Are You Ready for the 4th of July?

    

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Who doesn't like to be prepared! America's birthday is this coming Monday, so if you're looking to enjoy the long weekend, get ready for the holiday now. From buying the necessities to mowing the lawn, there are plenty of things to do before the weekend begins.

This year, the 4th of July falls on a Monday, which means that you have all weekend to prepare -- so expectations are high. If you plan on hosting a party yourself, be sure to check off the items below. Consider this your official 4th of July Checklist!

[  ] Plan Your Party and Send Invitations

No 4th of July should be spent alone. So the first item on your list is to decide whether you will attend a party or host one yourself. If you don't have a party to attend, likely your friends and family are thinking the same thing -- so take initiative and plan one yourself. Where are you going? Do you want to host? How many people are you planning to invite, and where should the party take place? If you're planning or attending a party in a public place, will there be a grill?

These are important questions that you should get out of the way as soon as possible. To make sure all of your friends and family attend, you need to get your invitations out as soon as possible. In addition, selecting a location allows you to plan the rest of the day much more easily. Send an email or text message with the details of the party including the start time, location, and whether the guest should bring anything (is the party BYOB?). Consider using a free service like e-vite to send out electronic invitations. Electronic invitations allow you to easily keep track of who has RSVP'd.

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[  ] Buy the Food and Drink

Next, it's time to think about the food you're planning to bring or serve. For the 4th of July, it's usually best to keep the menu simple and traditionally American. For many people, Independence Day is synonymous with hot dogs and hamburgers, so we recommend to have those easy-to-prep options. Other traditional 4th of July dishes include pasta salad, potato salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob, watermelon and a fruit parfait for dessert. You can also think outside the box, offering dishes like quiches and kebabs, or black-bean burgers for your vegetarian friends. We at BRAX Roofing love to spice it up with this recipe for grilled jalapeno poppers.

If you choose to serve hamburgers, be sure to have toppings and condiments such as cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and relish. Be aware that supermarkets may run out of these necessities, so stock up early.

Also, keep in mind that the weather forecast for the DC area is HOT, so supply your guests with plenty of refreshments and water. Lemonade is always a favorite for both the kids and adults!

Ultimately, you should think about your guests. Will they expect traditional fare or would they appreciate something new?

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[  ] Consider Fireworks

These days, no 4th of July is complete without fireworks. In Maryland, Virginia, and DC you cannot set off fireworks in your yard - but you can buy small items like sparklers and pinwheels, or plan your party near a local firework display.

That means, of course, that you need to do the research. Familiarize yourself with Maryland and Virginia law concerning fireworks. If you want to fully satisfy the firework craving, you probably want to find local firework eventsthen, plan your party accordingly.

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[  ] Load up on Sunscreen

You want your party to be as much 'fun in the sun' as possible. That means you can't forget the sunscreen!  Invest in enough sunscreen not only for yourself but also for your guests, because you know some attendees will forget. The weather forecast for the DMV is 85 and sunny with a UV index of 10 out of 10! Be careful out there.

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[  ] Prepare Your Space

Is your space ready for the party? The weekend before July 4th offers a perfect opportunity to tidy up. Mow the lawn, clean the house, prep the grill, and set up any entertainment options your guests may appreciate. From cornhole to a volleyball or badminton net, you want to have enough entertainment options for your guests to have fun before the fireworks, especially if children are part of the party. A fun weekend project could be to build your own cornhole set before the big day.

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[  ] Enjoy the Day!

Finally, don't forget the most important item on your checklist: enjoying the 4th of July. This is the date our nation gained independence, and a holiday important enough for people to plan their summers around. When you hold a 4th of July party, your goal should be to have as much fun as your guests, which can only be possible with enough preparation.

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Part of that preparation may include peace of mind. If, during your planning, you notice that your roof has a few loose shingles, why not get them fixed before the party? Contact us before your event to ensure you can thoroughly enjoy and appreciate your Independence Day.

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About The Author

Ben Matthews is a managing partner at BRAX Roofing, a multi-faceted company that focuses on residential and commercial roofing throughout Maryland and Washington DC. Having obtained the highest certifications in roofing from leading manufacturers around the country, Ben takes pride in providing BRAX Roofing customers with top-quality exterior home improvement service and expertise.