The Fourth of July was smack dab in the middle of the week this year. For those of us who had to work, it almost didn’t feel like a holiday. We went about our usual routines, watching the clock in hopes that our evening plans would somehow arrive sooner than later. My particular plans involved a quick trip to the Kutztown Folk Festival followed by a party.
I decided to bring a cucumber and tomato salad made with dill and apple cider vinegar, a recipe that I slightly altered from the Manifest Vegan‘s new cookbook, Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats. Contrary to common belief, the book is awesome whether you’re gluten-free/vegan or not!
Anyway, as my mother Pam taught me, I prepared my salad fit to feed an army. This time the troops were present. However, those troops all brought food of their own. There were over 50 people and I only knew one so we awkwardly strolled in. After finding her familiar face and then finding a spot for my oversized bowl, I was able to get a “feel” for the new environment, new people and new sounds.
Turned out this was a legitimate block party (I may or may not have thought that was just a cool name for a hip, new party theme). It was two neighbors who asked the borough if they could shut down the street and have a joint party. Road blocks were acquired and the rest was history. Not just any July 4th history, though. This party took me way back. There was a nostalgic feeling floating amongst the different age groups, from 8 to 80. This comforting ambience blew past the table of Summer salads and the old aluminum webbed lawn chairs huddled together in the only remaining shade. It breezed through the lawn games of bocce and horse shoes, resting only upon the various lighthearted conversations when the live music stopped.
The best way to describe how surreal this party felt is by asking you to recall a distinct memory from childhood. This July 4th moment was weird because I knew it was one of those memories in the making. I knew that every young kid running around through the sprinkler and drinking Soda Pop would always remember it. I knew they would remember that particular moment forever because it was so genuine.
Then it got me thinking, genuinely great parties are few and far between anymore. Today there is always a catch, a theme, a gimmick that better intrigue people to come or you’ll be partying alone. I think we should get back to the old way. Throw a party to gather the people you love and have a good time; just to have a party.
The Main Street Inn has been working the “genuine” angle since opening and will continue to do so with our new events. We even know a few basic key ingredients that might help you do the same. Here they are!
Keep it Genuine, Keep it Kutztown
- Live music
- Don’t get wrapped up in the ever changing playlist scene. If you’re throwing a shin dig, try to find a local band or a friend of a friend who can play a few mellow tunes. Maybe even rock the “open music” night, welcoming any guests who know how to strum to bring their guitar.
- Lots of Food
- As far as the Corrado’s and The Main Street Inn are concerned, there is no such thing as too much food. For a big event, have everyone bring something or two things and if it doesn’t get finished they can take it home. Less work put on one person and less wasting! Take out boxes are a nice touch here to minimize waste as well!
- Casual Seating
- Don’t worry about all the chairs matching and each table being surrounded by the perfect amount of chairs. Space out your seating options and keep them casual, especially during a back yard Summer BBQ. Lay a blanket here, few lawn chairs there and voila, a naturally flowing event.
- Various Age Groups
- Different age groups bring different energies to the table. There is a certain chemistry from varying individuals that produces a genuine bond among company. From my point of view at events like this, the elders have the best stories and experience and the children are always happy.
- No Worries
- This ingredient to a genuine celebration almost contradicts all the previous ones. It in no way says that the Main Street Inn throws caution to the wind when planning an event. It’s more so a way of saying, we have the answer to everything. No matter what is lacking, there is a way to make it better and the world won’t end in doing so!
We capped the list off at 5 but some classic adult beverages are always welcome as well! There you have it. Get cracking at your genuine, yester-year party or call the Main Street Inn to start planning one with us!
Until Next Time,
Blast from the Past Partier