Author Topic: Advice for our July 4 party?  (Read 7694 times)

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EMuir

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 11:14:50 AM »
For food safety, you can't really ask people to just bring "a side".  How would you know how much ice you'd need for the cold dishes, or how many crockpots you'd need for the hot ones?  You can't just leave sides on the counter for four hours.  And certainly not outside in the sun!

I agree tht setting a definite end time is good, and if you really want everyone gone by 4, say it's from 1 to 3pm.

workerbee

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 01:06:08 PM »
OP here. I really appreciate all your responses -- it has definitely given me some things to think about.  As someone noted, providing an array of simple sides would not be difficult to do, and I am leaning that way. If anyone asks, I can encourage them to bring something, but I won't make it part of the invitation.  Among our circle of friends/acquaintances, most are likely to show up with drinks in hand, at a minimum.

When we entertain, I generally set up food buffet-style in the kitchen, and people can bring their plates outside to the patio. That way the food isn't just sitting outside.  I guess taking charge of the side dishes myself would afford me better control over the options, layout, keeping things cold, etc!

We've lived in this house for a couple of years, so no worries about people misinterpreting it as a housewarming!

I will definitely put an end time -- probably 12-4. I don't really mind if people hang around a little longer than that (truth be told, my in-laws are notorious for that anyway, but I just put them to work watching the kids while I clean up!  >:D). With the open house idea, what I was trying to address was those people who might not want to stay the entire time -- I'm thinking of older neighbors who, say, would love to drop by and say hello, but aren't interested in swimming or staying out in the sun too long!

EmmaJ.

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 02:02:10 PM »
Oh, I just thought of another thing when you mentioned cleaning up.  You're probably going use disposable plates and cups?  Put a big garbage can lined with a heavy-duty plastic liner near the patio.  Folks are much more likely to clean up after themselves if they know where to put the trash.

Sophia

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 02:11:51 PM »
My baby was born July 6th so I expect lots of July4th parties in my future, and I am paying attention to party ideas. 

You didn't mention cake, but they are very easy to decorate for July4th even for someone who can't neatly frost a cake.  Buy blueberries and strawberries (in season then).  Slice strawberries and place in a star pattern on of the cake.  Fill in the star with blueberries.  Instant ooohs.

Maybe have three pitchers of drinks out.  a red drink, ice water and something containing blue kool-aid.  Red, White and Blue!

jpcher

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 08:01:00 PM »
I will definitely put an end time -- probably 12-4. I don't really mind if people hang around a little longer than that (truth be told, my in-laws are notorious for that anyway, but I just put them to work watching the kids while I clean up!  >:D). With the open house idea, what I was trying to address was those people who might not want to stay the entire time -- I'm thinking of older neighbors who, say, would love to drop by and say hello, but aren't interested in swimming or staying out in the sun too long!

Hmmm. Interesting point with the bold above.

When you're (general you) invited to a party that is between 12-4, do you feel obligated to get there at start time and stay for the entire party?

I've been to many a party where it just wasn't possible for me to stay for the entire time. Likewise I've had many guest show up for an hour or two and left before the end time stated on the invitation. I don't think that any of these situations are rude at all.

This type of party is much different from a dinner party type of deal where cocktails/appetizers are from this to that time, dinner will be served at 7:00 . . . that's a more formal situation.


OP -- I understand your reasoning, but I think you're perfectly fine leaving "Open House" off of the invitation.

Amara

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 08:03:16 PM »
OP, this is a disturbing article ( http://gcaptain.com/drowning/?10981 ) on what real drowning looks like but the information is incredibly valuable. If you can afford it maybe consider hiring real lifeguards for the duration of the party.

jpcher

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2012, 08:43:25 PM »
Excellent article, Amara.

It only takes a minute.

In my case I thought that I was perfectly responsible. I watched TeenAge friend swim out (in the shallow end -- 3 ft.) to get the ball. I saw DD#2 happily sitting on the steps. I went back to my conversation.

A few seconds later I looked back, saw that DD#2 was several feet away from the steps and thought "How cute. DD#2's trying to see how long she can hold her breath under water" even before that thought was finished . . .  DING-DING-Sirens! Major bells. OH NO!

Once I pulled her out of the water, stood her up and put her hands above her head, she coughed up a bit of water and started to cry. At least she was breathing.

To this day, I'm petrified to think what would have happened if I didn't look back.

Please be extra diligent with the little ones in the pool.




