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How to have a successful Memorial Day party

Brianna Martinez is a graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. She received her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis in digital media. After graduating, she jo...

how to ... throw a Memorial Day party

If you're thinking of having a party this Memorial Day, find out everything you need to know to make it a successful one! Ditch the stresses of party planning with this easy how-to guide.
Memorial Day beer

Step 1: Set the guest list

Decide who you want to invite and how you want to invite them. Depending on how many people you want to invite, a simple mass text might do the trick. If you're planning a bigger bash, then a Facebook invite or Evite is always ideal.

Step 2: Decide on a food theme

Because it's a Memorial Day party, you'll probably want to go with BBQ food like hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips, etc. If you want to switch up the expected food list, you can make it Italian-themed with pasta, bruschetta and cannoli. Or you can try a Mexican or even Mediterranean theme. Surprise your guests!

Step 3: Pick your poison

This could be tricky, depending on whether you and your guests have different drink tastes. Beer and wine are subtle choices that are good general picks and ensure your party guests shouldn't get too rowdy. If you're looking for some heavier fun, then vodka and/or tequila are perfect for making mixed drinks such as screwdrivers, martinis and margaritas. Add a few mixers, juice and water for the guests who don't want alcoholic beverages.

Step 4: Choose the decorations

You don't need to go overboard, but a few patriotic wall decorations, hanging flags and balloons are ideal. Sprinkle them around the area your guests will be lingering.

Step 5: Make a playlist

You want your guests to feel comfortable, so pick a playlist that will be relaxing for your guests. If you want a more energetic feel, add some upbeat tunes and watch the fun happen. If you have an iPod dock that plays music, set it up somewhere that's easily audible but won't get stepped on or broken. A classic CD player/boombox will always do the trick, as well.

Step 6: The setup

Set up the food and drinks an hour to a half-hour prior to your guests' arrival. If you can get a friend to help you set up before the party, that will make it even easier on you. Put up the decorations at least an hour before the party, in case you realize you need more or want to set them up differently. Start the playlist 10 minutes before your guests arrive -- make sure to start with a mellow tune and ease into more upbeat songs.

Step 7: Enjoy

As your guests show up, let yourself relax and have fun with them. Before you know it, you'll be having a blast at your very own Memorial Day party.

More Memorial Day ideas

How to celebrate Memorial Day with meaning
Memorial Day party checklist
3 Indulgent Memorial Day dessert recipes

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