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Memorial Day Party Ideas: Decorations & Food Recipes

May 17, 2024 7 min read

Get ready to kick off summer with a splash and a sizzle. Memorial Day is not just a long weekend — it's the unofficial start to all things summer, and at FUNBOY, we're all about diving in with both feet.

Whether you're hosting a backyard bash or a chill get-together, we've got you covered with pop decorations and food recipes to make your taste buds do a happy dance. Think less of a plan and more of a party blueprint that promises epic Instagram stories, belly laughs, and maybe a friendly food fight… or two. 

So, throw on your shades and grab your favorite pool inflatable because we're about to float into the season of sun, fun, and unforgettable gatherings. Let's make this Memorial Day party legendary.

Why Celebrate Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is more than just an excuse to fire up the BBQ and jump into the pool (though we're all for those!). It's a day rich with meaning and tradition, a moment to pause, celebrate, and remember. 

Here's why we mark this day with such enthusiasm and respect:

  • Honor and Remember: At the heart of Memorial Day is our profound gratitude for the brave souls who've served and sacrificed. This day reminds us to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy, thanks to the valor of those who've worn our nation's uniform.
  • Welcome Summer: It's the unofficial start to everything we love about summer. The air is getting warmer, the days longer, and the vibes are just right for making a splash. Memorial Day signals that it's time to switch to summer mode — think pool parties, endless ice cream, and nights under the stars.
  • Gather and Connect: There's something special about bringing friends and family together in summer. It's an opportunity to reconnect, share stories, and create new memories around the grill, by the pool, or just lounging in the backyard.
  • Celebrate Community: Many of us celebrate with parades, community events, or local gatherings. It's a day to feel connected to our neighbors and our nation, united in a spirit of gratitude and joy.

Memorial Day is a blend of solemn remembrance and joyful celebration. It's a day to honor those who've given their all, to cherish the company of loved ones, and to kick off the summer with a sense of community and happiness.

What Are Some Awesome Decoration Ideas?

When it comes to Memorial Day celebrations, setting the scene is half the fun. Transform your space into a festive haven with decorations that scream summer and honor our heroes. 

Here are some decoration ideas that will make your Memorial Day party pop:

Patriotic Balloon Arch

Create an entryway that welcomes guests with open arms. Mix balloons in red, white, and blue shades, crafting an arch that frames your party's entrance or backyard gate.

Stars and Stripes Centerpieces

Utilize mason jars or small buckets painted in patriotic colors as centerpieces. Fill them with flowers, flags, or even themed utensils to add a functional yet festive touch to your tables.

Red, White, and Blue Paper Lanterns

Hang these lightweight decorations from trees, along patios, or even indoors to add a soft, inviting glow as the evening sets in.

American Flag Drapery

Drape American flags or fabric resembling the flag over fences, tables, or along the deck railing. It’s a simple gesture that adds a significant impact.

DIY Star Napkin Rings

Get crafty with homemade napkin rings. Use red, white, and blue ribbons and attach small stars for a themed touch to your table setting.

Patriotic Pinwheels

Scatter pinwheels around the lawn or use them to line walkways. They're fun for the kids to play with and add movement and color to your party setup.

Festive Tablecloths and Throw Pillows

Spruce up your seating areas with tablecloths and throw pillows in patriotic colors. They not only add comfort but also tie the whole theme together seamlessly.

Flag-Inspired Food Labels

Mark your dishes with creative, flag-inspired labels. It's a playful way to guide your guests through the menu while sticking to the theme.

Light Up the Night

String lights aren't just for Christmas. Wrap red, white, and blue lights around trees, along fences, or over your dining area to keep the party going after dark.

Memorial Day Murals

Set up a chalkboard or a large canvas for guests to write messages of thanks to servicemen and women. A decorative element adds a personal and heartfelt touch to your celebration.

What Are Some Yummy Food Recipes to Explore?

No Memorial Day celebration is complete without a spread of delicious eats that cater to every taste bud. From the grill to the picnic basket, here are a few mouthwatering recipes guaranteed to make your party the talk of the season:

Grilled Corn with Spicy Mayo

Elevate classic corn on the cob with a slather of spicy mayo, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. It's a side dish with a kick that will have guests returning for more.

Patriotic Fruit Skewers

Thread blueberries, strawberries, and marshmallows onto skewers for a healthy, festive treat. Arrange them to mimic the flag, or let them be a colorful addition to your table.

