Fourth of July Planning Essentials 

Parties, Parades, Fundraisers & More!

July 4th is the highlight of summer and, whether you’re planning a giant community celebration or a backyard bash, SignUp has got you covered. Use these tips for a foolproof and fun-tastic Fourth!

4th of July Party Planning Essentials

Fourth of July Fundraisers

Capitalize on the biggest summer holiday by turning it into a money-making opportunity for your group. Consult with your municipality, parks department and local clubs to explore these fundraiser options:

  • Fireworks stand: Where legal, plan a fireworks stand fundraiser to sell supplies to Fourth of July revelers. Do the permitting legwork, order fireworks wholesale, and rent a tent or trailer yourself, or partner with a fundraising vendor that arranges it all for you and your group keeps a percent of the profits. 
  • Concession stand: Partner with the local parade organizers, fireworks show, or community park or pool to set up a concessions stand selling popsicles, drinks, and snacks to the holiday crowd. Keep shifts short so your crew has time to celebrate, too.
  • Contests: Host a belly flop contest at the community pool, a ‘best decorated bike or wagon’ contest in the neighborhood parade, or a pie-eating contest at the park. Charge an admission fee and share a fabulous prize for the winner.

Fourth of July Events

If you’re the one planning the Fourth of July parade, concert, or fireworks show for the community, use SignUp to ensure your event goes off without a hitch. Quickly schedule volunteers to help with setup, parking, crowd control, concessions, and cleanup. Whatever you’re planning, SignUp makes it easy to get the help you need, and automated reminders keeps everyone on track.

Fourth of July Parties

From hosting a simple backyard barbecue to a large gathering of friends and family at a park gazebo, beach, or community pool – make your Fourth of July celebration a party to remember.

Décor: Keep the decorations simple. Anything in red, white, and blue is perfect! If you are using disposable paper napkins, plates, and cutlery, buy them in red, white, and blue. Use tablecloths in red, white, and blue solids or patterns. Anything that plays on the ideas of “stars and stripes” is welcome – a striped red and white tablecloth with cut-out blue and white stars is as complicated as it needs to get. Pro Tip: Skip the balloons, which contribute to plastic pollution!

Food: Get creative and be thoughtful about the food you plan to serve – that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

  • A buffet-style picnic makes the easiest meal for the 4th. Think simple, classic, and (most importantly) easily done ahead of time.
  • Grill burgers and hot dogs pre-party and keep them in a food warmer. 

  • Slice the veggies for the burgers before your guests arrive. 

  • Make sides of macaroni and cheese, potato salad and coleslaw ahead of time, too, and keep them cold in coolers or the fridge.

  • Keep the red, white, and blue theme going with the treats you serve up!
  • Serve a red, white, and blue fruit salad, a cheese board, or kabobs with white cheeses, yogurt-dipped pretzels, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.

  • Offer themed desserts like cookies, cupcakes, and pies – get tons of ideas here.

  • Plan for your friends with special dietary needs.
  • Throw some extra veggies on the grill and add vegan burgers to the mix for the non-meat eaters.

  • Keep meats separate from breads and crackers for the sake of gluten-free friends.

  • Use our printable food-allergy meal tags to keep everyone safe.

  • Want to take the food up a notch? Grill ribs or add some custom flair by making your own barbecue sauce or adding an unusual twist to the side dishes, such as lobster meat to the mac 'n' cheese. 
  • Don’t forget the littlest guests – peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sugar cookies in the shapes of stars will please the non-burger or hot dog eating younger set.
  • Cut the stress and make it a potluck where guests bring a dish to share. SignUp makes it easy for people to pick what they’re bringing so you don’t end up with 50 hot dogs and no buns!

Drinks: Visit a dollar store and buy big plastic bins in red, white and blue. Fill them with ice, bottled water, soft drinks, beer, and wine. (Keep the beer and wine separated from the containers where the kids get their drinks!) Use red or blue plastic cups, which can be recycled.

Trash & Recycling: Line big trash cans with several layers of plastic trash sacks. Then, as the trash fills up, simply take the top bag out, tie it up and take it to the trash. Label bins for cans and bottle recycling. In the kitchen, label plastic bins for plates, cups, and cutlery so your guests can help with the sorting and you don’t end up with a sink full of dirty dishes.

Activities: Although you don’t really need activities for a July 4th party, why not throw in another level of fun at your festivity?

  • If you have access to a swimming pool, a pool party is always fun. (Hire a neighborhood teenager to be the designated watcher/lifeguard.)
  • Place a slip and slide in the yard for the enjoyment of kids and adults alike.
  • Designate areas for yard games like a bean bag toss, horseshoes, and bocce ball.
  • Organize a competition or two, like a potato sack or three-legged race, a jump rope contest, or a tug of war.
  • Provide sparklers and small fireworks (with supervision and if allowed by your municipality) and plan for fireworks watching if that’s available in your neighborhood – if not watch them on television.

Rain Plans: This party can be hosted inside or out, although outside is preferable and makes for easier cleanup.

4th of July party SignUp


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