Firecracker 4th

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire. We don’t need no water.

You’re planning a red-hot fourth. You can already smell the ribs on the grill and hear Uncle Buddy chiding you not to burn them. Y’all have good times together every time you get together, but you want to make this 4th of July extra special. Aunt Wanda turned 90 last month and Cousin Jesse’s baby girl just had a baby. There’s a lot to celebrate and you’re determined to make this year’s BBQ an event to remember. Heck, they’ll still be talking about this party when you turn 90. It’s going to be the shiznit, but where to start?


You need a plan. The success of Any Event relies on a well thought out plan. Grab a pen and paper, pull up a comfy chair and let’s get started. Write your plan down; it’ll be easier to stay on track if you do.


Event Planner and Owner of Any Event Productions Brodrick Archie says, “You can’t plan anything until you’ve got your guest list.” Having a preliminary headcount is the key to budgeting everything from food and drinks to decorations and activities. Once you have a total number of guests, add 5-10 to account for unexpected arrivals.

Determine your total budget, how much you will spend on food and decorations. Divide your food budget by your headcount to help you determine what you will serve. You don’t have to spend a fortune; if you shop carefully, dinner, sides, and drinks can cost less than $20. per person. Archie suggests shopping the warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s for the best deals. Basic membership in a warehouse grocery can cost upwards of $50; if you’re not a club member, finding a friend who is could save you big money. 

Decide on a theme. It can be as simple as traditional red, white and blue or more complicated like an island luau, but choose carefully. Your theme will guide your decisions on everything from your menu to your decorations and the activities you plan. For example, you may want to serve Chinese ribs with grilled vegetables, pineapple, and mango, and have a Limbo competition at a luau themed party, but serve southern ribs, potato salad, and baked beans, and organize a baseball game at a traditional themed party.



You know that you must have enough food and plenty of charcoal to cook it, but don’t forget to ensure that you have enough of everything else like chairs and coolers. Now that you’ve got your plan and you know what you need to buy and what you need to borrow, you’re ready to organize your team. You can pull this gala off solo, but be warned; it will take a lot of hard work. If your mate will help you if your kids will help you if your cousin’s wife’s brother will help you, assemble your troops. Decide who will take charge of grocery shopping, who will get the decorations and who will set up the chairs; ensure that all the details are covered, even designate someone to make last minute runs to the store.




Party planning can be a whirlwind and a bit overwhelming. Now it’s time to stop, take a deep breath and make sure you’ve forgotten nothing. A good host always ensures there is background music to set the mood. Do you have your playlist ready? And according to Archie, ice is the thing even great hosts forget most often. July is sweltering; make sure there’s plenty of ice.

Success! Yours will be a 4th of July to remember. Relax, eat too much, dance all night and enjoy the party.

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