This year, we will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. While the holiday is designed to honor those who have served and sacrificed their lives in the U.S. Armed Forces, many people consider it the unofficial start of summer.
The long weekend gives people an extra day to spend with family and friends, so we think a get together with delicious food should be part of your Memorial Day traditions. Hosting a Memorial Day cookout doesn’t have to be difficult!
Here are some Memorial Day Get Together tips for you:
- Keep it simple. No one wants to be exhausted by the time guests arrive, so take help from ready-made, store-bought items that will save you time and still be delicious! Cheeses, marinated vegetables, and spreads like hummus work great together. Then, add some crunch and dipping fun with a variety of gourmet flavored pretzels. We prefer Garlic, Chesapeake Spice, and Lemon Pepper for appetizer time!
- Give it a theme. Not only are themes fun, but they help you center the menu and décor. For Memorial Day, opt for red, white and blue paper goods and use small flags as centerpieces (HINT: Save what you don’t use for July 4th!) If you want to go with more of a summer theme, a few fun ideas are flamingos, camping, lemonade, or the beach. Once you choose a theme, carry it throughout from invites (email or paper), plates, food, and even a take-home goody.
- Have an activity. Set up some outdoor games like bocce ball, corn hole, or ring toss. You can even create teams and give a small prize to the winners at the end of the festivities. Playing games like this is fun for all ages and helps keep the conversation flowing. These sorts of activities also keep one hand free for snacking on a handful of OMG! Pretzels!
- Play music. This is another tip for keeping the energy up. Choose music that is pleasing to most of your guests and won’t be too loud but provides a nice background to the occasion. Be sure to intersperse a few patriotic tunes in honor of Memorial Day and those who have helped keep us safe.
- DIY décor. You don’t have to spend a lot to make things look elegant and personal for your guests. You can create place cards and other items that elevate the appearance of your table with a few simple DIY tricks. We love using ribbon and simple card stock to create personalized place settings. For Memorial Day, use simple white cards and add blue and red ribbon along with a few gold star stickers to direct everyone to their seats. You can also use butcher paper as a table runner and have guests write down words of gratitude for those in the Armed Forces that sacrifice their lives and time away from family serving our country.
No matter how you spend Memorial Day, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to remember why we get an extra day off of work. We are proud to be 100% made in the USA!