Plan a Memorial Day Picnic with these Tips
May 14, 2013
Although your calendar may say summer is still a couple of weeks away, Memorial Day, always the final Monday in May, is the unofficial start to the season of sun and fun. What better excuse could you need for gathering family and friends together and having an old-fashioned picnic?
Put everyone in a patriotic mood by sending out Red, White, and Blue Stars Personalized invitations. Include a patriotic temporary tattoo in the envelope for each guest, so even if someone can't make it to the party, they can still have a little bit of the fun.
Check local newspapers to see what time a nearby Memorial Day parade starts and schedule your picnic so all your guests can attend together. Once known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in honor of men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. There's nothing like watching brigades of marching veterans, high school bands, and crowds waving flags to make you feel that swell of patriotic pride in your country. Have extra lawn chairs and small 4 x 6 inch American flags available for anyone who needs them.
Guests arriving back at your house will enjoy being greeted by patriotic decorations. If you are lucky enough to have a porch railing, fence, or balcony, bring on the patriotic bunting garland. This plastic bunting is eleven feet long and perfect for outdoors. Add a couple of American Spirit cluster metallic balloons for a finishing touch.
Even though you are planning an outdoor event, you will want to have a few decorations inside as well, especially if you are setting your food table up indoors. A metallic fringe chandelier in silver, red, and blue will make a perfect focal point hanging over the table. Coordinate the chandelier with a patriotic metallic starburst decorating kit featuring several sizes of hanging stars and fans. Dress up the guest bathroom with soap, lotion, and hand towels in red, white, silver, or blue.
Top your food table with a red metallic cover. It will provide the perfect backdrop for Stars and Stripes 10-inch square plates, and Americana napkins. Whether you are serving sweet tea or a white sangria, beverages will look amazing in clear plastic tumblers chilled with red, white, and blue light-up ice cubes which last up to 36 hours.
Food and Drinks
You might want to get fancy as the summer goes on, but for this first picnic of the season, serve a traditional menu with fried chicken and grilled hot dogs. Go online to find a recipe for a crowd-pleasing hash brown casserole which can be assembled the night before and baked the day of the party. Add a refreshing salad of sliced cucumbers and red onions with a vinegar and sour cream dressing, and cubed fruit on skewers for easy handling.
For dessert how about a frozen lemonade pie made with a graham cracker crust and luscious filling of whipped topping, frozen lemonade, and sweetened condensed milk. Show off a little by dipping whole strawberries first in white chocolate and then in blue sugar for a patriotic treat.
Memorial Day Activities
You will want to have some activities planned, especially if there are children in your group. A watermelon seed spitting contest is fun for everyone and does not require a lot of effort on the part of over-stuffed guests. Pit grown-ups against kids in a contest using patriotic paddle balls. If youngsters will need to burn off some energy have them assemble foamcore USA lazer planes and send them soaring—hopefully far enough that they will have to run after them!
As dusk falls, start a little bonfire in the fire pit – just enough to roast marshmallows. Ask musical friends to bring their guitars and have an informal sing-along. Find out how many of your guests can remember all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Usher tired and happy picnickers out the door with red, white, and blue lumitons to light the way to their cars, as well as small goodie bags that include blue handlebar mustaches, patriotic hair bobbers and if they are very lucky, a few of those wonderful dipped strawberries.