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

What's Memorial Day without ribs? Marinate them overnight in your secret sauce, then slow-grill to perfection. Serve with extra napkins for a finger-licking good time.

Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint

Refreshing and simple, this salad pairs juicy watermelon cubes with crumbled feta and fresh mint, drizzled with balsamic glaze for a sweet and savory dish that screams summer.

Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle

Layer vanilla cake, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream for a dessert as stunning as it is delicious. It's a patriotic end to any meal.

All-American Burgers

No grill-out is complete without burgers. Offer a variety of toppings — avocado slices, crispy bacon, various cheeses, and unique sauces — so everyone can build their dream burger.

Firecracker Hot Dogs

Wrap hot dogs in crescent roll dough, exposing some of the ends for a firecracker effect. Bake until golden and serve with an assortment of condiments for a fun twist on a classic.

Potato Salad with a Twist

Upgrade the traditional potato salad by adding crunchy bacon, diced avocado, and a hint of mustard to the creamy dressing. It's a side dish that will steal the show.

Chilled Gazpacho

For a lighter fare, serve a refreshing gazpacho. This cold, tomato-based soup mixed with peppers, cucumbers, and onions offers a cooling contrast to the grilled mains.

S'mores Dip

Create a communal s'mores experience by layering chocolate chips and marshmallows in a cast-iron skillet, baking until melted, and serving with graham crackers for dipping.

What Are Some Awesome Tips for Your Memorial Day Bash?

Elevating your Memorial Day party from great to legendary doesn't have to be difficult. With a few insider tips, you can ensure your bash is the highlight of everyone's summer kick-off. 

Let's discuss some pro tips that keep the spirit high and the stress low:

  • Stay Cool: As the day heats up, make sure your guests stay cool and refreshed. Set up our Stars & Stripes Mesh Chair in the pool for a patriotic chill zone. It's an invitation to kick back, relax, and enjoy the water in style while sipping on your favorite cold beverage from the built-in cup holder.
  • Kiddie Corner: Don't forget about the little ones! A dedicated kiddie pool area can be a game-changer. It keeps the kids entertained and safe, allowing parents to relax and enjoy the party. Add our backyard bowling set or rocketship sprinkler to the mix, and your kids will wish it was Memorial Day every day.
  • Prep Ahead: To avoid spending your entire party flipping burgers, prep food beforehand. Side dishes, salads, and desserts can be made the day before, leaving you free to mingle and enjoy the day.
  • Sun Safety Station: Set up a small table or station with sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for guests to grab as needed. It's a thoughtful touch that protects everyone from the sun's rays.
  • Hydration Station: Alongside your cooler of beverages, have a water station with infused waters (think cucumber-mint or lemon-raspberry) to keep guests hydrated in the heat. For the perfect drink station in or out of the pool, consider a Cabana bar, which is colorful, lightweight, and perfect for storing refreshments.
  • Playlist Perfection: A great playlist can set the mood for the entire party. Curate a mix of summer hits, classic rock, and patriotic tunes to keep the energy up and the vibes just right.
  • Game On: Lawn games like cornhole, giant Jenga, or horseshoes can spark friendly competition and provide entertainment for guests of all ages.
  • Light the Night: If your party goes into the evening, fairy lights, lanterns, and even a small fire pit can transform your space into an enchanting night-time oasis.
  • A Moment of Remembrance: Take a brief moment during your celebration to acknowledge the reason behind Memorial Day. A toast, a moment of silence, or sharing a relevant quote can be a powerful reminder of the day's significance.

Wrapping Up Your Memorial Day Celebration

As the sun sets on your Memorial Day bash, you'll have a heart full of memories, a camera roll full of laughter, and the satisfaction of a party well-thrown. At FUNBOY, we're all about making moments that matter, whether it's through a float that becomes the life of the pool or simply bringing people together to celebrate, remember, and kick off summer with a splash. 

It's not just about the decorations or the food (though they are important). It's about creating a space where friends and family can gather, enjoy each other's company, and make memories that last a lifetime. Here's to a Memorial Day filled with joy, honor, and maybe a little bit of poolside lounging. 

Need the perfect poolside float? Check out our collection at FUNBOY to elevate your summer pool parties.


Memorial Day 2023: Facts, Meaning & Traditions | HISTORY

History of Memorial Day | National Memorial Day Concert | PBS

How Memorial Day Started -- and Why It's Now About BBQ | KQED

History of the American Flag | A Capitol Fourth | PBS

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