Welcome to the world of homeowners! While homeownership brings a world of responsibilities with it, it also affords you plenty of enjoyable opportunities, too. One advantage of homeownership is that you can host your own events and celebrations! From birthday parties to book clubs, having your own space gives you the opportunity to celebrate who and how you want to.


While having a place to celebrate is one of the most important parts of planning any event, there is a lot more that goes into event planning! If you have recently bought a home and want to throw a party to celebrate, this post is for you. While this post is specifically geared towards the Fourth of July, the tips and information within it are applicable to all homeowners that want to throw an event in their new home, regardless of whether or not it is for Independence Day.


This post is going to be broken out into three parts: What foods you should serve at your first Fourth of July barbecue in your new home, what games you should play, and things to keep in mind throughout the day or night while you are hosting.


grilled barbecues on black and gray grill 

What Foods Should You Serve At A Fourth Of July Barbecue?


The most important part of any barbecue is the food. This is what your guests are coming for, and you want to make sure they leave happy! Most of the popular foods for the Fourth of July are common and predictable, but there are still some things you want to think about. For example, you want to consider any dietary restrictions that your guests might have or any strong preferences that are widely known that you might want to cater to. For example, if you know that your best friend or mother-in-law HATES hot dogs, you might want to make sure there is another meat option for them. With that in mind, here are the most popular foods for the Fourth of July:


1.     Hot Dogs


Hot dogs are a staple of American cookouts, and they probably always will be. Hot dogs are the most-consumed food at the Fourth of July, and for good reason. They are tasty, easy to cook, cheap, and filling. While there are some very cheap hot dogs at the grocery store, it is usually a good idea to pay a slightly higher rate to get a good brand name or a brand that guarantees the quality of the products. Hot dogs are not the most luxurious food out there, and you want to make sure what you are getting is safe to eat and properly made. Also, don’t forget to buy buns!


2.     Hamburgers


Hot dogs might only be the most popular food item because people are able to eat multiple of them. I bet that if burgers were smaller, they would absolutely rank as the most-consumed food on the Fourth of July. Much like hot dogs, burgers are easy to cook, delicious, and pretty affordable. If you are looking to save money, head to the frozen section in your local grocery store. You can get large amounts of frozen burger patties for much less than fresh ground beef. To add a little flavor, consider adding some spices like garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder to the patties before you cook them. Also, make sure to cook them enough to where they are safe to eat, but not too much to where they are like hockey pucks! Again, don’t forget to buy buns!


3.     Steak


Unless you are a millionaire or are only hosting a couple of people, this option might not work for you. However, if you are having a small and friendly get-together, you might want to consider getting some nicer meat to serve! Steaks, surprisingly or not, are the most popular type of meat consumed on the Fourth of July after hot dogs and hamburgers. While they are expensive, they are clearly one of the finest and tastiest meat options that you can serve. Your guests are sure to give you a thumbs up afterwards! If you decide to cook steaks, either ask your guests how they like their steak prepared or cook the steaks to a wide array of temperatures. Some people like the inside pink while others like it cooked through, and many people would be unhappy to have it any other way than the way they like it!


4.     Pasta Salad


Pasta salad is widely available premade in stores, and it can also be mad every easily at home. Pasta salad makes a great addition to any barbecue, as it provides a carbohydrate option and a veggie option all at the same time! Pasta salad can be made with either a vinegar or mayonnaise base, and both are equally delicious! If you want to opt for a healthy version, consider using vinegar instead of mayonnaise and whole grain pasta instead of regular, enriched pasta.


5.     Fresh Watermelon


A classic American summertime fruit, watermelon deserves a seat at any Fourth of July table. This fruit is equally hydrating as it is delicious, making it vitally important to have at your Fourth of July barbecue. In most places, the Fourth of July is a pretty toasty day, and having a hydrating, refreshing food to eat alongside your burgers and hot dogs is always a nice addition.


6.     Corn on the Cob


You can’t have a barbecue without some sort of vegetable, and for most Americans, that vegetable tends to be corn on the cob. Corn is extremely important to the United States and its history, so including corn on the cob at your Fourth of July barbecue is both delicious and historically significant! Try grilling it with the husks on for a unique flavor.


