Planning a Festive Fourth

The Fourth of July is just days away, which means—if you haven’t done so already—it’s time to invite friends and family over for a day of feasting and fun. Here are four rules of thumb we follow when planning a festive 4th.

Serve what’s in season

 For us, step one in planning an ideal Independence Day celebration is setting the menu. Fresh, seasonal fare is always the way to go, and we’re taking inspiration from Austin’s Henri’s Cheese and Wine’s gorgeous board of grilled white bean puree, locally sourced vegetables, olive oil, and local herbs.

Corn on the cob is quintessential 4th of July fare. Fresh. Local. Good. catering company in Greensboro has grilled theirs to perfection, while Ladyfingers Caterers in Raleigh’s traditional crawfish boil incorporates cob segments into the delicious mix.

Of course no celebration is complete without dessert, and cherry and blueberry star pies from Pie Sisters in Washington, D.C. are the obvious choice for the occasion.

Reinvent the refreshments

The 4th of July is a time to liberate yourself from the usual libations and try something new. Easy Bistro & Bar in Chattanooga is known for their creative cocktails, including their new Riverbend Patio Punch, which is made from Cachaca, fernet, lime, orange juice, pimento dram, elderflower syrup, and peach bitters. We’re definitely going to attempt to replicate the concoction later this week.

Keep everyone hydrated and happy by creating a do-it-yourself-bar stocked with sparkling water, Coke (in a bottle, of course!), and plenty of fresh fruit to cut, as in the above setup by FRESH. LOCAL. GOOD. Anything you choose to serve will feel special when sipped from a copper mug, available from The Scarab in Vail, CO.

Set a festive table

Top: Red, white, and blue inspiration from New Orleans-based designer Shaun Smith. We love every detail. A faux bois charger, available from Maze Home in Chicago, and woven square placemats, available from Nashville’s The Registry, will complement any set and add a warm, rustic touch to an outdoor table.

How gorgeous is this tabletop by Shaun Smith? The fresh colors, interplay of textures and patterns, and natural elements make it feel so unexpected yet so inviting.

Have yard games on hand

We like to engage in a little friendly outdoor competition on the 4th. As the Charleston, South Carolina-based Family Asset Management team shows in the above shot taken by TSG Charleston photographer Peter Frank Edwards, bocce is an activity the whole family can get behind. Croquet and badminton are also excellent options.

Don’t forget to entertain your furry friends this 4th of July. As Milo, Gonzalo Bueno of Dallas’s Ten Plus Three’s West Highland Terrier shows, nothing beats a good game of fetch (and chasing a ball will divert your pup’s attention from whatever you have cooking on the grill).