How to Throw the Best Summer Parties

By Leslie Goldman

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Fourth of July decorations
Helen Norman

Red, White and Ooh!

Summer wouldn't be complete without a red-white-and-blue-themed bash. Your guests will see fireworks when you serve them these patriotic strawberries, dreamt up by party designer Courtney Dial, editor of On the morning of the party, melt white chocolate chips in the microwave; dunk strawberries in 2/3 of the way, then dip them in a shallow bowl filled with blue sprinkles or blue sugar crystals. Set on a piece of waxed paper to dry. Or try a charming United States-shaped cake.

Next, pop some mini American flags into assorted deli sandwiches, cupcakes, and cocktails. Set them all out on a festive tablecloth: Hit up your local fabric store and purchase two to three yards of a fun seasonal fabric, like bold stripes, plaid, or a kitschy vintage pattern. "It's more elegant than plastic, washes well, is reusable, and costs only $8-$12," Dial says. You can also use butcher paper in lieu of tablecloths—don't forget to set out plenty of red and blue crayons!

Pizzazzerie Entertain In Style

United States cake

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