7.     Ice Cream


In the July heat, everyone could use a little help to cool off! While ice cream is not hydrating, it is definitely tasty and refreshing. No Fourth of July barbecue is complete without offering at least some popsicle or ice cream options. While this is especially popular among smaller children, it is still a favorite for adults too!


8.     Chips of Any Kind


Add a little crunch to your Fourth of July barbecue! While vegetables and sweet treats are both nice in their own way, a little bit of savory crunch is also worth adding to your menu. Chips of any kind, whether they be potato chips or tortilla chips, are always a great addition. Even pretzels work! Adding these items offers people more options to put on their plate without costing you much additional money at all, as chips are much cheaper than burgers and hot dogs!


9.     A Vegetarian Option


At any event where you serve food, be it a Fourth of July barbecue or not, you want to make sure you offer a vegetarian option (unless you know for a fact that nobody has any dietary restrictions). This is because there are simply so many reasons why someone might abstain from a given meat dish on a given day, and you want to make sure your guests always have food to eat. Some people are fully vegetarian by choice, while others abstain only from certain types of meat or meat on certain days because of religious reasons. As many hot dogs are made of pork, and pork is the most commonly abstained-from meat for religious reasons, having a vegetarian (or pescatarian) option at your Fourth of July barbecue is a must.


 hotdog sandwich with sauce on brown wooden tray



What Games Should You Play At A Fourth Of July Barbecue?


The food is certainly one of the most important parts, but sometimes setting up a schedule of games adds to the fun that your guests have while attending an event at your new home. Games help people to open up socially and interact with people that they might not have traditionally interacted with. Here are a few creative games that can be played without much preparation at your Fourth of July barbecue:


1.     Water Balloon Toss


This is a classic game that is done at events all throughout the year and all over the country. While there are many different variations, a water balloon toss basically requires players to team up and toss a water balloon back and forth until it pops. Typically, you will want people to pair off into teams of two, and when a referee or judge commands, one side throws their water balloon to the other side. Then the other side throws it back. After each successful round of throws, contestants take one step back to raise the difficulty level a bit. If a team’s water balloon pops, they are out. This game is extremely easy to play and requires no preparation other than the purchasing of a pack of water balloons, which can even be bought at a dollar store! To be patriotic, consider using only the red, white, and blue balloons.


2.     American History Trivia


As it is the Fourth of July, it makes sense to center a game around American history! Planning an American History trivia game is easy and fun, and it is also a great way to tie the roots of the holiday into your barbecue. Asking questions about the colonial period is especially wise, as the Fourth of July stems all the way back to Philadelphia in the 1700s, where the colonies declared their independence from England. Would you have gotten that question right? Did you know that the actual celebration of the Fourth of July did not start until the 1800s? It’s things like these that you can learn while playing an American History trivia game!


3.     Marshmallow Golf


Marshmallow golf is another very cheap game that requires very little preparation or cost. If you have a set of golf clubs and some tees (or know someone who does), all you need to do is purchase a bag of jumbo marshmallows! To play this, you have contestant one by one tee up a jumbo marshmallow and hit it as far as they can. As the aerodynamics of marshmallows are much different than those of golf balls, this makes for a really intriguing game. While golf skills might make players more successful, they are not necessary to play marshmallow golf. To stay on the patriotic trend, drop the marshmallows in red or blue food coloring first.


4.     Watermelon Eating Contest


While this one can’t really be tailored to a patriotic theme, it is something that people have been doing on the Fourth of July for decades. To do a watermelon eating contest, you will need to buy several watermelons and cut them into large wedges (usually full quarters of the melon). You then have contestants sit at the table and eat the entire wedge of watermelon without using their hands. Whoever finishes their wedge first wins!


blue plastic bowl



Should You Have Fireworks At Your Fourth Of July Party?


As a new homeowner, you might be wondering: should you have fireworks at your Fourth of July party? There are lots of things to consider here, and this could even merit its own full post. Fireworks are a lot of fun and add to your guests’ experience, but they are also very dangerous, noisy, and potentially illegal.


