If your family is like most, then an Independence Day BBQ is one of the events that brings everyone together. There are some essential items that should be present at every BBQ like this. Some involve a little fun, and many involve food that most will enjoy.

Whether you play them before or after everyone has filled their stomach, games are a part of being together. You can have something traditional like a three-legged race or a potato sack race. Bob for apples, or play a rousing game of volleyball. Make sure there are games for all ages including the younger children.

This is something that you need to check with your city before doing. Some companies will set up tents and sell fireworks that don’t launch into the air. However, there are some states that will allow you to launch fireworks in your back yard as long as certain conditions are followed. If you are unsure of the rules about fireworks in your city, then find a fireworks show where the entire family can sit together and watch the brilliant colors.

Red, white and blue balloons, streamers of patriotic colors and tablecloths will make your celebration truly memorable. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on decorations if you get them from a store that sells items for a dollar or a little more. Look at secondhand stores for decorations as well. Make a backup plan in the event that it rains. If you see that the weather is going to be sunny all day, then go ahead and bombard the backyard with red, white and blue. Give everyone party favors such as horns or noisemakers to celebrate the birthday of the United States.

The food is probably the best part about a BBQ. Hamburgers and hot dogs are staples for any event of this magnitude as most people enjoy them. You should keep a few vegetarian options for those who don’t eat a lot of meat. Potato salad is something else that should be on the table, and there are several ways to make the popular dish. Use mustard to give the salad a yellow tint, or consider ranch dressing and sour cream for something a little tangy. Side dishes can include baked beans, slaw and watermelon. Finish the meal with a warm slice of apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream or a fresh berry parfait with strawberries, blueberries and cream.

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