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Cookout 101

News Story

Summer is almost over, but that doesn't mean the fun has to end. University Relations' Special Events team has you covered with Cookout 101.

Barbecues and cookouts are a staple of summer fun, but between the beach and vacations, it's easy to forget a few essential aspects of hosting a seamless outdoor party. But, fear not. University Relations' Special Events team has you covered with Cookout 101.

Perfecting the space: Once you've found a location for your cookout, plan to create a functional work area/kitchen in the space. Access to coolers and tabletops is a must when handling food outdoors. Your guests will also thank you for not inviting bugs and other pests to your party if you light citronella candles and torches around the space, which will also double as nighttime lighting when your party transitions into the evening.

Creating the experience: Just because it's outside, don't skimp out on décor and a color theme. Try creating flower arrangements from your garden that match your theme. Music can also add to the mood or feel of your party. But make sure your perfect playlist is not lost in the vastness of the outdoors or deafening in other areas. Whether you're sticking to cookout classics like hamburgers and hot dogs or taking a more refined route, always select a balanced menu, which should include vegetarian options and fresh summer produce.

Always put safety first: Designate a responsible person in charge of areas where fire exists and keep an extinguisher on hand. If your space includes an open pool where children will be present, hire a qualified lifeguard. It's easy and sometimes as inexpensive as hiring a babysitter. Call your local pool for teenage lifeguards who might be looking for extra summer funds.

For more DIY cookout inspiration, recipes, and décor, check out UR's Summer Fun Pinterest Board.