Helping customers plan their perfectly patriotic 4th of July party can be difficult whether they have five or 50 guests, but a successful, unique bash is simple with a few expert tips. The catering team at Gibsons Restaurant Group put together some new party ideas and food options that will help impress guests more than the fireworks display.

In honor of the upcoming 4th of July celebrations, Gibsons Corporate Executive Chef Randy Waidner’s tips for an Independence Day gathering are below:

-          Celebrate our Melting Pot History: Summertime festivities typically have barbecue filled menus, which are a great go-to option but can get boring quickly. Think outside the box and celebrate America’s melting pot with ethnic menu ideas including grilled chicken kabobs, Hoisin beef ribs or grilled lime fajitas.

-          Spice up Sides: Ditch traditional baked beans and potato salad for sides that will satisfy and impress guests. Put a twist on green salad and opt for a watermelon and feta salad featuring juicy watermelon, crumbled feta, red onions, fresh mint and fresh lime juice. The salty-sweet combination is refreshingly tasty.

-          Berry Good Desserts: Let our nation’s colors take the center stage with fruit-filled desserts. Think berry tarts, strawberry shortcake or traditional white cake with a topping made from sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Other ideas include fresh fruit triffles, strawberries dipped in white chocolate with blue sprinkles or fresh fruit skewers. With sweltering temperatures likely, keeping dessert light and cool is a must.

-          Decorate: Don’t forget to add some patriotic décor to the festivities! Consider red, white and blue flower arrangements, red checkered tablecloths or colorful paper straws – the possibilities are endless..