Happy 4th of July
Fourth of July parties are like yearbook pictures, everyone has them, and if you prepare for it and plan accordingly you can be immortalized forever. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch… but I’ll settle for a couple cool stories you can tell your co-workers on Tuesday.  We’ll break this down into a simple Do’s and Don’ts list and by the end of it, a perfect party should be easy to put together.

DO: Stock up! Or Bring Something

If you’re hosting, go a little crazy.  July 4th only comes around once a year so running out of food is a no-no.  Chips, drinks, appetizers, grilling essentials, dip platters and maybe even some veggies for those summer bods are all must haves.  Variety is just as important as quantity so no one can complain about not having their favorite party food. Get the grill ready and go to town! If you’re not hosting don’t go to a party empty-handed. Show your host some love and help them out.

DON’T: Talk About Politics

Pleeeeease. This year especially. The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate and remember that back in 1776 we had a pretty good idea of what the government should look like.  If you utter the words Clinton or Trump you will be shown the door.  Everyone will get angry, express their own political views and completely ruin the mood.  Talk about the weather, the game last night, or how good the food is. Save the debates for another date.

DO: Make Sure Your DJ Skills Are on Point

This is a big one. There’s a lot of pressure on the DJ at a party like this, but we’re here to help. Here are my picks for American-themed music that will get the party started.

Green Day – American Idiot

Don’t be an idiot, get this on the playlist! It’s a catchy song that everyone knows.

Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA

This is as American as apple pie.  You need to have to The Boss on your playlist if you’re going to have a successful party. Watch this video and you’ll start bleeding red, white and blue.

Katy Perry – Firework

This is a guilty pleasure, but there are undercover Katy Perry fans everywhere. Put this one on and watch people start to sing along.

Halsey – New Americana

If the party is getting a little rowdy, which is understandable after a couple brews and Bruce Springsteen, calm the crowd down with this song.

Lenny Kravitz – American Woman, Tom Petty – American Girl

Two very different songs, but both are just as effective.  If you want to turn it up go with Kravitz, if you’re by the fire at the end of the night Tom Petty never lets you down.

DON’T: Drink Too Much

I’m not speaking from experience, but don’t be that guy at the party that rambles on about how Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence so you could be getting drunk off Budweiser at this very moment.  Those events have nothing to do with each other.  Occupy yourself with the copious amounts of food or the yard games (Kan Jam, horseshoes and Corn hole preferably) that should be available at the party. There is nothing worse than going to a good party that you can’t even remember so let’s avoid that at all costs.

DO: Drink American Beer

This somewhat contradicts my last section but hey, everything in moderation.  I love a good Corona and lime just as much as the next person, but this is America’s day. Budweiser is a given, Coors will even get the job done, but if you want to impress some guests then Sam Adams Summer Ale is at the top of my list.  The beer is named after a founding father of our country! This is a no-brainer and I just decided what my beverage of choice for the evening will be.

DON’T: Set Off Fireworks

Sparklers and small gas station fireworks are fine by me, but let the professionals handle anything else.  I’m sure your hometown has an amazing display scheduled that you can go enjoy with family and friends.  We don’t need the fire department getting called and putting a damper on the evening.  Just ask Jason Pierre-Paul, an NFL player who made headlines for all the wrong reasons last summer due to a firework incident. If your pyro senses are tingling, just start a bonfire in the backyard and make some S’mores.  It doesn’t get any more American that that.

DO: Fire Up The Grill

grill on 4th of July

How a grill should look during a 4th of July party. Image via thestir.cafemom.com

All this talk about snacks, beer and S’mores is making me hungry. I apologize to all vegetarians in advance, but grill up meat, lots and lots of meat. Every one needs to eat at least one hamburger and hot dog on the Fourth of July, I think that’s a law.  Steak and chicken should also follow shortly after in mass quantities.  Leave the belts at home for this party and don’t leave hungry!
So there you have it, you have the menu all set, the playlist ready to go, even some games to play and talking points to avoid. Your perfect party is all set to go, and if you really need to pour one out for the founding fathers too that will not be frowned upon.

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