Patriotic Party411

Patriotic Party Frequently Asked Questions
I love a party that’s decorated in red, white and blue and has our flag waving about. Not to worry if you have questions...we have the answers to the FAQ’s!

Q: What’s the best excuse for a patriotic party?

A: There are so many: Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Labor Day, President’s Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day and any political event—you should be able to find a reason to celebrate patriotically no matter what time of year.

Q: Does it have to be a holiday to use a patriotic theme?
A: Not at all. Many people use a patriotic theme for rehearsal dinners, birthdays, grand openings and more depending on when the occasion falls or for a variety of reasons. I’ve even seen patriotic decor used for anniversary parties since it’s a celebration of a “union.” Just make sure you let people know why you chose this theme.

Q: Since a patriotic theme/party isn’t very patriotic without a flag, are there any rules or etiquette that refer to hanging an American flag?
A: You bet. The American flag has to always be above any other flag you have displayed. When you are hanging it, the field of stars must be to the east outside. Inside, the flag should be across from your main entrance to the event with the field of stars to the left. And I’m sure there are many more, but this is a start.

Q: Is there such a thing as doing too much red, white and blue when it comes to a patriotic theme/party?
A: Never! If you’re having the party at home, start with the mailbox with a huge red, white and blue bow and go from there—up the drive, through the house and onto the party. If you’re in a ballroom, cover every flat surface with red, white or blue and/or all of the above: e.g., a white linen to the floor with a red linen topper and white napkins! Don’t forget bunting; it comes in plastic and is really cheap. Put it on the bars, buffets and over doorways.

Q: What type of favors should we give out?
A: Mini-flags, Uncle Sam hats on a headband, blinking red, white and blue stars, flag lapel pins, red and blue glow jewelry (always a favorite), flag beads, sparklers—you name it.

Q: What should I do for entertainment? Is there a patriotic music CD available?
A: There are certainly patriotic music CDs, but I’d rather see you play renditions of American songs like Born in the USA (with patriotic inflatable guitars—a great photo op by the way) using karaoke , a sing along or just your iPod. Even if you hire a DJ, make sure he plays all the American flavored favorites: American Pie (Don McLean), Jack and Diane (John Mellencamp), 40 Hour Week (Alabama) and probably another 10 or so from the Boss.

Q: If my theme is patriotic, must I have a BBQ?
A: I don’t think it’s mandatory, but I do think it’s the best way to go. A patriotic party is about celebrating being an American and America is about ribs, burgers, dogs (not the walking kind) and apple pie (a la mode).

Q: Are fireworks expensive?

A: First, yes--if you want a display. And you need every sort of permit imaginable not to mention that you must take a poll of your neighbors to make sure their roofs are fireproof. So, uh, I say no. Your second option might be to buy fireworks, but you don’t want to take a chance on a guest who may be a touch clumsy handling a rocket or a screacher. For a similar feel, consider patriotic confetti poppers or swirling LED lights—these are a lot safer and a lot cheaper and a better all around patriotic flag-waving good time.