** Updated August 28, 2014 **
With the unofficial end of summer approaching many of you will be having a final summer fling. If you are planning a party this Labor Day weekend there are many ways to keep the planning stress-free. Most Labor Day or end of summer parties involve mixing families and friends together. It’s a time to relax and have a good time. Mind you if you’re the one hosting the party you may be feeling a bit stressed out as you may not be used to planning a party. However do not fear as we’ll provide a few tips on planning a party that’ll help make the event stress-free.
Labor Day wasn’t always about Planning a Party
According to Wikipedia, Labor Day (spelled Labour Day in Canada) began in the US in 1882. Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York. Labour Day itself originated in Toronto, Canada. It was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.
Planning a Party with Food and Beverage
With most Labor Day or summer parties a barbecue is often part of it. Always remember that the main reason most of your guests are coming is to see fellow friends and family and generally have a good time. Good old-fashioned summer fare such as hamburgers and hot dogs and salad make an ideal selection. As well with family and friends there’s nothing wrong with making it a potluck affair. With potluck you are sure to get a great variety of offerings with little effort on each of the attendees. I’ve been to several soirées that have been potluck and I have had no problem whatsoever in bringing my share of the meal.
Cold beverages, especially cold beer, go hand-in-hand with an end of summer party. Like we talked about with food there’s also no problem with asking your guests to bring a beverage of their choosing. In other words make it at BYOB event. A word of caution – as the host you do have some legal responsibility if alcohol will be served. Make it clear up front that you have a very strict policy regarding drinking and driving and ask your friends and family to respect that.
Planning a Party with Kid Activities
If there will be children (as is often the case) at your Labor Day BBQ then it’s a very good idea to have a few activities on hand for them. The last thing you want is for all the kids to be in the house playing video games or watching a movie. Why not think about some good old-fashioned out door activities that will keep the kids occupied. And I’ll bet you with these activities that most of the adults will be partaking as well. Involving everybody in activities creates an overall atmosphere of fun. You don’t have to go to a lot of trouble. For example if your yard is big enough, or if you’re close enough to a park, a game of croquet is easy and fun for everyone. Also if you have a pool in your yard there’s nothing better than forming some teams in having a few games of water volleyball.
Weather Can Be a Factor When Planning a Party
Let’s face it, if we are planning a Labor Day party we really really want the weather to be sunny and bright. But we also know that we have no control over mother nature. So while the theme of your party most likely will include being outside it’s not a bad idea to have a backup plan if the weather doesn’t cooperate. So make sure you have the space inside for the number of people that you’re inviting otherwise your event could become very crowded if you need to move inside. If your house isn’t big enough to accommodate an indoor party they maybe have a backup plan with a friend or family member to use their place (make sure you check with that person ahead of time).
So if you’re planning a party this Labor Day weekend the most important message to take away is to have fun yourself. End of summer parties can be a lot of fun for families and friends but make sure you that you plan the activities accordingly and include everybody.