summer BBQIt’s almost everyone’s favorite season for catching up with friends and family over burgers, beers and backyard games! Whether you’re getting ready to host your first summer barbecue of 2016 or your first backyard soirée ever, follow these tips for making sure your party is the talk of the block.

Set the Scene

Whether you’re setting up a Facebook event or sending invitations in the mail, make sure your guests know what to expect when they get to your summer barbecue. If you want folks to bring a dish to share, make sure to mention that it’s a potluck. If you’re only providing sodas and water, let them know it’s BYOB.

Minimize Decorations

There’s no need to go overboard decorating for your summer barbecue. Guests expect things to be simple and centered around the food and fellowship. Ensure there’s plenty of seating, including alternatives such as hay bales or picnic blankets. You can also use mason jars to hold cutlery, borrow your kids’ miniature chalkboards to label dishes and hang white Christmas lights to ensure the party keeps going after dark.

Entertain Everyone

If you’re inviting a range of age groups, make sure there’s something fun for everyone. That might mean stocking up on bottles of bubbles and sidewalk chalk for the little ones. You can also have lawn games to entertain everyone, such as corn hole or kickball.

Signature Dishes

Even if you’re not providing the entire menu, you should at least cook the main course. Make sure guests get enough to eat with a juicy steak and corn on the cob or set up a fun taco bar. You can also minimize alcohol costs by making a signature drink for guests. Take advantage of in-season produce with a fruity white sangria.

Cheers to a great party to kick off summer 2016!

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