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Memorial Day

Memorial DayMemorial Day is traditionally the weekend that marks the beginning of the summer holiday and a time for family outings and celebrations. On the last Monday in May each year, everywhere you go there are red, white and blue decorations and flags on homes, buildings and in parks. Established in 1868 and originally known as Decoration Day, it was a day to remember all those that died in the Civil War. Memorial Day is now celebrated to remember all those Americans who fought for there country and were killed or missing in all wars. A day when people show respect for those fallen soldiers that lost their lives protecting everyone's safety.

When hosting a Memorial Day party, send out invitations with red, white and blue themes. You could make them yourself or buy them, as most department stores and shops carry them. Once you send out your invitations, it is time to start planning your menu, party themes and ideas for games.

A Memorial Day BBQ themes party for family and friends is always a great way to spend time with your loved ones and have a wonderful time. Everyone loves picnics so start by choosing what food you will serve to your guests at the barbeque. Keep your menu simple, as you do not want to be working through the entire get-together. Have a couple of people in charge of the grilling, while others help with serving the guests. Prepare any food that keeps, ahead of time, such as potato, macaroni and fruit salads and desserts. In the red, white and blue themes, decorate cupcakes with frosting of red, white and blue or a cake with white icing, blueberries and strawberries. Along with serving the traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, try a few different dishes such as a chicken or veggie kabob, hot and mild sausage or pork chops. Ice cream is always a welcome addition to any party, so serve vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries and blueberries.

As your party themes are red white and blue, decorate your house and table settings with those color themes. Start by putting red, white and blue painted change jars around for guests to put money and change into. This is a great way to collect donations to one of many veterans' organizations in your community. Put red, white and blue table clothes on the picnic tables and serving tables with centerpieces using small flags. For the table settings use plastic plates, cutlery and paper cups in the party themes colors. Hang a large grapevine wreath decorated with a flag and ornaments with the red, white and blue themes and place it on your front door to welcome guests. At each of the table settings, place a colored balloon, which the children will love to play with after the meal. Also at the kids table settings, have a decorated memorial day goodie bag with a memorial day pin, hat, beads and other party favors that will thrill them and also make them look festive. Table settings can be as simple or elaborate as you would like, but remember that this party should be fun for you as well as everyone else. Decorate what you can the day before so, at the BBQ, you get to join in the fun instead of working the whole time. If the weather co-operates, arrange the table settings early in the day.

Games for both adults and children are a great idea for any barbeque. Here are several ideas for games that everyone will have a great time playing. When thinking of ideas for games, no BBQ is complete without playing the spoon and egg race game. Get all the participants in a line and give them each a red, white or blue hard-boiled egg and a spoon. Blow a horn to start the race and the winner is the first one that crosses the finish line with the egg still on their spoon. After the game is over, use the undamaged eggs to make an egg salad for the next day. More ideas for games are, for a yard that is large enough, a three-legged sack race that is lots of fun. Put participants in pairs, determine a turn around marker and have both people put one foot inside a sack or pillow case. They must keep one foot each inside the sack and then the participant's race, as quickly as possible, to the turn around line and back. The first team back without getting disqualified wins. Ask family members for ideas for games also.

No Memorial Day party would be complete without fireworks. You may find that some of the large parks or organizations locally will hold huge fireworks displays. Everyone at the party could go and watch the fireworks together and go home from there. If you would rather set off fireworks at home, check to make sure that you can do this in your area. Watching fireworks is a wonderful way to end a fantastic day.

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