Corn and Tomatoes This Independence Day weekend, flags and fireworks are sure to take center stage as a grateful nation celebrates this federal holiday. Looking to distinguish your Independence Day gathering from the “standard” summer barbecue you hosted last weekend? Perhaps the following ideas will draw out your creative side as you celebrate this holiday in style.

1. Incorporate the holiday theme in your decorations and foods. Small touches here and there will transform the standard barbecue into a joyous Independence Day celebration. Put red, white, and blue citronella candles to use in the backyard. Use flag-themed decorations, plates, and cups. Wrap red silverware in blue and white napkins, tied with red ribbons. Be creative!

2. Dress for the occasion. This should take little to no effort (unless, of course, your wardrobe consists of black, more black, and gray attire), and the effect will be worth it. Simply wear a little red, some white, and  a splash of blue for the occasion. And just remember: face painting is up to you and wearing that sparkly American flag hat or t-shirt is entirely optional.

3. Themed desserts can offer a sweet touch. In advance of your party, bake star-shaped cookies that guests can decorate using white and blue icing and red sprinkles. Serve an angel food cake for dessert embellished by whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries made to look like the American flag.

4. Simple table decorations can sometimes double as party favors. Consider interspersing red and blue bottles of bubbles on the dining table, with one bottle at each guest’s place as their table favor. Sprinkle your table with red, white, and blue foil stars or confetti. Tie a red, white, or blue balloon to each guest’s chair. Guests can take the balloons home if they feel so inclined.

5. Outdoor games and activities will add to the fun at your Independence Day gathering. Fill red, white, and blue water balloons for a water balloon toss. Set-up the slip’n’slide for hours of fun, or invite guests to a pool party. Purchase red, white, and blue sidewalk chalk and encourage the kids to share their artistic talents. Or consider creating a backyard scavenger hunt while embedding Independence Day facts and information in your clues.

We want to know…what’s the most creative thing you have done when hosting an Independence Day party? Happy hosting, and happy Independence Day!

* Photo by helenej

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