Fourth of July Party Planning

Shauna Smith Duty

Planning the hottest Fourth of July party ever? Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks will tickle your guests' tummies, but how about tickling their senses, too? Here are some great tips for transforming your party into an explosive celebration.


Invitation Ideas

Send a cinnamon scented candle with a note attached, inviting guests to join you for a "red-hot time" on the Fourth of July. Another fun idea is an American flag bumper sticker with your invitation written in red marker on the back. Or place your paper invitations inside plastic patriotic cups with a note to BYOC (bring your own cup), the drinks will be provided.

Yard Art

Fire up your yard with some mega fireworks. Paint empty vegetable cans solid colors of red, white, and blue, then bind them together in groups if three with rope. Use one tall, medium, and short can of each color per group. With a paint pen, write words like "bam" and "pow" on the colored cans. You can fill the cans with sparklers for guests to grab as needed, or use them and holders for citronella candles.


Red and blue Christmas garland makes a comeback in July as shiny décor to drape from arbors and awnings. Use any American flag or Americana décor from inside your home as outdoor accents during the party. Buy a bundle of miniature flags at a craft or hobby store and line walkways with them by sticking the wooden dowel rods into the dirt. You can also tuck them into gardens and potted plants. Tie large yellow ribbons around your trees to show support for troops on active duty.


Bobbing for apples is a great activity for adults and kids. Other classic summertime games include watermelon seed spitting contests, three-legged races, and an egg toss. Keep a water hose handy for cleaning up and cooling off, and make sure the games are distanced from food and decorations. Designate a photographer to capture hilarious and awkward moments to use on next year's invitations, on your family website, or even on T-shirts and mouse pads for gifts.


Serving Table Décor

Fill clear bottles with red and blue colored water by adding a few drops of food coloring to tap water, then fill them with white carnations. The carnations will soak up the colored water and turn red and blue over time. Also color a few trays of ice cubes red and blue and toss them in with clear ice for a festive touch.

Plastic tablecloths, paper goods, and plastic ware can be purchased in the red, white, and blue color scheme, or with a Fourth of July themed print. Use solid white or clear serving dishes to emphasize busy prints and bold colors on other items. For patriotic foods, serve blue corn chips with red salsa. A sheet cake with white frosting can be striped with strawberries, and blueberries can be used to represent stars, making the cake resemble an American flag.


Night Time Sizzle

Provide blankets and pillows for snuggling and watching fireworks while the kids play in the yard. Champagne with strawberries is a great way to toast freedom and savor independence. Citronella candles lining a pool or grassy area will add a relaxed ambiance to the evening after a long day of festivities. Encourage grown ups to play with sparklers and tell their favorite Fourth of July memories.

From invitations to the grand finale, a little down-home decorating will make your Fourth of July bash a big hit.

An American flag showing the stars and stripes.

About The Author: Shauna Smith Duty is a freelance writer with a penache for writing family and parenting articles. She composes articles for both print and web publications, reviews children's books and movies, writes short plays, and provides editing services. Visit her online at

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By (Guest Post)
August 22, 20050 found this helpful

Add interest to your 4th July celebrations by seeing what happened on 4th July in history at

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 7, 20090 found this helpful

Hello. Well yes. July 4th is my birthday on Independence day. I suggest just get some red and white and blue stuff and a couple of American flags and clear a space in a room and have an American themed party and they have to be dressed in either red, white, or blue.


Thanks your loving friend, GemmaPlanner.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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