Memorial Day weekend will be here before you know it! It’s the BIG “Kick off to the summer Barbecue Season” weekend and you want to be prepared. These 4 tips will help you plan & host a memorable party for your friends and family:
Memorial Day celebrations call for a patriotic theme from invitations to decorations to libations – Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day, is a federal holiday to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Be sure to fly the flag today, incorporate it as many ways as you can and decorate with red, white and blue. It doesn’t matter if you simply hang a flag or patriotic themed streamers on the railing of your deck or go all out with red, white and blue paper products, light strings, bunches of balloons, and/or festive banners, your guests will appreciate the effort. Including a red, white & blue cocktail will also be a sure-fire hit so see below for the recipe.
Make it a BYOC: bring your own chair plus be sure to plan a few fun activities for both adults and kids alike. In addition, we know that Memorial Day weekend in the northeast can range from scorchingly hot to 50 degree cold and rain, so be prepared for any weather event. Make sure you have a plan if you need to move the party indoors or host your get together on Saturday with a Sunday or Monday rain date if your home can’t accommodate a large group indoors.
Serve everyone’s favorite all-American foods – Barbecue fare! Memorial Day is the kick-off weekend to summer BBQ season when you live in the northeast like we do, so stick with the classics: grilled hot dogs, ribs, sausages, chicken and/or burgers with sides of grilled corn, potato salad, slaw and chips. To please every palate and food needs, include a few meatless items like soy-protein dogs or burgers, veggie salads plus gluten-free rolls. And don’t forget the condiments! What’s a BBQ without yellow & spicy mustard, relish, ketchup, pickles, chopped raw & cooked onions, sauerkraut and a steaming pot of baked beans?
When going the beer route, and you know you will, think about your guest list. No need to buy a case of IPA or light beer, that will hang around until next year, if only one or two friends drink it. Why not consider a 1/8 or 1/4 keg of a favorite lager or a local craft beer instead of trying to please each beer aficionado. I attend a yearly Memorial Day bash a friend’s house and she asks each guest to bring their own drink of choice and she provides the mixers.
And don’t forget a variety of non-alcoholic beverages such as carbonated flavored waters, diet and regular sodas, lemonade and iced teas.