Officially, Memorial Day is when we remember and honor the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Unofficially, it is when we welcome summer with open arms. If you’re looking to host a party for this special holiday, you can take the typical backyard BBQ gathering up a notch. Here are some Memorial Day party ideas that will help you celebrate the long weekend with friends and family while remembering those that gave their all.
Prep the Lawn and Patio
Before you have everyone over, you’ll want to make sure the entertainment area is in good shape—and chances are, you probably haven’t done a full clean up until this point. Mow the grass and de-weed the garden. It might also be a good opportunity to hose off the deck and wipe down all the furniture. Pop up your American Flag canopy and add a few chairs around so people can enjoy being cool while sitting in the shade.
Your backyard bash can have various DIY adornments: String up streamers in star shapes. Put up paper fans in red and white stripes. It’s great to get the kids involved with this too! Liven up the dining area with tea light candle centerpieces and a handwoven tablecloth. Try spray painting some old Mason jars to hold flowers.
Set up a Burger and Hot Dog Bar
Have a designated table that’s near the grill with everyone’s favorite fixings like ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, chili, cheese, bacon, relish, tomatoes, lettuce, sauteed mushrooms, onions, pickles, and jalapenos. Create an assembly line where guests can assemble their sliders, burgers, or dogs. This allows people to self-serve in a no-hassle way, even for appetizers before the grilled food is ready. (And don’t forget the vegetarian guests! Consider including veggie patties too.)
All-American beers like Coors and Miller are sure to be popular. Make sure your cooler is stocked with ice. If you plan on serving cocktails, use grenadine and other colorful mixers to get your drinks party ready. Try a layered slushie using pina colada mix with red and blue-colored flavorings!
Flag-themed Summer Sweets
Shaved ice and ice cream can be served and arranged in order of red, white, and blue flavors. Want a shortcut? Go with firecracker popsicles! If frozen sweets aren’t your thing, bake a layered red, white, and blue cake with strawberry filling. A simple blueberry and strawberry fruit salad is another great way to fill out space on the table. If you follow these Memorial Day party ideas, you are sure to have a great party while honoring those that served our country.