Our ward had a potluck brunch at an awesome park with a splash pad in the morning and then we had our party in the evening in our garage and front yard. I know a garage and front yard sounds kind of lame, but I tried my hardest to have it be the opposite of that. My mom sent me a box with patriotic decor and napkins from the dollar store which I used along with some bunting that I made to decorate our garage. We set up grill on our front walkway and then let the kids play on the hill to the side of our house. It ended up being really fun and festive.
We had lots of friends over and had so much good food! It was really funny to watch all of the men congregate around the grills. I don't know what it is about the grill, maybe it has a man magnet secretly installed, but I chuckled every time I looked over and saw them all just circled around it. The kids had lots of fun running up and down the hill and playing with chalk and bubbles and the girls had fun watching the kids and chatting. Then we brought out the pinata.
So I got the super great idea to make my own star shaped pinata. I read that you could make them out of cardboard, so I used 2 empty cereal boxes, masking tape and tissue paper and made one. I was really worried it would not be strong enough and thought about wrapping it up with some layers of paper mache so that it would be stronger. I ultimately decided against that because I did not trust Madelynn around what could potentially become a huge mess. I was really worried that the pinata would break before all the kids got a turn to hit it. It turns out my fears were completely unfounded. Cereal boxes are strong! Not only did the pinata last through all of the kids, it lasted through all the adults too! I am so glad it turned out overly strong because watching every single adult take a turn at the pinata was the highlight of the evening. Watching your friends try and hit a pinata blindfolded while it fights back is soooooooo funny. McKay had a blast continuing the Young family tradition of a pinata that fights back. He used a mop handle to push it around and make it more difficult to hit, which made things so much fun. I highly recommend using an ultra strong pinata at your next party and making the adults get involved.
Once it got dark we had lots of popper and sparklers for the kids. It turns out that basically all fireworks are banned in Madison and the only things you can buy are sparklers, poppers and those party confetti poppers. However, McKay and I also found a couple of small fireworks at a road side stand about and hour away from our house and a couple more at a Walmart outside of town. Luckily for us, our friends Tracey and Steve had recently taken a trip to Arizona and bought a bunch of really awesome fireworks in New Mexico on their way home. They were the legit fireworks that shoot up into the air and are big and loud and beautiful. I was a little bit nervous that the cops would show up and give us a fine, but they didn't, so their fireworks ended up being the perfect finale to a super fun evening. Thanks to all of our wonderful friends who came and made it a night to remember and then helped us clean up after! You guys are awesome!