Celebrating America’s Birthday…Let’s Party Like it’s 1776

I’ve loved celebrating our country’s birthday since I was a young girl. I have wonderful memories of going to my Aunt Mabel’s for the 4 th. We’d go to the parade that her town of Coronado, California had each year ( they still do…if you want to experience the patriotic spirit, head to the beautiful peninsula of Coronado. It’s a Navy town and is proud of it. There is always the parade, many, many flag displays and fireworks to enjoy.) We would walk to the parade with our little folding stools ( we thought we were big stuff to have parade chairs!) that our aunt had gotten us. The parade was wonderful…with floats, horses, and bands. It got us in the spirit of the day. Then we would go back and have a wonderful roasted chicken, my mom’s macaroni salad, corn on the cob and apple pie.

As an adult, I’ve enjoyed carrying on the tradition of celebrating the 4 th. I’ve always decorated the house, set a festive table and served summer favorites of barbecue, fresh fruits and vegetables. The quote that I used for the bar area, “Party like it’s 1776” is the mood that I’m going for. I imagine when America declared its independence it was quite a joyful day. I want to celebrate my country’s birthday with that same joy and appreciation for her.

Bar Themed for 4th

A favorite area to theme, my bar is all things stars and stripes. The drink holder ( purchased from World Market this year) has Minnie as Betsy Ross at the top ( a Jim Shore product.) The stars and stripe cups and napkins are from Target ( purchased this year.) Next to the cup holder is a small dish with patriotic paper umbrellas for the drinks. The letterboard is from a company called Felt Nook Boards ( purchased this year, too.) In the napkin holder, are 4 th of July napkins, star plates and straws all from Target. To the left of it, is a flower arrangement I did in red and white with a blue vase. In front of that, is a star dish ( purchased at Crate and Barrel, a few years ago.) The bar letters are from Hobby Lobby. The flag dish from Crate and Barrel. The star light is from Aaron Brothers ( sadly, they are out of business now.)

Bar area with Patriotic Punch and Red, White and Blue Cherries and Crackers

On holidays, I like to make a punch or cocktail. For this bar, I made a punch, it had these ingredients in it: one small bottle of 7 up, half a quart of pineapple juice, two cups of lime juice, 3/4 of a bottle of maraschino cherry juice, and a bit of coconut rum ( I actually used the coconut rum I infused the cherries with …I describe the cherries next.) I wanted it to be one of the theme’s colors, too. I love rum, but you could use a different alcohol, as well.

The cherries were infused with coconut rum. I just soaked them overnight in enough rum to cover them. Before I dipping the cherries in white chocolate, I patted them dry, so the chocolate would stick better. The chocolate was just white chocolate chips melted. I added a dash of half and half, but be careful to not add to much. Then I dipped them in the sprinkles. The crackers were Ritz. I spread peanut butter on the cracker then added another cracker. Then dipped half of it in white chocolate then sprinkles. It wasn’t Pinterest perfect, but not bad for my first attempt. They turned out festive and yummy.

View of Dining Room with my Patriotic Pup, Lady looking on

My living/dining room area is in a beach theme for summer. When I added the touches of red, white and blue, I blended it with that theme. For example, the table has a seashell runner along with the 4 th themed accessories. I decorated the dining room and the bar area in the red, white and blue themes as that is where we would eat. This allows me to switch it back to all beach easily, later.

The buffet decked for the 4th

The buffet is all set up for celebrating. I’ve got a utensil caddy with plates and napkins. On the opposite end I have a tiered stand that I will put desserts in. I like to do several holiday meals. This 4th, I made taco salads for the night before. On the holiday itself we are having hot dogs with all the fixings.

The tiered dessert tray serving cupcakes and red, white and blue fruit salads

Above is a close up of the tiered dessert tray. I got these cute patriotic cupcakes from a local store called The Cake Cottage. The red, white and blue fruit cups have strawberries, blueberries with coconut and a little bit of lemon juice drizzled on.

The night before the 4 th, we had a taco salad bar.

Taco Salad Bar

On the eve of America’s birthday, we had a salad bar. I found these themed paper trays at JoAnn’s. They worked out great for the containers for the taco salad. I included one element of red, ( salsa),white, (sour cream) and blue ( chips). The star glass dish was perfect for the chips and salsa. It’s the first time that I’ve served taco salad for the holiday, but it probably won’t be the last. It was easy and festive. The perfect food to watch a movie and enjoy.

This is a view of my table set for the 4th…a Stars and Stripes theme

Setting the table for holidays is one of my greatest joys. I love the layers of this tablescape. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a beach theme in this room for the summer, so the table runner has shells and there are a few shells on the table. They go well with the patriotic vibe. I used alternating table napkins of stars and stripes for the placemats. The striped napkins are in alternating colors as well. The napkin rings follow suit alternating between stars and fireworks. The dishes themselves are layered with a dinner, salad, dessert and a condiment one. All these components ( except the star dishes, which unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got them) are from Crate and Barrel. The Mickey and Minnie glasses are from Target. The shell table runner is from Home Goods ( they have the best ones and great prices on them). The tiled place cards with names are from a store called Details Two Enjoy.

Close up of table setting

Down the center of the table, a patriotic parade marches. My mom painted the figures from a kit. I just love them. They are a nod to the 4 th of July parades of my childhood. My mom painted both sides making them perfect for a table centerpiece. The cross stitched sign of “I love a parade” was made by a friend of mine. In this close up, you can see a foiled candy in the square dish. This is a See’s Candy. I like to have some kind of holiday favor for each person to enjoy. I put together fresh flowers of white mums and red carnations in blue vases with flags added, placing them on either side of the parade.

The hutch decked in red, white and blue

Both hutches were also decorated for the 4th. On this hutch, you can see the beach theme incorporated in the sandcastle plaques and sailboats. The star and pom garland was from Target.

Close up of art piece on other hutch

Here is a close up of the art on the other hutch. It’s from Mary Engelbreit’s Shop. It reads: It is red for love and it’s white for law, and it’s blue for hope that our forefathers saw a larger liberty.”

Lady, my patriotic pup

I hope you enjoyed taking a tour of my decor, table and menu for the 4th! I will add a photo of our 4 of July dinner to this post tomorrow, so you can see the table with and without the food. I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating! God bless the U.S.A.!

Teddy Bear Bench Ready for America’s Birthday

4th of July Barbecue

Above is the promised addition of the food we had for the 4th! We did an all American barbecue…hot dogs (you can’t see in the photo, but hot dog is in a patriotic holder), corn on the cob, pasta salad ( pasta has shapes of flags, liberty bell and stars …I also added cheese stars to this and on hot dogs) and baked beans. My husband barbecued the hot dogs and put the corn on the grill, too.

Hope you had a wonderful 4 th and celebrated her all out!