This has been one crazy year for weather.
Piles of snow, endless rain, dangerous storms, sigh.... So we need to celebrate the first day of summer more than ever: with a bash that’s all about sunshine.
Think yellows, oranges and reds. Table linens, flowers and streamers are quick and easy ways to add color to your celebration. If you have a little more time on your hands, make some tissue paper pompoms to hang above the party area. Large glass vases filled with lemons and oranges can add more color to your tables.
This is the perfect time to dust off (or perhaps dry off, depending on where you live) your grill for the meal. Cook up burgers or sausages and have all the fixin’s on hand for guests to pile on their favorites. Ask guests to bring different salads to contribute. A pasta salad, a potato salad, and a green salad will round out the meal nicely. A hollowed-out watermelon makes the perfect serving dish for a fruit salad.
Need a little more inspiration? Check out these recipes:Bacon BurgersGoat Cheese-Stuffed Turkey BurgersReuben Bratwurst BurgersSpeedy Honey-Lime Fruit SaladCandied Walnut Gorgonzola SaladSunny Broccoli Salad
Lemonade, sodas, summer cocktails and beer are staples for summer parties. Have a sunny signature drink at your bash also. Concoct a punch with summer flavors: lemonade, vodka, peach schnapps and club soda, for instance, then float lemon and peach slices on top. You can call it something festive, like Sparkling Sunshine, and display the name on a cute sign.
Here are some ideas for great solstice sippers your guests will love:Berry BelliniVodka Gimlet CocktailGrilled Georgia Peach LemonadePicnic LemonadeBeergarita
Surely I can't be the only one who thinks dessert is the most important item to consider when planning a party. There are so many possibilities for a summer solstice party. My favorite choices are a summery fruit cobbler (peaches, plums, blackberries—whatever’s looking best at the market), or strawberry shortcake, if strawberries are still holding on. These desserts just don’t taste the same in colder months, so this is the perfect time to offer them. Don't forget to have plenty of whipped cream.
These sweet desserts are the perfect way to close the day:Classic Strawberry ShortcakeBlackberry ShortcakeKey Lime BarsPink Lemonade Pie
Here’s where you can go beyond your average backyard BBQ. Many European countries celebrate summer solstice in a big way. In Spain and Finland, it’s common to have a bonfire. If you don't live near a beach, a backyard fire in a fire pit is a great alternative. Keep the party going long after the sun has gone down.
In Sweden, it’s customary for people of all ages to make wreaths of flowers. While I can't quite picture my husband and his friends jumping into this activity, it would be fun to try with any children at your party. Purchase synthetic ivy at the craft store and pre-make circles using a small piece of floral wire. Let children add real flowers later to complete their wreaths.
Thank your guests for coming with a small token of appreciation. Buy brightly colored flip-flop shoes for the women (which you can find for very low prices at discount clothing stores). Or make up small packets of iced tea or lemonade mix with a bright yellow bow & a synthetic daisy from a craft store. Give the kids pool noodles (which can be found at most dollar stores).
A party with bright colors and happy friends is a perfect way to welcome the new season. Bring on the sun!
How do you celebrate the summer solstice?