You were born in the 80s to the mid-90s, and you’re going to throw a 4th of July party. What do you need? According to a Horizon Media Survey, for a significant portion of millennials, the answer is “booze.”
Another survey by the National Retail Federation paints a more detailed picture of how millennials celebrate Independence Day in the United States. Millennials are more likely than any other age group to plan a cookout or barbecue for a holiday and plan on spending more money doing so.
Keep this in mind when you plan your holiday party, and read on to find your guide to the perfect millennial 4th of July party.
Don’t worry about finding a perfect punch recipe—millennials are too picky for that. Instead, consider providing a small bar of options for drinks. We’re cocktail fans.
Some orange juice, grenadine, cola, lemonade, and club soda make excellent mixers, and a selection of vodka, rum, and gin will round out your drink options. Good ice is also crucial to have on hand, and a prepared host will have a cooler filled with ice (and bottles of water) for guests to use.
A bottle or three of white wine will also make you popular—in February, the Wine Market Council announced that 42 percent of all wine in the U.S. was purchased by millennials, more than any other generation. They don’t have to be top-shelf or even expensive, as long as they’re properly chilled before serving on a hot summer day.
Consider supplying wine glasses for the wine as well, as even cheap wine becomes just a bit more unpleasant to drink in a Solo cup.
Food for parties can go one of two ways: fancy or casual. However, millennials tend to enjoy both. There’s no reason to limit yourself—a simple cheese tray with grapes and crackers will be a hit, but so will microwaved pizza rolls. Go for both.
Don’t worry about planning out a meal, either. Finger foods in enough abundance will give you an opportunity to provide a multitude of options for your guests, who don’t want to have to sit down somewhere to finish a meal during a party.
Cheesy mozzarella sticks and buffalo wings will go fast, but be sure to consider gluten-free options somewhere in your variety—millennials make up 28 percent of the gluten-free market, more than any other generation.
Break out dips for a 4th of July party too. Hummus with pita, spinach dip on chips, and cream cheese spreads will disappear in an instant.
A decent music setlist can be found on Spotify, but you can make your own with your music. As long as you incorporate every song that mildly references fireworks and top hits from the early 2000s, your guests will have a good time. Hire a photo experience company, such as Magnificent, to take pictures of a memorable evening.
Keep in mind, however, that millennials are less likely to anticipate dancing at a party. You’re not going to be a DJ for the night, spinning records for a moving crowd. Your friends will be lounging and relaxing. Look for songs you can sing to, not songs you can dance to.
Put in a few classic American Pride songs for patriotism’s sake, but there are only so many patriotic songs the average millennial can listen to before they beg you to turn the music off. Keep them few and far between. It’s not that we’re not patriotic; we don’t like to talk about it.
On the other hand, go ahead and decorate your house with the stars and stripes. It’ll set the mood, and millennials can appreciate a good display of patriotism as long as it’s not intrusive.
And for a 4th of July party, there is nothing more enjoyable than a dip in the pool if you have access to one. And if not, a local beach or swimmable lake can make a great substitute and help you keep cool.
The final piece of entertainment you need for a 4th of July party is perhaps the most crucial part: the fireworks. Sparkers are customary on the 4th of July, and partygoers love bottle sparklers. They provide that extra “wow” factor at your party and are much safer to handle than traditional fireworks.
But a great Independence Day party can also end with a carpool to the closest fireworks show. There’s likely to be one nearby, easily found with a quick Google search. Find details on shows a couple of days before the party to make sure you’re prepared for whatever rules your local show may have.
Millennials like things our way, but our way is aggressively individual. Give your guests options, both in food and beverage and in entertainment. Not everyone will come with you to a fireworks show, and not everyone will jump in the pool. Let them do their thing.
Above all, a good party for millennials should be a time for bonding. So bond over your favorite white wine while singing Katy Perry’s “Fireworks.” Happy 4th of July.