All Things Red and White!

Canada celebrates its birthday. What better reason to throw a family and friends get together? 

Throwing a fabulous birthday bash for our home and native land is easy.  Think outdoors — barbecues in the backyard, picnics in the park. And think team work – delegate to help you organize, decorate and prep food. Pot lucks are a great way to stay on budget and come together.

Decor

Red and White: keep it simple, a red table cloth, white napkins; a few Canadian flags here and there are all you need. Red and white streamers, balloons and table confetti are also a fun touch.

Bring out lawn chairs, tiki lamps, and citronella candles. It’s important to have shady spots. Think umbrellas, canopies, tents. Have sunscreen and bug spray (for evening events) available for guests.

Food

Don’t strain yourself. The food should be simple and stress-free. Do your classics. Today is not the day to try something new and have it fail. Go with what you know best and doesn’t involve you having to slave over a hot stove all day. As a side try a salad (leaf or bean or taco), its light and easy to digest on hot days. For the entree, go with simple and delicious wraps of grilled chicken, sweet red pepper, goat cheese and some greens. Cut in half before presenting so guests can see the patriotic colours inside.  For kids, sandwiches are a great choice. Use a maple leaf cookie-cutter to cut out shapes.

Other food to think about:

  • Canada’s top foods. Beer, back bacon, poutine. Tim Horton’s timbits and coffee can be a last resort.
  • Have a sundae bar or cookie station. Work in the Canadian theme with red and white toppings like red and white sprinkles, smarties, jellybeans, red icing, or strawberry or raspberry sauce.
  • Maple leaf cookies, or Pancakes for dinner with lots of maple syrup.
  • Hire a food machine for the kiddies such as popcorn, cotton candy or sno kones.
  • Have plenty of ice in the coolers. A good rule of thumb is two pounds of ice per person.

Activities

Make sure the activities planed are suitable for the target age group. Young children and older guests aren’t as enthusiastic to join in competitive games.

Have a variety of things to do:

  • Old Fashioned Fun: bocce ball, a limbo contest or a scavenger hunt, croquet, sack races, ping pong, horse shoes, or hoola-hoops.
  • Kids Stuff:  rent a bouncy castle, carnival games, face painting and entertainers such as a magic or puppet show. Crafts: Paper bag beavers and colouring pages.
  • Adult Entertainment: board games or a set of cards, live entertainers such as Magicians, Bands, Comic Jugglers. Try a murder mystery or Canadian trivia icebreaker.

Fireworks and sparklers are a must for my Canada Day festivities. We all gather at one house and bring fireworks; by the time everyone has contributed we have a colossal show. It’s just not the same without them!  Have a great one! Cheers!