Memorial Day is fast approaching and that means summer is just around the corner. For those of us who are veterans or personally know veterans who have passed away, this day is extra special.

 My own grandfather fought in WWII, making this day a sobering reminder of the sacrifice he and his fellow countrymen made to protect our country. To honor those who have fallen in the defense of freedom, many of us visit gravesites, attend parades, or host parties with close friends and relatives.

If you are indeed planning on entertaining guests, there are a lot of things to remember to make it the most enjoyable experience possible. Here are ten tips for hosting your Memorial Day party that will surely make your guests come back for more.

10 Tips for Hosting a Memorial Day Party

  1. Always Have Plenty of Ice
    Never underestimate how quickly the ice will be used during a summer party, as picking up enough supplies the first time will save you more trips to the store. Remember, you can never have enough ice!
  2. Make Sure to Pack Enough Beverages
     From water to soft drinks and beer, there’s never enough in the summer. Whether your guests are simply walking outside and chatting, or playing an energetic game of volleyball, they’ll work up a strong thirst.
  3. Honor Our Vets with a Toast
    Before you begin your party, honor our troops by raising a glass with your guests to toast their dedication to our country along with their health, protection, and safe return soon.
  4. Keep it Light
    Use as many fresh, seasonal ingredients in your menu as possible. As thirsts increase during the summer, appetites for heavy recipes shrink. Opt for salads and grilled food in place of stews and casseroles.
  5. Remind Friends to Dress Casual
    Summer is all about letting loose and kicking off your shoes. Unless you’re hosting a wedding or some other formal event, nobody wants to wear fussy clothing in the summer. Everyone will be more comfortable, and in-turn will have a better time.
  6. Provide Shelter from the Heat
    If you’re hosting a daytime party outside, provide your guests with options for getting out of the sun. Whether it’s a rented tent, chairs placed under a shady tree, or tables with umbrellas, your guests will appreciate a place to escape from the heat.
  7. Remember Food Safety
    Always keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Summer heat quickly turns good food into a stomach disaster if not served under correct conditions.
  8. Serve Something Fun for Dessert
    Use your imagination. Maybe some ice cream sundaes and cookies for dessert? Guests will love making their own sundaes. Watch out for melting though!
  9. Keep Those Mosquitoes Away
    Make proper arrangements for ample light and mosquito repellents. Lanterns can be hung on tree trunks or tiki torches can be set up to create a pleasant mood.
  10. Winding Down Around the Fire
    The perfect end to an outdoor dinner party: making s’mores by an open fire. All you need are bamboo sticks and the right ingredients — marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate – and a fire.

Taking time to honor our fallen vets is something we all should do. Also, if you know a veteran or member of the military, say hello today and thank them for their service.

Today is their day.

Remembering the sacrifice and dedication of our fallen American veterans is what Memorial Day is all about. And in recognition of the sacrifice veterans have made, the VA offers the VA loan benefit, which allows veterans to buy a home with no down payment or refinance 100% of their homes value. Quicken Loans is proud to support veterans as a top provider of VA loans.

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