The quintessential summer holiday is just around the corner and, if you’ve always longed to throw a positively perfect patriotic party, we’ve got your back. Because the weather is almost always agreeable on the 4th of July, you’ve already got a check in the plus column. From clothing and food to drinks and decorations, we can help you throw a next-level bash. Read on for tips on how to throw a killer 4th of July party.

How to Throw a Killer Fourth of July Party

Festive Foods for the Win

Delicious food is always the order of the day for throwing a spectacular soiree, and fortunately for you, the 4th of July holiday makes it easy—particularly when it comes to desserts. With strawberries and blueberries in their full glory, there’s nothing better than a 4th of July trifle, tart, shortcake, or even just individual servings of the fruit with homemade whipped cream. While the appetizers and main course won’t be able to likely go with the red, white, and blue theme, festive 4th fun can still be on the menu. Think about your party and its overall intent. If you’re having a sit-down event, you might consider hiring someone to host a taco bar or perhaps even man the grill. If it’s more of a viewing party for fireworks, consider letting everyone graze with heavy appetizers. If you’re hoping to turn your patio into a dance party, stick with light food so people don’t fall into the dreaded food coma.

Costumes and Holiday Clothes Add to the Mood

Encourage your guests to don the obligatory red, white, and blue—4th of July clothes will be fantastic for photos. If you want to make it even easier on your guests, consider making a run to your local party store to get the necessary accessories. From giant, star-laden sunglasses and fireworks headbands, to patriotic bandanas and tattoos, these will add a fun and festive tone to your shindig. Even better, put these accessories outside a hired or DIY photo booth to create memories that will make you smile for years to come.

Along the same vein, make sure you’ve got your house decorated with bright red, white, and blue décor. You certainly don’t have to reinvent the wheel, so crepe paper, festive stars and stripes, and the appropriate colored balloons will go a long way in impressing guests. And simple yet sophisticated red, white, and blue flower arrangements and/or candles on each table will garner endless compliments.

How to Throw a Killer Fourth of July Party

Calling all Crafty Cocktail Drinkers

Much like with desserts, it’s easy to go crazy with the 4th of July bevvies. From hurricanes and red, white, and blue champagne floats, to blueberry mojitos and boozy snow cones, 4th of July cocktail recipes abound. Even though many of the recipes are surprisingly easy, an added sprig or blueberry garnish will make everyone think you slaved over these drinks for hours. Consider making them “serve yourself” by putting the drink in a giant dispenser with a spout. This allows you to still mix and mingle with your guests instead of getting caught behind the bar. Solo cups are fine (and red works for the holiday!), but mason jars always add a charming touch. What’s even better is many of these tantalizing toddies can be made as non-alcoholic versions as well. When in doubt, offer both options—guests that don’t drink and kids will appreciate this.

Fireworks Fanfare Will Add a Spark

If you have access to watching your local fireworks, this is always a huge bonus. Make sure to set up a viewing area ahead of time. Set up chairs and an area for drinks and food outside. Make sure to have extra blankets on hand, as even July nights can get chilly in many areas. If you’ve got the means, a fire pit with S’mores for the kids is always a huge hit. With all the other party accouterments we’ve already mentioned, the “oohs” and “ahhs” won’t be coming from the fireworks alone. Many often have sparklers on hand for the kiddos but, if you don’t think you’ll have strict adult supervision over this, it’s best to avoid it to err on the side of caution.

Need some 4th of July party inspiration? Follow these tips and your party will go off with a huge bang.