By: Diana Sproveri – Dessert Chef and Caterer 
Contributor’s Website:  LolliBakes

Fourth of July.  Independence Day.  America’s birthday.  Whatever you call it, no other national holiday calls for celebration like this one.  Since fireworks at the park or the beach are usually on the menu, here are a few ways to make a festive party on your blanket underneath the stars.
Put a blanket on the ground and instant seating area, right?  There are a few tricks that can make your blanket a bit more comfortable for your guests.  First, put a shower curtain on the ground with your blanket on top.  This will ensure that your blanket will stay dry for the whole night.  Cushions for seating are also a great idea for comfort.  
Summer is one of the great times of the year for food.  Heat up the grill before you head out to the park or beach.  Grilled vegetables, pasta salads, sandwiches and don’t forget the brownies.  For an easy clean trick, pack everything in Chinese food containers.  This will make it easy for guests to eat without a lot of mess from paper plates.  You can find them as well as other nifty food containers at Surfas in Culver City. 
You can also get creative with red, white and blue with some fruit-filled cupcakes from The Cupcakes Blog
Of course the main entertainment is the fireworks at the end of the evening.  However, there can be a lot of time for fun activities while you wait for the big show.  If you’re sans kids, the errant fire cracker drinking game is always a hoot.  Yet, for ways to really pass the time, look for blankets that also double as board games.  You can also make your own with this tutorial from My Magic Mom
If the kidlets are with you, water balloons, hula hoops and sparklers will pass the time.  It’s also a great time to see what your budding artists will draw to celebrate our country’s independence.
Since disposable cameras are a thing of the past, create an account on Shutterfly for your guests to upload pictures from the evening.  That way, you can get all the great pictures of friends, family and fireworks uploaded to one location for everyone to enjoy.
No matter how you spend the fourth of July, with whom or what fabulous food in your hand, raise a glass, take a moment and thank those lucky stars that we all have an opportunity to celebrate our freedom.  Happy Independence Day!
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Contributor’s Website:  LolliBakes

Photo credits:  photo 1 (, photo 2 (, photo 3, (, photo 4 (, photo 5 (
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