4th of July Entertaining Musts

Happy Birthday to our country! Summer is in full swing and perhaps the most highly anticipated summer holiday has arrived in a flurry of fireworks and red, white and blue. The 4th of July brings back such a feeling of nostalgia. Memories of spending quality time with our families on the beach, lighting up sparklers, tossing pop-its and enjoying the best BBQ and seafood around just make us happy.

From our 4th of July entertaining spread in San Diego Magazine last year, we shared our featured spread that was reminiscent of our memories of growing up and celebrating the 4th, with a pop of modernism. The posts were such a hit that we wanted to share them all in one post. This particular recipe from our follow-up post has been pinned 369,000 times! Seriously. So we know it’s a hit and wanted to make sure we shared it with you to put on your festive menu! Serve it up at your 4th of July bash and you’ve got an instant classic.

To create a perfectly comfortable, yet festive 4th spread, dress up your table top with festive colors, but keep them clean and not too patterned. Pop up the table with red and white blooms in little juice jars you can send home with your guests later. Here we set out little glass bottles of crab boil seasoning with a recipe. What better way for guests to relive the festivities?

We dressed up our table with rock tile forms {from Home Depot} as place mats for an unexpected twist and anchored the place settings with individual crab boil pots and flour sack towels as napkins. Your table needn’t be overdone or over-themed. Just set the stage for a patriotic bash with key colors and elements and fill in the rest with sweet touches and good food. The laughter and memories will follow. Check out our crab boil recipe here.

One of our best entertaining tips for a hands-on seafood boil: keep a bowl of damp towels on hand for guests to keep clean while enjoying this oh-so-deliciously messy feast!

Photos: Terri Rippee Photography for Valley & Co. and San Diego Magazine

Fill a dozen glass swing bottles {Dean and Deluca} with water and lemonade. Keep on ice until you’re ready to entertain, then stagger down your picnic table for hands-on self-service.

Sparklers are a must for any 4th of July celebration {unless, like us, you live in a city where they’re illegal!}. Nonetheless, they add such a sense of nostalgia.

Stage a rustic basket with blue plates and set out our delicious shortcake bar for a help-yourself display.

Make up batches of Tower 23’s Lemonade Sparkler and you’ll be sure to wow your guests!

Stagger rustic over sized lanterns and set them aglow once the night wears on, or fill paper bags with candles and sand for instant luminaries. {Rippee Photography for Valley & Co.}

What plans do you have for the holiday? We’d love to hear how you’ll be entertaining!

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