February 7, 2023
Posted: August 31, 2021 3:45 pm
The end of summer is upon us. What better way to go out with a bang than with a BBQ with friends and family? The Labor Day holiday weekend provides you the perfect opportunity to gather everyone together for one last goodbye to the summer season.
Here is what you need to know to plan the best Labor Day BBQ.
Prior to even firing up your grill, it is a good idea to make sure that it is clean and ready to go. You do not want to waste time during the event cleaning off dirty racks. While you are busy cleaning, be sure to do a quick cleanup of the outdoor area that you plan on using for the event. Having all of this ready to go well before the event will make your preparations much easier.
Be sure to check the weather in advance of the party so that you can plan accordingly. If you know it is going to be sunny and warm, you will want to make sure that you have plenty of shade on hand. Most party store rental companies will offer canopies that you can rent.
If the weather looks to be chilly for your end-of-summer bash, a heat source may be necessary. Fire pits are great ways to add warmth to the area while also adding a cozy vibe. Who does not love gathering around a campfire to roast marshmallows? Propane patio heaters also put out a high amount of heat, helping to keep your guests warm and comfortable when the sun goes down.
Every good party starts with a signature cocktail. Harness the last of summer by trying this refreshing pineapple rose sangria. This recipe features your favorite bottle of rose wine, pineapple juice, raspberries, blackberries, and fresh pineapple. Feel free to substitute white wine or any type of lighter sparkling varietal if that is more your fancy. You will set the mood for your party if you have these drinks ready to go on a festive tray when your guests arrive.
In addition to having a cool drink ready for your guests to enjoy, it is also a good idea to have some portable appetizers ready to go. Keep in mind that people are likely going to want to mingle when they first arrive. Having portable appetizers will make it easier for them to move around and greet everyone.
When it comes to portable appetizers, anything on a skewer is always a hit. These caprese skewers with a balsamic drizzle make a light and healthy start to any meal. Kids will love these colorful rainbow fruit skewers. For something a little heartier, try these chicken satay skewers. Any of these ideas will give your guests something to nibble on while they wait for the meal.
If you are going to be entertaining a crowd, you will alleviate lines for the food if you set up multiple food stations. For example, maybe you want to put your meats fresh from the grill on one table with the side dishes and desserts on different tables? This will make it easier for people to move through the lines and get what they need.
This strategy goes for drinks as well. Rather than having all of your drinks in one area, spread them out in different stations so that everyone is not gathered around one table or cooler. This works particularly well if you are trying to separate the alcoholic drinks from the non-alcoholic ones.
While most people will happily dig into a juicy hamburger or steak, you will want to make sure that you have something for the vegetarians at your party. Having a few different options will ensure that nobody will go home hungry. These essential tofu burgers will please even the carnivores at your event. Be sure to have plenty of toppings available so that people can customize their burgers to fit their tastes.
In addition to great food and drinks, you are going to want to plan some fun entertainment ideas. Backyard games are a natural fit for a BBQ. If you have the space, consider setting up a net for volleyball or pickleball. You can even go all out and make it a tournament format.
Other good ideas include horseshoes, croquet, or bocce ball. If you are short on lawn space, cornhole is a great game that does not take up as much room.
It is easy to create a festive mood for your BBQ if you have the right props. Good ideas include using music to set the vibe. The right lighting can also add a powerful aesthetic, especially as the sun goes down. Tiki torches and string lights create a cozy atmosphere.
You do not want to waste your time at the party preparing food. To cut down on what you need to do during the event, choose recipes that you can prepare ahead of time and simply pop in the oven or on the grill. To make it even easier, consider leaning on your slow cooker to do the work. This slow cooker pulled pork recipe makes it a snap to have a delicious meal ready before your guests even begin to arrive. Simply prep it all the morning of your BBQ and it will be ready six hours later.
Your event will be a huge success if you follow these proven tips for a good time. Do not let the end of summer pass you by before one last get-together with the people that you care about the most.
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