Planning Your Memorial Day Cookout

It’s time to start planning your Memorial Day Cookout.  We’re here to help, with some easy steps to follow, a guest tracker and sample menu.  So let’s get planning.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is an American holiday to remember those servicemen and women who died while serving our country.  (Note: This is different than Veteran’s Day, in which we celebrate the service of all U.S. Veterans, both living and deceased.)  Many cities and towns have Memorial Day parades or ceremonies.  If you can incorporate your town event prior to your party, it will give more meaning to this special day.

Planning Your Memorial Day Cookout

Step 1:  Set the date, time and location.  You may also want to have a rain date.

For this example, our Memorial Day Cookout will be Sunday at 12:00 p.m.  The rain date will be Monday, at the same time.

Note: We know that some guests will arrive a little earlier, and some will run late. Therefore, we expect the overall arrive time between 11:45 – 12:15.

Our social hour is planned for 12:00 – 1:00.

Step 2:  Plan the menu: Fill out the Memorial Day Cookout Menu to determine what you would like to serve.

Ours will be a casual cookout, with the typical hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ chicken and steak as the main course items.

Be sure to check out our Memorial Day Cookout – Sample Menu

We’ve also included a blank page so that you can fill out one for your cookout:

Memorial Day Cookout – Blank Menu

Step 3:  Invite Guests and track RSVPs

Use our guest tracker to make sure you’ve included everyone.  Be sure to keep a phone number or email address handy, in case you need to contact them for the rain date.

 Guest Tracker

Since this is a casual event, be prepared for people to offer to bring a dish.  Lots of hands make for an easy day, so allow your guests to bring a dish.  You can ask guests to bring something from your menu, or just add the dish to your planner.  We usually add their dish to our Cookout Menu, and write their name in parenthesis.

 For example:  Cookies (Mom)             Veggie Tray (Aunt Jane)

Step 4:  Clean home and set up for party

Do as much cleaning as you can ahead of time.  It’s great if you can vacuum, dust, mop the floors, and finish your laundry earlier that week.  Outdoor tasks include: mowing your lawn, vacuuming your pool and setting up chairs and tables ahead of time.

You’ll want to reserve the 2-3 days before the party to complete your grocery shopping, decorate, and prepare the food.

 Step 5: Shop for decorations and supplies

If it’s a large party, consider using paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic utensils.  Stock up on grilling supplies like wood or charcoal.  Lastly, American flags and other red-white-and blue items will complete the decorations for your event.

Plan to do your grocery shopping two days before the event, and purchase your ice the day of the party.

Here’s a checklist to summarize the steps  we discussed:

Memorial Day Cookout Checklist

We hope that our menus, guest tracker and checklist help you host a terrific Memorial Day cookout.

You may find the following article from our website helpful:

Grocery Shopping List by Department

 

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