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10 Ways to Plan a Classic Fourth of July Barbecue

Without question, the Fourth of July is my uncle’s favorite holiday. I can still hear him declaring in his bold southern twang that its the greatest thing since man’s discovery of fire (pronouncing it as “faa-r”). He’s right, of course. It’s a perfect mid-summer occasion for getting together and celebrating the birth of our great country.

What’s better than having family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances share some good food, adult beverages like beer, wine, alcohol, and fun company with some fireworks thrown in for good measure. They're memories that we all cherish. What we don’t love is all the planning that’s involved in making our Independence Day celebration so special.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a hassle. For starters, when you order online, DoorXDoor Delivery can handle the food and drinks so you won't have to lift a finger in the kitchen. Once that’s taken care of, consider a few of these Fourth of July party tips to simplify the planning process.

1. Get into the Spirit

Decorations will set the tone for your gathering, so go all out with a star-spangled array of fun accessories. Start by tying up clusters of patriotic balloons or maybe stringing around a couple of Fourth of July garlands. Of course, good old fashioned red, white and blue bunting will transform any back yard into USA party central.

Then there’s the table. Cups, plates, napkins, cutlery, all festively colored and arranged on a white table cloth will scream celebration. For another patriotic blast of color, add a big bowl of strawberries and blueberries next to slices of watermelon on a platter. Throw in a couple of small flags tucked into some red and white flowers or balloons, and the look will be complete.

2. Don’t Be Shy - Ask for Help

There’s no reason why throwing your bash should be a one-man show. Ask for help! Lighten the load and assign jobs. Grandfathers are great at assigning tasks. At least mine is, and I love him for it. Are your family members or friends good cooks? Tell them to bring a side or a dessert. At the party, have someone make sure the food stays replenished, while someone else tends to the drinks. Appoint your best music-loving friend to keep the songs playing. Designate a couple of people to hang around for clean up duty after the party. Remember, delegation equals relaxation.

3. No Stress Starters

Nothing makes guests feel as welcome as a big spread of munchies waiting for them when they arrive. Keyword...dips. Bowls of potato chips served with French onion or creamy herb dip are super easy and always a hit. Tortilla chips with freshly made guacamole will disappear fast as well. Colorful fruit trays are perfect for grown-ups and kids alike. My sister spices things up with her sausage dip that people can't seem to get enough of while my aunts will bring a zesty buffalo chicken dip — and easy to make ahead of time.

4. Let the Guests “Do it Themselves”

One of the easiest ways to feed a crowd is by creating a self-serve station for your guests. Try a taco bar, for example. Put out taco meat, hard and soft tortillas, all kinds of toppings, shredded cheese, etc. Guests will have fun assembling their own food while you can worry about other things. If tacos aren’t your thing, try a chili bar, a nacho table, a hotdog station, or a burger bar. When it’s time for dessert, how about an ice cream sundae assembly line? Not much is yummier on a hot July day than a bowl of ice cream topped with all the extras.

5. Feed ‘em the Classics

If you’d rather go the classic Fourth of July route, then put on an all-American barbecue.

Fire up that grill

Ah, nothing says Fourth of July like the irresistible aroma of burgers and hot dogs sizzling on the grill. Its an easy, interactive way for you and your guests to celebrate.

Smoker so good

Ribs, brisket, or chickens cooked in a smoker can easily feed a crowd of patriotic revelers. The best thing? You can start everything hours before your party begins and just put out some buns and other fixings when it’s time to eat. Beware — it will smell so good that you may end up with extra partiers from the neighborhood.

All the sides

My grandmother makes an awesome potato salad that everyone in my family loves, so don’t skimp on those classic American sides — coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, garden-fresh sliced tomatoes, and a big ole green salad are some other examples that usually are hits at any barbecue.

Desserts galore

What Fourth of July party would be complete without a slice of homemade pie? Apple, blueberry or peach will do just fine, thank you. Add a scoop of ice cream and your guests will be snapping dessert pictures for Instagram.

6. Bring in the Food and Drinks

Hey, why cook when you don’t have to? You can have the food and drinks brought right to your door by using DoorXDoor Delivery. They offer a wide variety of options that will satisfy everyone in your crowd. All you have to do is order online then set out the goodies and let ‘em at it!

7. Pass the Hat

Just because the party’s at your house doesn’t mean you should have to pay for everything. Don’t be afraid to pass the hat around for contributions. Most will be happy to pitch in, especially since apps like Venmo and Apple Pay make it so easy.

8. Do as Much as You Can in Advance

Ordering food and decorations ahead of time leaves you free for other tasks. Also, if you want to cook, look at your menu and make a checklist of what can be prepared a few days ahead. On the day of your party, you will thank your past self for being so organized!

9. Ah, Music

Every successful party has one thing in common — great music. It doesn’t have to drown out the conversation but there should be something fun playing in the background to help set the mood. Don’t just turn on the radio. Make a playlist ahead of time that includes old favorites, new hits, and all those cool tunes you know your friends and family will love. Whether it’s classic 70s, 80s, 90s, hip hop, or country, the playlist you create can help put everyone in a good, festive spirit, and prevent that girlfriend of a family member from constantly changing to the next song before the current song ends. A bad DJ and awkward silence are killers of good times.

10. It’s Your Party and You’ll Have Fun if You Want to!

What’s the point of throwing a blow out Fourth of July party if you can’t relax enough to enjoy it? As all of your guests are having a great time, make sure to kick back and enjoy the party yourself. While you’re doing that, take plenty of pictures and videos to remember these special moments with friends and family.

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