4th of July Entertaining Made Easy

by Elizabeth Lamont

4th of July could easily be my favorite holiday. Everyone flocks to the beach and the parties go on for days! I never get tired of decorating with red, white and blue, and I love to add vintage touches to my 4th of July party, even in a modern setting.

This year, I decided that the setting will be gorgeous and the food will be not only healthy, but also fun. My table will showcase the best of summer, from outdoor lanterns to bunches of red carnations to sparkling pinwheels. I love mixing formal and casual, especially when it comes to table settings. Striped paper plates and plastic glasses (nice ones that look like the real thing) combined with crisp linen navy and white napkins with coral napkin rings look fabulous. If you’re serving burgers or hot dogs on the 4th, use some simple baskets lined with parchment paper and tuck burgers and fries neatly in them. You can find cheap baskets anywhere, and with the parchment paper lining, cleanup is a breeze!

For this holiday you really can’t have enough stars and flags, so incorporate them into your decor any chance you get. Think of different ways to use the motif: coasters, cocktail napkins or even garlands. Hang flags from balconies, on retaining walls over the pool — anywhere you have the space. We have a lot to celebrate as a country so don’t hold back! Here are some more ideas for your party.

Invitations

Make it easy yet classy by sending guest electronic invites from Paperless Post, like this cute vintage design.

Healthy BBQ Alternatives

  • Sweet potato fries
  • Grilled shrimp salad, cobb salad or healthy grilled food like turkey burgers, chicken sausage or chicken drumsticks
  • Homemade frozen popsicles
  • Drinks: American craft beer selection for the adults. Find a local store that carries a good selection or order online. Root beer for the kids!
  • Simple lemonade

Activities for Kids (and some for adults)

  • Slip and slide or water guns
  • S’mores
  • Glow in the dark necklaces and bracelets
  • Bubbles
  • Sparklers

Decorations

  • Buy tin buckets and red, white and blue spray paint. Use masking tape to make stripes. Place tape on the bucket, spray paint, then peel off the tape. Fill with sand and stick in pinwheels and flags.
  • Set your playlist to country music
  • Bandana napkins
  • Sunflowers
  • Red carnations
  • Flags and stars in any form!

And last but not least, think about safety

Have bug spray, sunscreen, band-aids and download the Taxi Magic app for the drive home!

Fireworks

Most cities have official or private fireworks displays you can catch. In Malibu, there are always private industry parties that have firework displays set off from barges off the coast of some of the most famous beachfront residences. Search online to find fireworks displays in your city.

Photo credits: Harry Alesio and Kelly Alesio

About the Author

As a young New York fashion merchandising transplant, Liz started her foray into interior design when she launched a small interiors retail business in Santa Monica 25 years ago. Her relaxed, refreshing flair and natural design skills quickly caught the attention of celebrities & local trendsetters looking to capture the quintessential California style.