How to Plan a Memorial Day BBQ Party
Expert Advice

Image: Deposit Photos, bhofack2

Memorial Day is the perfect time to kick off the slew of summer parties. Long holiday weekends mean we have more time to spend soaking up the sun and celebrating with friends. If you’re gearing up to host a get-together in your own backyard, follow these helpful Memorial Day party tips to plan the best BBQ Bash with your friends and family!

Clean and Prep

Warmer weather is finally settling in at a steady pace, so it’s understandable if you haven’t fully prepped your deck for the arrival of 10-15 guests yet. Sweep off the porch, wipe down tables and chairs, uncover the grill. A grill cleaning kit has everything you need to revive your trusty grill back to life. Remove any leftover gunk on the grates and check if the drip pan has been cleaned. This is the time (a week in advance) to run to the store and get an extra bag of charcoal and fire starter cubes—not the day of the party. Pop up your American Flag canopy and add a few chairs around so people can enjoy being cool while sitting in the shade.


​Streamers and lights are fun and inexpensive ways to add flair to any holiday party. Line the fence or wrap around the tree, and in just a few minutes, you’ll have spruced up outdoor space. A DIY stars and stripes banner is simple to make and can easily be customized to your desired length by printing more flags. Red, white and blue sparkler centerpieces are another cool way to bring a nod of patriotism to the table. For more festive flare, turn to bandanas; these distinctly American accessories also make a wonderful tablecloth or utensil holder for your party.


Your Memorial Day party menu should feature all-American classics! Stick to a simple menu of burgers, hot dogs, skewers, and grilled vegetables so that most of the food can be cooked on a grill. 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.  Other sides and snacks can be prepared inside—or better, ahead of time. Small platters of mini sandwiches, bowls of potato salad and a couple bags of chips should do the trick. Dessert provides the opportunity to bring color to your menu; opt for something quintessentially American like an apple or cherry pie. For the fruit lovers, have slices of watermelon ready to go.

Dessert provides the opportunity to bring color to your menu; opt for something quintessentially American like an apple or cherry pie. 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.


As with any summer party, boozy beverages are a must. Beer drinkers may be satisfied with a case of Coors Light, but for those looking for more out of their libations, you can get creative with cocktails! For a refreshing summer drink, make a batch of strawberry margaritas and dip the rims of the glasses in blue sugar. For a different take, whip up some vodka cranberry cocktails or try a layered slushie using pina colada mix with red and blue-colored flavorings. A wheeled bar cart will keep all of your essentials in one place and cleverly displayed for people to grab and go.  Also make sure your cooler is stocked with ice!


While everyone is munching and mingling, it’s important to have some options for entertainment. Be your own DJ and blast your best curated playlist to get everyone in the summer mood! Outdoor speakers, designed to provide maximum clarity and range can be set up at opposite ends of your backyard space. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, perfect! If not, the youngsters might just as well enjoy a blow-up kiddie pool or running through the sprinkler on a hot day. (Just make sure the water activities are away from the speakers.) For the adults, allow them to relive their inner childhood with classic games like Giant Jenga or cornhole.

Follow these Memorial Day party tips and you will have the best BBQ Bash with your friends and family!