Memorial Day is a time to remember the brave Americans that sacrificed their lives for our freedom. In addition, it’s a day to celebrate the lives these soldiers lived and to honor their memory respectfully. You might decide to show your patriotism by throwing a Memorial Day Party. Weather permitting, you could bring the shindig outdoors to a local park. Here are some things you should keep in mind when taking your party to a public space:
Reserve a Pavilion (If Possible)
If you want to keep your guests out of the sun (or keep your food away from bugs and critters), you might decide to reserve a spot with a partial indoor space, if this option is available at your local park. Get in touch with your town’s Parks Department to see if you can reserve a gazebo. Regardless if you’re planning on saving a space or not, you may want to contact them to let them know you’re throwing a party on this public space.
See What You Have to Work With
Think of this scenario: you show up to the public park with dozens of uncooked burger patties and buns, ready to grill for your hungry party guests. However, the grill that you could have sworn was a permanent fixture in the park isn’t there and now you’re stuck with raw meat and no way to cook it.
Before you show up on the day of the party, walk through the park to see what you have to work with. How many picnic tables are there? Is it enough or should you bring some seating along? Is there some sort of electrical system, or will you need to bring along your speakers to play music? Go through different aspects of the party, from the physical layout to the entertainment and refreshments, to make sure you have everything you need when Memorial Day comes along.
Figure Out What Day Works Best
Believe it or not, not everybody has Memorial Day off from work. Before sending out your invites, you might want to make sure all the essential guests can come on the selected day of your party. You might decide to move it to Sunday if more people can make it that day or push it to an early evening party if some of your guests have other engagements in the early afternoon.
Get There Early to Decorate
On the day of the party, make sure you give yourself adequate time before your guests come to set up American flags, streamers and tablecloths. It’s always a good option to stick with a red, white and blue color scheme for the holiday. Plus, the party stores will be stocked with decorations in these hues.
Here’s something that you may want to keep in mind if you’re celebrating Memorial Day on the early end of the day: the flag is supposed to be flown at half-staff before noon, then raised all the way up after that. This tradition honors our nation’s heroes by mourning the passing of deceased soldiers early in the day and celebrating their bravery throughout the remainder of the day.
Heed to Liquor Laws
One of the tricky parts about hosting a party in a public setting is that you may or may not be allowed to serve alcohol. If you’ve booked a pavilion, you may be able to keep the booze indoors. Find out from your local Parks Department what their protocol is to alcoholic beverages and make sure you remain compliant with their rules.
Clean Up After Yourselves
Just as you clean up after your guests when you throw a party at your own house, it’s important that you clean up all trash and party remnants after the party ends. Not only is it disrespectful an unethical to leave behind a bunch of trash, it can be dangerous to the animals that live in the park. A bite of something they aren’t supposed to eat — like chocolate, certain spices or even bits of plastic — can do serious harm to a small animal’s body. Be kind to the environment — and to the park employees!