Throw together a last-minute party that celebrates ‘Murica

Guest post by Dootsie Bug
Photo of this “cat who clearly knows how to celebrate ‘Murica” shirt by Megan Roa.

USA’s Independence Day has long been one of my favourite holidays. Not only is it my birthday, but it’s just got a lot of great things going for it; fireworks, picnics, parades, and a themed colour palette.

Cobbling together a last-minute Fourth of July party doesn’t have to be hard. The easiest way to throw a last-minute party is always to host a potluck/BYOB shindig.

Ask your guests to dress in red, white and blue so everyone serves as decor.

If you’re in The States, building your plans around local festivities is a great way to have fun on the cheap — not only are municipal fireworks shows great, but they often coincide with private fireworks displays, street fairs, and lots of free live music.

Here are my ideas for quickly throwing together a last-minute party that celebrates ‘Murica…

The food ideas:

  • A buffet line stocked with: blueberries, sliced red apples, sliced strawberries, cubed watermelon, raspberries and sliced red pears with cubed angel food cake, whipped cream or vanilla yogurt.
  • Mixed red, plain and blue corn tortilla chips with a variety of dips or nacho fixins.
  • Bomb Pops or other popsicles — red, white and blue preferred.
  • More or less anything on the grill, but especially hot dogs and corn.

Festive drinks:

  • Red, clear, or blue sodas.
  • Cheap beer. Preferably with flags on the can.
  • A signature punch in red or blue (Two ingredient quickie: pour ginger ale or clear pop over blue or red sherbert).
  • White, Red and Blue Sangria: white wine, white grape juice, sliced apples, sliced strawberries, blueberries.

Fun stuff:

  • Sparklers
  • Lawn games (think cornhole, bocce, kickball or frisbee)
  • Fill a bucket with new, cut-up sponges, add water and chuck ’em at each other (this helps if you’ve asked guests to bring a change of clothes)
  • Create a playlist of fun, singalongable songs that make you think of America (I think of Bruce Springsteen and KISS, but your mileage may vary.)

Are you throwing an Independence Day party? If so, what are your plans? Let’s virtually party…

Comments on Throw together a last-minute party that celebrates ‘Murica

  1. American flag cake:

    Make a white cake in an 8X11 pan. Cool in the pan. Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip (if that’s your thing). Arrange strawberry halves for stripes and a corner of blueberries where the stars go. TaDa!

    Also, assuming that most people at your party are of the same political affiliation, you can always do “pin the head on the jackass” using pictures of your least favorite politicians or darts with the same idea. You know, if you want to get political.

    • I don’t remember where, but I saw somebody do a Pin the Ass on the Elephant. The thing was the front half of an elephant, then you were pinning the back half of a donkey on the elephant. So that’s kinda political both ways, right?

    • My family’s red, white & blue cake is a jello cake. Once the white cake is cool, poke holes in it with the end of a wooden spoon, mix strawberry jello and water, pour unset jello over the cake and let set. Then decorate with with whipped cream & fruit.
      Or alternatively, split the cake, and fill with banana pudding and bananas.

  2. Oh man, you just blew my mind with your red, white, and blue sangria suggestion! Why didn’t I think of that?

    My 11-year-old and I are making these blue and red star galettes (that sounds fancy, but they don’t look hard to make, and I’m putting the Kid in charge): http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/07/blue-and-red-berry-ricotta-galette/

    On the opposite end of the fanciness spectrum, I also made spicy boiled peanuts, which pair perfectly with beer with a flag on the can. 🙂

  3. I bought my very first sparklers this year. My parents forbade fireworks of any kind when we were kids; I feel like such a rebel! I can’t wait to light ’em up. 🙂

    • Ohhhhh do have fun and be safe! If you’re scared of them–I am–poke a hole through the bottom of a cup to make a hand guard. They do this for kids but whatever, sparks flying at my hands will be scary ’til I’m 80.

    • I know I’m late and the sparklers you bought are long gone, but as a regular sparkler user I just wanted to post a couple things for anybody who is going to be using sparklers for the first time.

