There’s no shortage of fabulous 4th of July celebrations in and around the Queen City. I am so excited WBT SkyShow is back this year! The fireworks show will be after the Knights Baseball game on Monday the 4th. You can watch them from nearby Romare Bearden Park if you don’t want to go to the game (though I highly recommend it because the games are so fun!)

While the U.S. National Whitewater Center 4th of July Celebration and Carowinds’ Celebrate America Fireworks Show are fan favorites, lots of neighborhoods have their own celebrations with parades and festivals.

For many families, the Holiday is a time to get together with family and friends. So in true Stella style, I want to share some entertaining ideas to help you ‘stage’ a great cookout or party.

Display your red, white and blue

From tablecloths to theme-inspired dinnerware or flowers, there are a 100 ways to incorporate the colors of the flag into your celebration. Check out this USA Shaped serving board! 

Even your food can reflect the colors of the Holiday. 

Feed the troops 

Not THE troops, your troops. Cookouts are a staple of 4th of July celebrations. Kick up the usual burgers and dogs with a hot dog or burger bar so everyone can build their own. Add a variety of condiments like pickled onions, sauteed mushrooms, jalapenos, crushed Doritos, chili to name a few! Or get crazy and wrap ’em in bacon! And dont forget the patriotic potato salad.

Spend time under the stars

Stars and the 4th of July go hand in hand, Why not to camping in your backyard or watch a movie (make it a patriotic one for extra ambiance) before the fireworks (or after).

Encourage the spirit of competition

Success, competition, victory-that’s all American! So between the burgers and the fireworks, keep your crowd entertained with a few yard games. Here’s a great list to get you started.

Add string lights

To whatever you are planning. Seriously, its the easiest way to level up your entertaining game. 

Of course you don’t want anyone to go thirsty in the Carolina heat!! A signature cocktail is always a fun addition to a barbecue or cookout. Just make sure you don’t forget to keep plenty of water on hand too! Pinterest is full of cute ideas for setting up your bar area. 

Oh, and tunes! You have to have a few tunes. Wireless speakers and your phone is all you need these days to add a little extra vibe to your shin-dig.

As a stager, I know that buyers appreciate the tiny details and extra thought that goes into creating a home stage and making any space feel like it was designed with purpose. Just a little of that same attitude goes a long way in helping to create a welcoming space for your guests to enjoy your 4th of July cookout.