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Memorial Day Weekend Picnic


Tips & Ideas for Having A Memorable Memorial Day Picnic

Memorial Day weekend is a perfect time to enjoy a picnic! This is a much anticipated holiday that marks the official beginning of the summer season. It’s also a wonderful day to honor those who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom, marked by parades, flag raising services, and a variety of different community festivities. It’s a bittersweet time for many, marked by memories of wars past and buddies lost to battle.

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But Memorial Day is also a time to celebrate all that America represents, including the freedom to spend the day with loved ones and neighbors, marking the beginning of a vibrant new season that promises longer days, more free time, and an opportunity to reconnect after the busy winter season.

What better way to celebrate than with a Memorial Day picnic? The beauty of a picnic is that they can be organized in a variety of different ways. In some cases, picnics are small and intimate, with just one person sharing the responsibility for the food and other particulars. But a picnic can also bring large numbers of people together, with each contributing something unique to the day’s menu. They can be in your backyard or in the community park. Either is good, as long as you’re with friends and family!

Planning a Patriotic Memorial Day Picnic

Because Memorial Day honors such an important group of American men and women, it’s a nice idea to focus your theme on patriotism. Think red, white, and blue! Take some time to plan your presentation and gather items that’ll match the theme. At this time of the year, party supply stores have plenty of stars-and-stripes-patterned plates and other accessories available. Purchase those and add some flags or other patriotic symbols to the mix.

And while you’re at it, why not consider a theme that pays tribute to all of America’s Armed Forces? Include on your table some decorations that represent the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Models of military ships and airplanes aren’t hard to find, and you can also download and print emblems or other symbols of the various branches of the Armed Forces for use as decorations. If you have several tables, each could be assigned a different branch of the military.

Getting Organized

After you’ve decided on decorations, you’ll want to think about the other things you’ll need to make your picnic a success. If it’s in your backyard, for example, check to be sure you have enough chairs and other outdoor furniture to accommodate the number of guests you’re inviting. If its not in the budget to add to your collection why not ask a friend or family member to bring along some chairs or a folding table or two. If you have a hammock make sure it is set-up, they seem to collect several people to them. Just remember that the winter season takes a toll on lawn furniture, so be sure everything is in good condition well ahead of time..

If you are planning to have your Memorial Day Picnic at another location, you’ll have to transport food from your home to the venue. This takes more than a few paper bags and a container or two. People get sick at picnics all the time because of food that spoils because it’s kept at the wrong temperature. It’s essential to have insulated coolers or tote bags to keep certain items cold during transport, especially those ever-popular picnic salads that contain lots of mayonnaise. Other items can be carried in convenient picnic backpacks, or those old-fashioned favorites, the wicker picnic basket, which usually includes plates, utensils, and other items that might come in handy.

An All-American Menu

Take the American theme and include it in your menu.(Here are some additional All American Recipes) If you’re doing barbecue, the standard hot dogs and hamburgers are perfect for this occasion. Certainly, you can add chicken as well for those who are calorie conscious. If you’re not barbecuing, nothing is more all-American than fried chicken and it can be enjoyed hot or cold.

For side dishes, sweet corn on the cob is great. Season it with a little garlic salt and a pinch of chili powder for some extra pizzazz and grill it for a true summer taste. Other side dishes can include macaroni or potato salad, cole slaw or some other form of cabbage salad, and perhaps a delicious green salad garnished with fresh fruit. (See below)

For dessert, make a sheet cake and decorate it in red, white, and blue. A flag design is perfect, but if your decorating skills are minimal, just make a blue background dotted with some white and red stars. (Be sure the frosting doesn’t need refrigeration if the cake is going to be outside for a while.)

Top off the meal with some ice cold lemonade or sweet ice tea, or bring along your favorite domestic wines from California or New York in a wine tote, which makes them easy to carry along.

We hope this article motivates you to take this opportuity to kick off summer by getting out enjoying a Memorial Day Picnic! Enjoy a picnic with loved ones soon, its good for the soul!

Blue Cheese and Cherry Salad

Serves 8-10

  • 3/4 c. thinly-sliced red onion
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 c. cold water
  • 6-8 c. bite-size mixed salad greens
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen dark sweet pitted cherries (if using frozen, thaw first)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, Roquefort, or gorgonzola
  • Raspberry vinaigrette dressing (bottled)

    Place onions and lemon juice in a bowl with the 2 cups cold water and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Pour off liquid and drain well. In a large bowl, combine drained onions, greens, cherries, and enough dressing to lightly coat the greens. Sprinkle top of salad with cheese and serve immediately.

    Compliments of Picnic-Basket.com | 1-800-861-8823