While some elements of life are returning to normal as we deal with the lingering effects of COVID19, summer activities and celebrations loom on the horizon with questions about what best practices will allow us to celebrate with family and friends safely.
Phase 2 restrictions on social gatherings allow up to 25 people to gather outdoors, or 10 to gather indoors. While most 4th of July celebrations tend to be cookouts or small gatherings of friends, the good news is that with these restrictions, those celebrations can still happen!
I’ve included some tips and tricks for displaying your food and beverage options for the day, to reduce the risk of any cross contamination to keep things clean and your guests healthy. It’s important to note here that if any of your guests are feeling under the weather on the day of your celebration, they are asked to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID19.
Hand Sanitizing Stations.
If guests are going to be touching doors, handling food, playing yard games, etc. you will want to make sure
that there are stations located near doors, food stations, and throughout the event to ensure that guests are encouraged to sanitize their hands after touching surfaces shared by others.
Individual Serving Sizes.
While ‘grazing tables’ with big bowls of chips and snacks for people to just grab and go are very popular at cookouts and house parties, this is the first place we would recommend a change when planning your July 4th event. Large bowls of chips can be substituted for individually wrapped bags of chips, candies, and desserts.
In the event that you planned to make food rather than purchasing pre-made snacks, you can easily pre-portion things out in 5 or 9 ounce plastic cups, and then brought out on trays to display a few at a time. This allows for guests to ‘grab and go’ smaller portions, without standing around one communal table and eating throughout the day.
Although it will increase prep time on the planning side of things, you can ask that if it is going to be a Potluck style event where friends are each bringing a dish to share, everyone is working to aid in the process, so as not to overwhelm any one person with prep work. If you do opt to have others aid in the food preparations, I would suggest asking that everyone wears food safe gloves during the preparation process.
Presentation is Everything!
Just because there may be more work required to portion things out individually, that also leaves you more room to create beautiful Pinterest-worthy food displays!
Companies like Jones Soda have blue and red colored berry sodas that provide a great grab and go option. Things like cake pops and push pop style-desserts are both fun and functional when entertaining in a socially distant culture.
If you’re opting for making batch cocktails or drinks rather than serving individual sodas, you can buy mason jars for each guest, and fill them with a set of silverware and napkins. This can serve a dual purpose, because guests won’t have to touch other’s silverware, and you will also have a glass designated for each guest that can be labeled so no one gets confused and drinks someone's drink by mistake.