Essentially {4th of July}

Happy almost 4th! It's time to start making those final party plans and preparing for a patriotic celebration. There are so many things I naturally associate with the 4th of July that it can be hard to pin down a specific focus for a get together. For this party, I wanted to focus on American classics, you know, the things that represent American tradition. Here are some of my must haves for classic patriotic  celebration...

1. Sparklers: No Independence Day is complete without an outstanding fireworks show. But, if you are anything like me, you are too scared to set them off yourself. Sparklers are the perfect compromise and it's so fun to see what shapes you can make before they burn out!

2. Hot Dogs: A true American favorite. Whether you like it topped with chili and cheese or mustard and relish, this handheld dish is great for large gatherings. Make it fun for guests and do a hot dog bar featuring all the toppings they could imagine like ketchup, mustard, onions, relish, chili, cheese and whatever else you can thing of.

3. Cracker Jacks: This fun snack even comes with a prize inside. Serve it up as an appetizer or give each guest a box as they leave. Either way, the ball park delicacy should find a home at your soiree.

4. Red, White, & Blue Decor: Incorporate our nation's colors wherever possible such as in your food, in banners or signs, or even on the table. Make up cute sayings like "Sweet Liberty" to top off cupcakes or other sweet treats. 

5. The American Flag: No explanation necessary. The symbol of our great nation should be the focus of the event. Get creative and incorporate the different flags throughout the years.

6. Mason Jars: A true Southern American classic. While the clear jars get the point across, if you have some vintage blue jars lying around use them as vases, silverware holders, or even cups. The shade of blue is gorgeous and keeps with your color theme. 

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