Memorial Day is the national holiday that honors the men and women who have died in military service for the United States. Traditional observances include visiting cemeteries and memorials, attending parades and flying the American flag at half mast from morning to noon.
Not only is Memorial Day a day to reflect, it’s also seen as the official start of summer. So many people observe the holiday by attending neighborhood pool parties, family picnics and sporting events that usually end in some type of fireworks display. If you’re planning on hosting (or helping to host) a Memorial Day party here at Stepping Stone, we have some handy tips and ideas you can use.
Surround Your View with Red, White, and Blue
While American flags are the obvious décor choice, add your own creative touch to the ambiance. Decorate your patio, bushes, and entryways with red, white, and blue twinkling lights. Cover your tables in the traditional red and white checkered tablecloth and then for contrast, use blue plates and glasses for serving food. You can also use red and blue bandannas as placemats. For tabletop organization, use these red, white, and blue designs to cover empty tin cans, or “Ameri-Cans,” then fill them with flowers (red carnations, white lilies, etc.), utensils, snacks, and more.
Set Your Party to an All-American Soundtrack
Create a playlist of American classic and patriotic tunes. You can start off with “American Pie” by Don McLean, “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen, “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix, and “Breakfast in America” by Supertramp, then add a few of your own favorite USA songs.
Keep the Little Troopers Entertained
Keep the evening interesting for kids with simple items like glow sticks and sparklers (with adult supervision, of course). If you want a fun game for the whole family to participate in, build your own custom cornhole set and paint it red, white, and blue. If your community doesn’t allow fireworks, you can make “balloon fireworks” with confetti-filled balloons as a fun alternative. And unlike the real ones, these can be set off by kids, even indoors.
Give Your Guests a Meal to Remember
Now that you’ve created a festive setting, make sure you’re serving up a meal that’s just as festive. Surprise your guests with an alternative to a traditional dip like this Strawberry Salsa recipe. Then go for a colorful and easy pasta salad, like this Bacon, Corn, Spinach, and Ranch Pasta Salad loaded with flavor. For the main course, serve up these Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade. These meaty, tender ribs are slow-cooked in the oven and finished on the grill. For the kids, grill up these Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs, a delicious twist on an American classic.
Like a true patriot, you’ll want to mix up these tasty red, white, and blue cocktails, and maybe whip up some red and blue jello shots for fun! For more wonderful food and décor ideas for your Memorial Day party, find inspiration on our Pinterest page, designed specifically for our Stepping Stone residents.
We hope this blog post gives you some inspirational ideas on how to spend Memorial Day this year. Whether you honor a loved one who gave their life for this country, throw a star-spangled bash in your backyard, hold a pool party at the Lantern House or take the family for a hike along our seven miles of community trails, we wish you a wonderful and safe holiday.