Before buying any fireworks, the first things you want to think about are whether or not they are legal to use in your neighborhood and whether or not you have experience using them in the past. Fireworks are banned in many neighborhoods and also can cause serious injury or even death if not used properly. The only way to really learn how to use them in a foolproof way is by learning from someone else who knows.


If they are legal and you do have experience with them, you still might want to shy away from them. If this event is taking place on your own property, you are liable for any damage or injury that occurs from the use of the fireworks. If someone has a couple too many beers and lights fireworks off the wrong way, they can shoot toward homes or people, causing serious harm.


Additionally, if you will be serving or consuming alcohol at your barbecue, it is usually a good idea not to use fireworks. Adding alcohol to the situation just makes the fireworks even more dangerous, potentially causing very serious harm.


green, red, and white fireworks on sky at nighttime



Tips For Hosting Events In Your New Home


1.     Prepare as much food ahead of time as possible


While cooking is fun and you want fresh food, you also want to be free to roam around and enjoy your own barbecue! Prepping the food ahead of time means less time spent in the kitchen and more time spent socializing with the people who care enough about you to make the trip to your event. If this is your first time hosting in your new home, it is likely that guests will want a tour around your house, too!


2.     Consider the weather


The Fourth of July is hot. As a host, you are responsible for the health and comfort of your guests. If you live in a place where the Fourth of July is a warm day, you will want to provide plenty of ways to cool off and hydrate. Using fans, offering ice cream and popsicles, and having infused water stations are all great ways to get your guests to cool off and hydrate, leading to even more fun. If you are serving alcohol, it is very important that your guests hydrate to avoid any unforeseen effects of the alcohol caused by the heat.


3.     Use disposable plates, cups, and cutlery


This one is great for two reasons. Firstly, using disposable plates, cups, and cutlery eliminates nearly all of the cleanup work that you will have when the party is over. You can simply toss these items into the trash or recycling bin and call it a day! This definitely beats handwashing plates and silverware. Additionally, using plastic items eliminates all risk of something valuable breaking. Don’t bust out your fine China set for your Fourth of July barbecue, as it is likely that something will break. Opt for paper or plastic instead and protect your valuables! They sell great, hard plastic plates that can even be reused if you desire. These plates make a great alternative for someone who wants quality plates without having to wash them later.


4.     Incorporate cleanup into your decorations


While using plastic or paper plates eliminates a lot of cleanup, making things obvious for people doesn’t hurt, either! Setting up trash cans around your yard or hosting area is a great way to make sure that your guests do a lot of the work for you. If you are using real plates, consider designating a certain bin or tray for dirty plates so that they are all gathered. You can even doll up your trash cans so that they act as a stylish decoration for your barbecue! Either way, staying on top of the cleanup and incorporating it into your design plan makes for a much easier time when the party is over.


5.     Play music, and vet your playlist ahead of time


Music is one of the most important elements of any get together, as it fully eliminates the potential of awkward silences. Music gets the mood going and opens your guests up to more social interaction. Picking or creating a good playlist is key to your even being a success. In addition to that, you want to vet the playlist ahead of time to make sure that the music either reflects your believes or is appropriate to your audience. There is a lot of music that contains very inappropriate ideas and lyrics, and while that might be appealing to some, it is probably not the best for a family barbecue.


 white blue and red balloons


Thanks for reading our post with tips for planning your first Fourth of July barbecue in your new home! While much of this post was themed specifically to the Fourth of July, a large portion of this post can apply to other events that you host, too. Hosting is one of the most exciting parts of being a homeowner, and there is no better time to host your first event than on the Fourth of July!  


If you visit Myrtle Beach or any other place in South Carolina and fall in love, we’re here to help. We at The Boyd Team are committed to helping you find the right property for your needs and dreams. Any question that you have about moving to the area and finding your dream home by the beach is our pleasure to answer. Feel free to send us an email at eddie@boydteam.com or text or call us at (843) 222-8566, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Being true natives of the Grand Strand and Horry County and with over 25 years of experience in the local real estate market, whether buying or selling, we can help you make your dreams a reality.

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Written by Greg