Sorry for the derailment, OP . . . Amara made me do it!

kareng57

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2012, 09:00:53 PM »
OP, this is a disturbing article ( http://gcaptain.com/drowning/?10981 ) on what real drowning looks like but the information is incredibly valuable. If you can afford it maybe consider hiring real lifeguards for the duration of the party.


Agree completely except for one thing - I'd say, *find* a way to hire a real lifeguard, rather than if-you-can-afford-it.

As a PP said - in a large group situation, even very conscientious parents tend to gravitate towards feeling that someone else is looking out for the kids.  Why not contact your local community centre about hiring a young lifeguard privately?  Even if it's around $20 an hour, it's worth the peace of mind.

Re the side dishes - I wouldn't ask, but you could always indicate on the invitation what you'll be providing, and that if anyone wants to bring anything else to share that is always welcome.

workerbee

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2012, 10:17:49 AM »
Thanks for all the ideas - keep them coming! This party is definitely....evolving.  :) Actually, after reading some of your responses and talking with DH last night, I am rethinking how we want to do this.  As he put it, "maybe we should just make this an adults-only party OR a kids-only party" -- meaning we either pare it down and invite just our close friends (without kids), or invite a few select families.

I am very aware of the risks of owning a pool and the need for vigilance, especially with small children (this would probably explain why we have not only a locking pool safety fence, but also an in-water pool alarm, AND childproof doorknob locks on all the doors leading to the backyard).  I also understand how easy it is to get distracted at a party.

I think maybe we are overextending ourselves, and our "vision" for a neighborhood/friends open house may not work this year.  There will be plenty of years when the kids and their friends are older to do it!!

So now the question is -- do we invite our 'couple friends' (those w/out kids) or do we invite our 'family friends'?? Who would have more fun?  :)

lowspark

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2012, 11:01:44 AM »
Well.... since you ask, I'll throw out my opinion.

I'd do the adults only party. And then pick non-holiday weekends to have over your friends with kids, doing one or maybe two families at a time. So with the smaller kids, a more intimate setting, less party-like and easier to keep an eye on kids in the pool.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2012, 04:50:31 PM »
I think for a summer holiday like the Fourth, a "family-type" party, with kids present, might be more fun for y'all, especially since you have littles of your own.  (If you were child-free, my advice would change.)  Some of my happiest childhood memories are of us all gathering at the lake or the Gulf, friends and families all with kids, and of us kids just having a ball playing in the water and running around while the adults supervised and visited.

Anyway you decide, it sounds like a LOT of fun.  My next house WILL have a pool; for some reason, I have never had one, although I love to swim & down here, we could use it much if not even most of the year.    ;D 
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doodlemor

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2012, 09:38:52 PM »
Your party sounds like such fun, workerbee.  It makes me wish that we had a pool.

Do you have a place for dripping people to change back into their clothes after swimming?  I'm sure that most guests would be very courteous and not make a mess, but after reading ehell I'm sure that there are careless people out there.

How about wet people who need/should use the bathroom inside? 

Do you have extra towels, in case people forget them or get them too wet to use?

workerbee

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2012, 08:56:35 AM »
Your party sounds like such fun, workerbee.  It makes me wish that we had a pool.

Do you have a place for dripping people to change back into their clothes after swimming?  I'm sure that most guests would be very courteous and not make a mess, but after reading ehell I'm sure that there are careless people out there.

How about wet people who need/should use the bathroom inside? 

Do you have extra towels, in case people forget them or get them too wet to use?

Good tips, thanks! Yes, luckily the folks who owned the house before us and put on a nice big family room addition were smart enough to include a full bath with an outside entrance -- so guests can go straight in from the pool, even shower, and not worry about making a mess!

I usually keep a big stack of towels in there, as well as sunscreen, bug spray etc. Am trying to make it as guest-and-kid friendly as possible!  :)

UpdatedName

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2012, 10:52:57 PM »
I'll admit, I'm surprised at the responses. Is it the new norm to hire professional lifeguards at a private pool party with less than 10 kids? Maybe it's because I grew up in Florida, where pools are a dime a dozen, but that sounds bizarre to me.

EmmaJ.

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2012, 11:50:32 AM »
I'm in Florida too.  This state has thousands of pools, rivers, ponds, and lakes.  And I can't tell you many times I've read a newspaper article about another tragedy (or near-tragedy) that occured because of a moment of inattention.