With Memorial Day coming, people are completing some last-minute party-planning. If you’re throwing a Memorial Day barbecue, you’ve probably covered all the basics, like inviting guests and planning out the menu. Here are some crunch-time planning components to keep in mind for your outdoor Memorial Day party:
Prep the Grill Ahead of Time
No cooking tool is quite as important to a Memorial Day barbecue as a grill. It’s what does the barbecuing, after all! Spend the time before the guests arrive cleaning up the grill to make sure their burgers and dogs don’t get coated in smoke and grease that’s left over from your last grilled meal. Also, make sure you have enough gas in your propane tank well in advance. That way, you won’t be running out to grab more as your guests are beginning to arrive.
Provide Plenty of Shade
No matter what’s on your local forecast for Memorial Day, you may want to think through the amount of shade your guests will get. Even a somewhat cloudy day can give someone a painful sunburn. Some of your guests may enjoy cooking in the sun, but others will prefer to be in the shade. Set up some canopies and umbrellas to appease your more sun-averse partygoers. Don’t forget about the one putting together the meal! With too much direct sunlight, the person in charge of the grill will get overheated. Set aside an umbrella for the grill master to use when the combination of heat from the sun and the cooking food gets to be too much.
Queue Up a Party Playlist
Nothing gets a party going like some good tunes. Whether you’re a music connoisseur or you just listen to the hits, it’s important that you set the mood for the event with the right sounds. When in doubt, it’s best to go to the Spotify or Pandora station of an artist all your guests will enjoy. If you’re feeling ambitious, you might create a patriotic playlist of songs that support our troops of the past and present.
Don’t Forget to Cover the Food
As the party host, you might get distracted chatting with your guests or helping the griller get started. It might have slipped your mind that flies and other bugs are going to be attracted to the trays of appetizers you’ve put out! After everyone has gotten their first helping, make sure you put some sort of cover over the remaining food to prevent insects and other small critters from getting into the tasty snacks. Nobody wants to find ants in their potato salad!
Celebrate with Patriotic Decor
Without the right decorations to set the mood, your Memorial Day BBQ might seem like any other summer-time backyard bash. Have your guests in the Memorial Day spirits by setting up some holiday-specific pieces around the space. Streamers, balloons, plates and napkins in shades of red, white and blue are a step in the right direction in establishing the mood of the occasion. Set up miniature American flags around your yard to commemorate the troops. If you have lost someone who was a former soldier, you might set something up in his or her honor, like a floral arrangement set next to their medals and badges of honor. Just remember that even though it’s a time of mourning, it’s also a day to celebrate their lives and the contributions they’ve made.