Your Guide to the Best Fourth of July Party Ever

Quite possibly our favorite holiday, the Fourth of July is as much a celebration of our nation's independence, as it is of summer, friends, family, and all-American eats. A classic barbecue menu is essential to every Independence Day fête, and for that, you must check out our Memorial Day menu. But what really makes the holiday is, naturally, an abundance of red, white, and blue! We're bringing you the most stylish, kitsch-free Fourth of July dishes and decorations. Click through the slideshow above to get inspired! _menu 1Make healthy dessert and snack options a little more enticing by introducing these adorable fresh-fruit pails into your Independence Day tabletop setting. 2Vanilla Greek yogurt supplies the creamy white stripes in these healthy raspberry and blueberry popsicles. You'll need a food processor or blender and a popsicle mold to make these treats, but that's about it. _new1An all-American dessert with a dose of fresh fruit, these blueberry and strawberry shortcakes are a healthier alternative to sugar-loaded cake, not to mention a great way to take advantage of summer's delicious produce. 5You're guaranteed to impress your guests if you present them with a red, white, and blue sheet cake shaped like the United States of America. Let's not forget what this holiday is all about, folks. 6Add a patriotic hint of color to your sparkling water, cocktails, or champagne by preparing some star-shaped, fruit-filled ice. These will go quickly, so make them soon if you're hosting a big fête for the Fourth. _new2We've got dessert and drinks covered, but how about a patriotic appetizer? Scooped up with fresh tortilla chips, this blueberry, strawberry, and jicama salsa is the perfect appetizer or snack for your barbecue. 8Did someone say no-bake? The words are music to our ears, and this yummy and adorable dessert is a feast for the eyes and a treat for the tongue. Its base is made with graham crackers, followed by a greek yogurt and cream cheesecake layer, and strawberry and blueberry toppings. Yum.


What's better than a boozy daiquiri to get the party started? A red, white, and blue one, of course! This refreshing festive rum-based drink is guaranteed to be the talk of the BBQ. _decor 9Streamers have a kitschy reputation but when hung up with string lights, they take on a more sophisticated air. This easy decoration is not only festive, but incredibly affordable.12Keep your guests cool on the Fourth of July and let the kids in your family get excited for the holiday with this pretty stamped-paper-fan DIY project from Martha Stewart. Pick up basic white fans, an assortment of stamps, and red and blue ink, and you're set! 13Probably our favorite Fourth of July decoration ever, these dip-dye fireworks bags make great little gifts for your table settings, and they can even be used as place cards. Fill them with poppers, smoke bombs, and sparklers, and let the games begin. 14Flag toothpicks have long been a staple at Independence Day gatherings, but why don't straws get dressed up? These printable watercolor templates are a fun way to jazz up your drinks, however basic or boozy they are. 15This project is admittedly kitschy, but cute for kids. Let yours get creative on a picnic table, and then pick a few of your favorites to layer as a table runner under a cutting board or other serving pieces.

What other Fourth of July recipes or decorations do you love to use? Share your favorites in the comments!

Photographs: 1. Just Destiny Mag, 2. The View From Great Island, 3. In Katrina's Kitchen, 4. Martha Stewart, 5. Oh Happy Day, 6., 7. Two Peas and Their Pod, 8. Annie's Eats, 9. Food Network, 10. Virgil Bunao for Style Me Pretty, 11. Mom 4 Real, 12. Martha Stewart, 13. Oh Happy Day, 14. Oh Happy Day, 15. Make and Takes