July 2, 2017

Happy 4th of July!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:55 am by JBEvents

4th of July


The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holiday’s.  Summertime, friends, good food and fireworks is the perfect combination for a fun time.  

Some of my fondest memories are from my late teen’s and early 20’s when a friend of mine and I would get a hotel room with a view overlooking the Sarasota Bay and have a few friends over to celebrate the 4th of July and watch the fireworks.  

The 4th of July tends to lend itself to being a great time for gathering with friends.  Barbecues or low country boils are popular themes.  Having activities for the kids as well as games for kids and adults is sure to bring out the competitive spirit in everyone.  The decor for your party can be very simple to elaborate, but having refreshing beverages and yummy food to nosh on are key.  You can get some ideas on my 4th of July Pinterest board.

If you don’t want to host a party at your home, there are many other local attractions that you can attend.  Getting a group together to go watch fireworks is still a favorite activity of mine.  Grab some cold beverages and snacks and put them in a cooler, take sparklers, glow sticks or poppers for the gang to celebrate with while waiting for the show to begin.  Don’t forget to pack the bug spray to keep those pesky little heathens from eating YOU as their snack.  :o)

 No matter how you celebrate, remember the freedoms our Country was built on, which have not come without sacrifice.  These words need to remembered not only on Independence Day, but everyday!

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776

Looking for something to do in the Atlanta, Sarasota/Tampa Bay area or Orlando?  Here are a few ideas:







I would love to hear your favorite memories or traditions for the 4th!

Wherever you are, whatever you do, I wish a Happy and Safe 4th of July to you!!! 


Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special event planning company specializing in assisting our clients with innovative ideas, creative designs and flawless execution of their event. 


June 30, 2014

BBQ, Friends & Fireworks for the 4th of July!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:30 am by JBEvents



Summer is the perfect time for grilling and spending time with friends, but the 4th of July seems to be the official Day to Grill of the Summer Season.


Whether you are hosting a party at your home or celebrating at the lake or beach, I want to share a few ideas on decor, menus, and even cute outfits!

4th of July Yard Sign Nautical ~ Oriental Trading

If your party will be outside, making sure the area is comfortable for your guests is important.  If the celebration will last into the evening, make sure to incorporate lighting into your decor plans.  Using candles is an excellent way, but you could also string lights around the perimeter of the party area.  It’s also a good idea, especially in the south, to provide bug spray for your guests, so they don’t get bitten by mosquito’s.  You could have citronella candles placed around or even oil torches filled with the citronella repellent.

Red White and Blue Candle Holders Round lanterns ~ Pearl River Tall restangular column lantern ~ Pearl Rivercitronella candle Insect repellantt bracelet lawn torches Off spray tiki oil torches lit

Red Shite and Blue Stars ~ Oriental Trading Patriotic Handing Lanterns with Lights IMG_4768 Blue Twinkling Stars ~ Oriental Trading USA Bunting ~ Oriental Trading Patriotic Welcome Wall Bunting ~ Oriental Trading

Do as much of the preparation ahead of time as possible, so that you can spend the time with your guests.  If you will be grilling, prepare the meat ahead of time with any seasoning or marinade and then keep chilled until time to put on the grill.  If you will be serving the meal outside, remember to keep any food items containing mayonnaise chilled until right before serving and then put back in the refrigerator immediately after the meal to avoid spoiling.

As your guests arrive, greet them with a beverage.  Something fruity, like a pink lemonade spritzer garnished with blueberries would be appropriate and keeping with the Red, White & Blue theme.  


Plan ahead to have music playing.  You could hire a DJ, or if using your own iPod, create a perfect 4th of July Playlist.  There are so many songs that relate to the patriotic holiday as well as other songs that just have an underlying Americana theme.  You can gear the music to be a little more sedate during the meal, but ramping up to full dance party after.  

4th of July Playlist

If kids will be at the party, having activities to keep them entertained is important.  Having them work on a themed craft when they arrive that can later be used for additional decor is a great idea.  Perhaps have poster board and markers along with crepe paper, stickers, glitter, etc., so that they can make signs and banners for a Kid’s Parade.  

Stars and Stripes Chain Kit Top Hat with Fireworks wall hanging ~ Oriental Trading Vintage Patriotic Pinwheels ~ Oriental Trading

For the kid’s and adults, have a photo booth type of area set up where guests can take a photo to remember the fun celebration.  Having a backdrop that keeps with the theme would be wonderful and definitely a conversation piece.

Uncle Sam Photo Banner

Setting the table could be as formal or casual as you like.  There are some great tableware pieces available ~ some even at your local grocery store ~ or if you have white place settings, then adding in the color with the napkins and glassware would be easy.  Or if you prefer not to have dishes to deal with after the party, then use disposable serviceware.  You can certainly find themed items at your local party supply store, but choosing solid color plates, napkins, cups and plastic utensils works just fine.  Use a festive “firework” place card to indicate your guests seating assignment.  If you are having a buffet, you could use small metal pails to place the utensils in for guests to grab as they go through the line.  You can also keep beverages on-ice in a large metal pail so guests can serve themselves.  Just make sure to keep it replenished throughout the party so the beverages stay cold.

Blue Square Plates IMG_4769 Patriotic Bucket Patriotic Firework Placecards Patriotic Parfait cups with Fireworks Red Bandanas


The menu can consist of whatever you desire, but there are some items that just scream 4th of July – like Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, BBQ Ribs or Hot Wings.  Add in sides to please the gang like Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Grilled Corn on the Cob.  For dessert, there are a ton of options that go along with the patriotic theme, from a bowl of berries, to red, white & blue ice cream, to cakes, brownies, cupcakes all decorated for the 4th to homemade Popsicle’s or homemade star-shaped ice cream sandwiches.

Trifle with labeled layers Strawberries Star icecream sandwiches Ribs red white and blue popscicles Red White and Blue Ice Cream IMG_4764 IMG_4758 IMG_4763 Ice Cream Sandwiches in Red Mug Hot Dogs and chips FourthofJuly-378x297 Burger Cake with Strawberry Stripes and Blueberry Stars

As important as the decor and menu is what you will wear!  The location of the party certainly dictates what is appropriate, but keeping with the theme of the 4th {Red, White & Blue, Stars & Stripes, etc} just makes you feel more festive!!!  

4thofjuly_jcrew Boys outfit dress Fourth-July-Clothes-Girls July4RWBstyle-01 Male outfits Mens Shorts red shoes star shoes


Whether you decide to shoot off fireworks yourself or you go to a fireworks display – in my mind, there is no better ending to a fabulous 4th of July!!!

Statue of Liberty with Fireworks Flag with Fireworks Fireworks

Patriotic Party Poppers

However you choose to celebrate the 4th, we wish you a Safe and Happy 4th of July!!!

For more 4th of July inspiration, check out our Pinterest page.  


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