American cheese or a U.S. Flag Pick to keep it in the patriotic scheme.

Pulled Pork BBQ

A classic American dish, this pulled pork BBQ recipe will please everyone who has a taste. This recipe serves 6. Ingredients: 1 cup BBQ sauce, ¾ cup ketchup, 1 ½ cups chopped onion, 1 cup water, 3 cloves garlic minced, ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 ½ tsp. chili powder, 1 tbsp. hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste and 3 lbs. pork shoulder roast.

  • Mix all of the ingredients except the pork in a slow cooker until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the pork and make sure to cover completely with sauce
  • Set cooker on Low and let cook for 7-8 hours
  • When ready, tear apart pork with two forks and serve with extra sauce

Red, Hot and Bleu Wings

These hot wings will set your guests’ taste buds on fire as hot as the fireworks! Makes 36 wings. Ingredients: 36 chicken wing pieces, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ tbsp white vinegar, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp Tabasco sauce, salt, 6 tbsp hot sauce and 6 tbsp unsalted butter.

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, toss the wings with vegetable oil and salt
  • Place into large plastic shopping bag and add flour. Shake to coat evenly.
  • Remove wings from bag, shaking off excess flour, and spread out evenly on a foil-lined baking pan(s).
  • Bake 20 minutes, turning wings over and baking another 20 minutes.
  • While baking, mix the rest of the ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then turn off.
  • When wings are done cooking, transfer to a large mixing bowl with the sauce and mix.
  • Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery on the side.

Red, Hot and Bleu Wings

Red, White and Blue Cake

This is a great dessert that all of your guests will love. Serve it when it gets dark out along side some sparklers to get an unforgettable effect. Ingredients: 1 package of yellow cake mix, 8oz of frozen whipped topping, 1 pint rinsed blueberries and 2 pints fresh rinsed strawberries.

  • Prepare the yellow cake according to package directions. Bake in 9x13 inch pan and let cool.
  • Frost the cake with thawed whipped topping.
  • Place blueberries in a square in the top left corner.
  • Slice the strawberries and arrange the slices into stripes.
  • Chill until serving.

Mini Pie Cupcakes

A fun twist on a regular dessert, these cupcakes will be the hit of your 4th of July celebration so make sure to make more than enough. Ingredients: 1 package yellow cake mix, 2 jars of white/vanilla icing, 1 tsp cocoa and 2 bags of mini M&Ms.

  • Prepare the yellow cake according to package directions. Bake in cupcake pans in foil cupcake liners.
  • As the cupcakes cool, mix the cocoa into the icing.
  • Cover the cupcakes with 1/2 of the icing and then place red and blue M&Ms on top covering the icing.
  • Place the rest of the icing into a plastic bag, cut off a very small tip and start decorating the top of the cupcake as you would a pie.

4th of July Activities

Independence Day is the perfect opportunity for family and friends to get together and have fun. Some great traditional American activities to have set up are baseball, football, volleyball, capture the flag and of course sparklers. You can play adults vs. kids, family vs. family or switch everyone around so it is both kids and adults and members from different families on each team. The 4th of July is a perfect excuse for everyone to let loose and have some fun outdoors, so if the weather is nice make sure all of your guests are having fun outside in the sun. You can also set the kids up with crafts making their own fireworks. Give them a basket full of red, white and blue pipe cleaners.

Help them twist the pipe cleaners together so that they look like exploding fireworks. Attach the fireworks to thread and tie to Popsicle sticks or woven fruit baskets. If you have a lot of younger children at the party, rather than using sparklers and fireworks let them use Patriotic Confetti Bursts which are easy to clean and safe to explode. Another fun and safe alternative is to let everyone, both adults and kids, to take pictures in the Patriotic Photo Prop. This photo prop pictures Uncle Sam on one side and the Statue of Liberty on the other. Keep it up for the entire duration of the event and leave a disposable camera nearby so guests can take pictures as they please.