Our 7th Annual 4th of July Party

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays!  Not only does it mark the anniversary of our nation’s independence – it’s also the anniversary of mine and G’s first date thirteen years ago at the Riverfest celebration in LaCrosse, WI.

A great reason for a party, right?!

Last week we had so much fun hosting more than 50 of our friends and their families at our home for our 7th annual Fourth of July party!  Usually it’s all fun in the sun as guests sprawl out across our backyard, two decks, and patio – but this year’s 100+ degree weather turned our summer outdoor party into an inside/AC party.  A handful of adventurous kids braved the heat to take turns going down the slip and slide while their parents looked on, and once the sun went down, some more brave souls ventured outside to enjoy our fantastic view of the fireworks.

The horrid weather aside, it was so much fun getting all the kids together and celebrating with our friends!

Buckets of sunscreen, bug spray, pinwheels, patriotic temporary tattoos, and glow bracelets for guest to enjoy. 

Red, white, and blue paper decorations hanging over our patio.


Most of our guests stayed inside, but a few braved the heat for some outdoor fun! 
G getting Kate started on the slip & slide. 
Kate, age 2 
Ruby, age 3, taking a turn – check out that form! 
Brady, age 2, going down belly first with a little help from his daddy, Shane! 
…and he over-shoots the landing, lol! 
Kate’s best friend Gwen, age 2 

The slip & slide was a huge hit outside, and inside the food was getting just as much love!

Homemade BBQ Pork Sandwiches 
A tower of s’mores ingredients… 
…wouldn’t be complete without homemade marshmallows! 

This year was my first attempt at making homemade marshmallows (recipe found here), and they were a huge hit! Everybody loved them, and G even thought they tasted better than the store-bought variety!

I decided to make s’mores bars (using homemade marshmallows) this year for anyone not interested in sitting around a fire pit on this hot day.  They were so delicious!

Homemade S’mores Bars 

My friend Jill always brings a festive dish and this year she made these fun fruit skewers in the shape of the American flag.  How cute is that?

American Flag Fruit Skewers 

With the exception of capturing the kids going down the slip & slide, once the party started I was woefully neglectful about taking pictures. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of me and G, and I have only one picture of me and a friend, thanks to Beth grabbing me before she left and insisting that we get a picture together. I’m so glad she did!

Me & Beth 

Right before I set my camera down for the night my friend Jill walked by with her daughter and I snagged this one of them:

Jill & her daughter Adi (8 months) 

And lastly, one of my little party girl!

Kate, 29 Months 

It was another fun celebration and we’re already looking forward to marking this date on our calendar again next year!

Marking our favorite summer celebration on our kitchen calendar

How was your 4th of July? Did you brave the heat outside, or watch the fireworks from the comfort of your freezer?


  1. 1

    Great party! I love the decor! It was super hot here as well, and we decided to stay inside. The men braved the heat long enough to grill the meat, but plenty of beer was needed!

    Glad you guys had a great time!

  2. 2

    Can you share your Smores Bars recipe? Yum!

  3. 3

    What a wonderful host you are!!

    Wonder if there’s something I could sub for the gelatin to make those yummy-looking marshmallows vegetarian?

  4. 4

    I’ve been so inspired by your annual 4th of July celebrations, that I initiated our 1st annual event. (I’m new to this wife thing, so I’m all about starting new traditions!)
    Love the decor & recipes. I’m definitely going to be trying out that homemade, marshmallow one!

    To see some of our NEW traditions, I’m including our link! aheapeoflove.com/2012/07/let-freedom-ring/

  5. 5

    What a fun party! Your marshmallows look perfect – so glad everyone loved them! We headed to the beach for the 4th – it was still crazy hot but at least we could jump into the water.

  6. 6
    Anonymous says:

    We had a wonderful day too. A red white and blue breakfast (which means blueberry pancakes, with strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream on the side), a nature walk, and then outside sprinkler and grilling fun in the afternoon at our friends’ house. Very relaxing, very delicious.


  7. 7

    Looks like a fun time. I definately have to try those home-made marshmallows – YUM!

  8. 8

    How fun! Um, next year I may be driving all the way to Wisconsin to come to your party just to get one of those s’mores bars! Oh. My. Word. Yummy!!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    I think it’s a great idea to just take off to spend time with family and friends! That food looks amazing and for some reason just the picture of the fireworks on your dry erase board calendar gets me excited! It’s just so cute! CC in VA

  10. 10

    Thank you, Carla! Sounds like you and the boys had a great time, too!

    @das006: I posted the recipe for my s’mores bars a couple of days after this post. I hope you caught it! If not, I linked to it in this post as well. Enjoy!

    @Ginger: I’m not sure. Are there such a thing as vegetarian marshmallows? If they sell them in the store I’m sure it’s something you could recreate homemade.

    @Brianne: What a fun party you had! Thanks for sharing!

    @Susan: I think the marshmallows will now have to be a 4th of July tradition. They were such a hit! Thank you again for sharing your recipe!

    @jbhat: Love your red, white, and blue breakfast idea! Sounds like you and your family had a lovely day.

    Thanks Gabriella!

    @Erin: You’re welcome anytime, friend!

    Thank you so much CC!

  11. 11

    Such a cute party!! And I have to ask – does her friend Gwen use that as a nickname? I ask because my daughter is Guinevere, so I rarely see other little kid Gwens :)

  12. 12

    @Mrs: Gwen’s full name is Gwendolyn (sp?). You’re right – I never hear about little girls named Gwen. It’s such a beautiful name!


  1. […] Last year I tried my hand at making homemade marshmallows for the first time, and they were a huge hit!  This year I was at it again, only instead of cutting them into traditional cubes, I decided to cut them into stars for some patriotic star marshmallow s’mores! […]

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