Bringing a bit of Americana for the 4th
Whenever the 4th of July rolls around, I crave that summery, small town slice of Americana that makes the holiday special. We live in the suburbs and while there is plenty to do, I would love to be in a small, quaint little town with the old town square and be celebrating with all your neighbors, friends, and family. The best music is playing, kids are running around having the time of their lives and the weather is perfect. You know, like you see in the movies.
Well, if I can’t have that, at least I can decorate, dress and eat like that. Invite the family over and have a party!
Here are some simple, easy ways to incorporate some of those all-Americana accents into your 4th – whether it’s a big or small party for family and friends.
You don’t have to deck your whole home out in red, white and blue but you can add some accents here and there that make it look festive and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.
- Front door accents – Buy some $1 flags at Target or Michaels and stick in your flower pots
- Tabletop and bar accents – Have some cute red, white and blue napkins (I find the best ones at HomeGoods but Target and Michaels have these too). Festive straws from the Target dollar bin add more color.
- Pillow covers - I got mine from Amazon, but just adding a touch of red or blue with any pillow is fun.
- Baskets with liners – Serve your meal in plastic baskets with red and white liners. Even white liners with red or blue baskets look great.
- Backyard touches - use red, white or blue bins with ice to keep drinks cool. Shop Target or Michael for some festive garland or bunting.
Pick something easy like fried chicken or something to grill. If you don’t have time to plan a menu, use this:
- Sliders with toppings – cheese, bacon, caramelized onions
- Corn on the cob
- Potato salad
- Blueberry (or cherry or apple) pie and ice cream
- Popsicles for the kids
(And remember my previous disclaimer, I am not a food blogger so my pictures aren't always the prettiest!)
Chances are, it will be hot. Get a big bin, fill with ice and offer bottles of water, soda, beer and anything else you want. Sometimes you want the cold, slushy drinks but don't want to mess with the blender. This slush recipe can be any flavor you want, depending on the liqueur you use. I've had it with peach and cherry, but blueberry or any other flavor would taste great. The kids always want a slushy too, so have some freezer Pop-Ice flavors ready to go, put in a glass and add some 7 Up and the kids can have their own slushy.
The below needs some time to freeze, so try to get this in the freezer at least the night before you need it.
Cherry Slush (Alcoholic)
- 9 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 bags green tea bags
- 12 ounce can frozen lemonade, softened
- 12 ounce can frozen orange juice, softened
- 2 cups Whiskey, Brandy, or Vodka, (liqueur of choice) – for the 4th, I used Dr McGuillicuddy’s Cherry Bomb liqueur
- To make it a more vibrant red, add some grenadine (this will make it sweeter but adds nice color)
- ice cream pail
- Sprite, ginger ale or 7 Up
- Set out the frozen lemonade and orange juice so it thaws a little.
- Boil 2 cups of water with the tea bags for a few minutes and then remove and let cool.
- Mix 7 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil. Let cool.
- Once the water is cool, remove the tea bags.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a plastic ice cream pail and freeze.
- After 24 hours, stir ingredients to make slushy.
- Ready to drink? Add slush to the glass, add grenadine and then top off with the 7 Up, Sprite or ginger ale.
Be careful – it can go down fast on a hot day!
I put together some outfit inspirations. You don’t have to wear stars and buy anything new, as I’m sure you have many of these items already in your closet.
Grab a striped tee or tank and add to white jeans, shorts or skirt. Just a touch of red with red sandals gives you a pulled together holiday look. If you're going out for the party, add red with a tote or crossbody. And don't forget your sunglasses!
The second look is just as easy, just switch out the tee for a white tank and denim shirt. If you're going to be out for the fireworks, maybe a long sleeved denim shirt tied around your waist for day (or in the tote) and then grab it if it gets chilly when the sun goes down.
Keep the kids busy with sparklers that you can pick up anywhere this time of year or let them get wet with some water soakers. Put together a great music play list, mixing your favorite songs and adding some good patriotic songs in between to keep the mood going.
I hope these suggestions helped you to help plan a fabulous 4th of July party, whether big or small. Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by! Happy 4th!