      First of all, sparklers are MUCH easier to light off each other than they are off something like a match, so you’ll want to have more than one going at once so you can light them off each other. Make sure when you light the first one you have something that won’t risk you getting burned if it takes a few seconds for the sparkler to start (read: NO short matches!). The easiest I have found so far is one of those lighters where you press a couple of buttons and the flame appears at the end.

      Second, sparkler sparks can hit you in places other than your hand, and while I have never gotten a burn from a sparkler spark or set anything on fire with one, the sparks can vary from an almost tickle or a very faint warmth to a sting. Hold them as close to the end of the wire as you can and hold your arm out, or do what my aunt did one time and stick them into the ground in front of the chair you’re sitting in if you’re having your party in a grassy area.

      Third, we’ve never had trouble with a sparkler afterward, but we always bring along an aluminum pie plate to put the used sparklers in, and then we leave them on the pie plate for about a day before throwing them out, just to be safe.

  4. With all due respect to Dootsie and OBH, I would appreciate this post a lot more if you weren’t calling America “Murica.” That term is, by definition, disrespectful to Americans.

    • In fairness, America has been pretty disrespectful to Americans lately (particularly lady Americans.) But to me, “‘Murica!” is more just a self-aware send up of the sort of overly-enthusiastic, flags-on-everything, “WOOO!!!” brand of patriotism that Americans favor, especially around the 4th.

      (Personally I’ll most likely be staying home comforting my firework-shy dog, as I have been since MID-FREAKING JUNE, when people decided that it was time to start letting off newly-legalized-super-dangerous fireworks every freaking night. But as I’m feeling even less patriotic than usual I’m not too bothered by it ;-P)

    • I am American (not that I speak for all Americans), and I like using the term “Murica.” I think some of us who have serious problems with many aspects of the country have a hard time celebrating the country in it’s entirety. We aren’t nationalistic, and we don’t think that the good ole U. S. of A. is the best country in the world. Like, only Americans would make a patriotic dessert called a BOMB POP, right? So I will be sporting my “Freedom Ain’t Free” shirt while eating patriotic desserts for irony.

      There are legitimate parts of my country I love, and I appreciate them every day. But on a holiday when we’re supposed to celebrate our country, it’s hard to pretend that it’s perfect.

      • I agree so strongly with what you are saying. We do have a lot of great stuff, and it is a good country to live in, but it certainly isn’t the best (but, if Casey Kasem were counting down countries, we should make the top 40).
        “Murica” is sarcastic. It pokes fun of people who blindly adore the country and believe it can do no wrong.

        For years, I kind of hated this country, because media and the president said you either love it and agree with them or you are UNAMERICAN!! Nowadays, I accept living in the grey area between love and hate, where frustration and anger intermingle with pride, hope, and indifference.

    • Aw man, I’m sorry Cassie.

      So, I actually really like the term “‘Murica” — I totally use it affectionately (and when I’m feeling frisky). Based on my own usage, and some of the responses, I’d argue that it isn’t always blanket disrespectful. It seems like it’s open to interpretation? Just know that when we use it here, we’re using outta love.

    • Hi Cassie! I’m so sorry that I made you (and anyone else!) feel disrespected. In the future, I’ll definitely keep this in mind.

      (PS In case anyone was wondering, I am an American. And this is how people where I grew up actually say it, so double apologies if anyone feels like I’m poking at them for that.)

  5. Ha ha – I’m so out of the loop, it took reading the beginning of the article to figure out that Murica was ever referring to America (okay, the picture should have been a give away). Nonetheless, for the record, I don’t feel disrespected by it as an American. I guess naivety is bliss, ha ha.

  6. Also: my favorite psuedo-patriotic music is John Mellencamp, The Very Best That I Could Do

  7. And – almost forgot – Happy Birthday Dootsie!

    (My favorite holiday also often falls on my b-day – it’s awesome!)

    • I’m not above writing Empire posts to fish for birthday wishes.
      Thank you so much! Happy Independence Day!

      • This did not escape me… 😉

        Also: even though I don’t live in the states, your post prompted me and my husband to make burgers, corn on the cob and baked beans for dinner to celebrate! I usually don’t really do anything for the 4th, so thanks! It was fun!

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