Well, folks, it looks like July Fourth will look a little different for us all this year. No matter where you are, it’s likely your state has some social distancing measures in place that may prevent you from having the huge Independence Day bash you hoped for.
If you’re in North Carolina like us, then you know that outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people while indoor parties can only have 10 people max. This might sound disappointing, but to me, this just means that gatherings can be a little more intentional and intimate with your close friends and family! You can still have an incredibly fun celebration, even while social distancing.
Given the expert opinions, we do highly recommend you limit your celebrations this year to folks in your social distancing “pod,” or people who you’ve been around and trust to be taking Covid-19 seriously. For me, this means my immediate family and just a handful of close friends who have also been social distancing.
An outdoor party is a great option for these times. There’s typically more space for folks to spread out and the wind and open-air will be helpful in keeping the area safe. Plus, outdoor activities are a must when it comes to the Fourth. Enter sparklers, a good old campfire, and maybe even a slip and slide or sprinkler for the kiddos, if you have the space.
Of course, if the weather is bad you may be stuck celebrating indoors, but that’s okay! There are plenty of indoor activities you can plan, like a fun July Fourth trivia game with prizes for those who participate. If you need some ideas to get started for questions, check out this idea on Pinterest.
If you’re new around here, you know I truly believe food and drink are some of the most important aspects for any party or event, and that rings true for the Fourth of July as well. Luckily, when it comes to summer, the simpler, the better - especially if you anticipate you’ll be outside in the heat. No one wants a big heavy meal while they’re sweaty, so it’s best to just do some light grazing snacks. Fruit and veggie trays are easy to set up and will be a juicy treat for your guests. If you’ll have things like cheeses or meats out for folks, be careful they don’t sit out too long in the heat and go bad - that’s a quick way to ruin a night!
If you’re a lowkey host, you’re in luck again with summer desserts. I’d stay away from heavier items like cakes or cookies - people just won’t be craving those things if it’s too hot. Instead, stick with something simple like an ice cream bar - or even easier, popsicles. Nothing is more festive or will take you back to your childhood faster than one of those red, white and blue popsicles.
Last but not least, don’t forget the drinks. We live in a particularly warm area, so keeping cold water available for hot summer events like these is a must. For kids, get some juice boxes or make a big old pitcher of lemonade - the ultimate summer drink.
For guests who drink, there’s no shortage of fun, festive cocktails you can make to give your party a little extra oomph. Below is a fun recipe we’ve found from The Toasty Kitchen for a fruity July Fourth cocktail your friends and family will be sure to love.
These measurements are for making individual glasses of the drink, but to prevent you from needing to play bartender all night, I recommend making a large pitcher for your guests to be able to just grab some throughout the night. Just have some extra ice nearby and place the cherries next to the punch bowl. Alternatively, you can have it be a “make your own” station and print out the recipe for everyone to make their own glasses throughout the night.
What are some of the fun ways you plan on celebrating Independence Day this year? Be sure to tag us on Instagram to show us!
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The J. Leigh Events team is expanding! This month we welcomed two new additions, both of whom happen to be named Sam. Head here to learn more about our new project manager, Sam Kimball, and our new event planner, Sam Poler.