All-American Party Ideas

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Can we officially say it’s summer yet? I don’t remember when the bonafide “first day of summer” is but once we start celebrating all the patriotic holidays and the temperature is above 95, I think it’s safe to say hello summer! One of my favorite things about summer is all of the outdoor parties and celebrations we get to go to. I thought it would be fun to share ideas for an All-American block party. We live on an awesome street who has tons of families and the block parties are always fun (one family owns an inflatable slides/moon bounce business so that really amps it up!). patriotic party

Red, white, and blue is a great color scheme for summer block parties. With Memorial Day and 4th of July kicking off the summer there are plenty of patriotic cups, plates, décor, etc at the stores. Even candy is made in those colors for the summer. Not only is it easy to find, most people already own a lot of things those colors so it makes it a breeze to find supplies you need without a run to the store. A lot of my décor were things that I already had around the house for decorating with. I used lots of patriotic flag pennants, red, white, and blue plates, and used some of the fun things for people to play with as décor too. Adding a few bottles of bubbles and some fun sunglasses to the food table added more color and interest to the food table as well as little signs, wheat bundles, and of course, flowers!Patriotic party (17)Patriotic party (7)Patriotic party (19)Patriotic party (50)

On the tables, I just used simple tablecloths and added a few cute red, white, and blue accents. Fresh flowers are a must-have for parties, which I surrounded with ceramic vases (also just a dollar!), lanterns, and lights. Simple yet cute! A great party hack is to use your tea light candle holders to put citronella candles in to ward off bugs!
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See those stacking chairs? They were green and faded and dirty from fifteen years of use. My Mom was going to throw them away but they were in great shape structurally still so I took them, gave them a fresh coat of spray paint and now they’re like new!Patriotic party (22)

The sunglasses were one of the biggest hits of the party; I bought them for a buck each and by the end of the evening everybody was wearing them and getting in the party mood and taking pictures. Patriotic party (41)Patriotic party (40)

It’s most likely that you’re block party is going to be outside and you want to make sure that there’s shade somewhere for people to relax and cool off. You can plan to have your party in a shady area, round up some pop-up canopys, or have it on someone on the streets shaded porch.

Now let’s talk food! Block party’s are fun because it’s a laid-back, fun atmosphere. One great thing to take to block parties, or any kid of party, is a light side dish. I made this super easy Quinoa and Pepper Pilaf using truRoots Quinoa and Swanson’s Chicken Broth. Here’s my step by step and you can find the exact recipe here.
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For this recipe you’ll need Swanson’s Chicken Broth, which is available in bulk packs at Sam’s Club, and truRoots Organic Quinoa, which I got at Sam’s Club too. You’ll also need fresh bell peppers, shallots, parsley, olive oil, and a little bit of garlic. DSC_7878

First, chop up your vegetables and heat up a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. DSC_7873

Add the shallot and garlic, and cook for two minutes, then add the peppers and quinoa and cook for two minutes. TruRoots Quinoa is certified USDA organic, gluten free, and super easy to make so it’s great for a big party like this!
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Next, stir in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. The Swanson’s broth really brings out the flavors and makes the truRoots extra delicious. Reduce the heat to low, cover it, and let it simmer for 20 minutes. DSC_7886
Once it’s done, garnish it with parsley and you’re done! This pilaf can be served hot or cold; I served it cold since it was so hot outside! Delicious!DSC_7971

My Sister-In-Law (who recently became a US citizen, so she was loving this patriotic party) made the cutest fruit kabobs that looked like an American flag. She alternated using blueberries, strawberries, and large marshmallows and it came out both delicious and cute! I was so impressed and everyone loved it!Patriotic party (4)Patriotic party (6)

We also had delicious chips and salsa using Pace’s organic salsa, which is delicious by the way! It’s the same as their original salsa, just organic, and it comes it medium, so it’s got just the right amount of kick!-DSC_0142

Hot dogs wrapped in cute scrapbook paper make for a really cute entrée-Patriotic party (29)DSC_7962

Corn on the cob-Patriotic party (12)

And for dessert, patriotic cupcakes, candy to snack on, and ice cream sandwiches dipped in red, white, and blue sprinkles!Patriotic party (51)Patriotic party (15)Patriotic party (60)

No All-American block party is complete without lots of lawn games. Adults love playing out door games just as much as kids do. I made up a game area with outdoor games for people to play with and set out a corn-hole board in the yard for a little fun competition. Having a place for all the fun outdoor toys makes it easy for people to find fun things to do and keeps the party going all evening! DSC_0174

I stocked the activity area with jump ropes, chalk, butterfly nets, binoculars, flags, bubbles, sparklers, pinwheels, games, wooden airplanes, and bags for corn hole.DSC_0123 copyPatriotic party (62)Patriotic party (46)

Corn hole is a great outdoor game for adults. Croquet, lawn darts, and frisbees are fun outdoor games for block parties too. I like games that you can just pick up and play at any minute. I put footballs, big balls, and soccer balls out too.Patriotic party (65)Patriotic party (64)

As it got darker, we broke out the glow sticks and sparklers. Who doesn’t love sparklers?Patriotic party (69)
Block parties are a super fun way to get to know your neighbors or spend time with friends and family and have a little summer fun. Sam’s Club is holding Summer Block party events in-club to help you get ideas and shop for your summer block party. Check with your local Sam’s Club to see when yours is, but until then you can gather ideas on their block party website! I got all my food supplies at my local Sam’s Club!IMG_20160615_153142

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