DAVIS PARK By Cathy ShislerIt’s that time of the year for my annual Fourth of July party planning article. The Davis Park Patriotic Parade will be held on Monday, July 4, at 11 a.m. If you are participating in the parade, please assemble on Dune Walk and Whalebone Walk facing west at 10:30 a.m. There will be prizes awarded for adults and kids in various categories. Hope you have your ideas ready for your costumes, and good luck! If you’re not walking in the parade, bring out your family and friends to cheer on the participants.Once the festivities die down, throwing the best Fourth of July party is key. Patriotic parties are the best part of summer. They mean getting together with friends and family, eating delicious food, playing fun games, and decorating in red, white, and blue! There’s nothing better!I’ve found some great ideas for your party, from treats to games to decorations. Hopefully you will use all of these ideas for your party on the Fourth. Setting up a game station will be great for your guests’ poppers and sparklers; you can put them in mason jars with labels. A candy display is perfect for your patriotic party. All you need are some more mason jars in different sizes, then fill them with red, white, and blue candy. Some suggestions: Twizzlers (a personal favorite), blue M&M’s, and white chocolate covered pretzels. (Gumdrops are great, too.)I know most of the beach houses do not have yards so you can take the games to the beach. Beach volleyball is great for kids and adults. Another idea is racing to fill up buckets. Divide into teams with one member holding a bucket atop their head while the other members run to the ocean to fill cups with water and race back to fill the bucket as fast as they can. It’s a fun game that will cool you off too. Water balloon games are always a hit. Adults can play water balloon dodge ball, while kids can play water balloon relay races. Set out two beach chairs for each team, then players take turns running to the chair, and sitting on a balloon until it pops. After popping the balloon, they run back and tag the next player. The first team to pop all the balloons wins!Decorate with flags. Use red, white, and blue streamers and hang them across some string patio lighting across your deck for a great look. If you’re crafty use your theme mason jars, and paint them with red, white, and blue stripes and fill them with knives, forks, and spoons. You can also fill them with flowers for the tables (stop at Bushes’ farm stand on Dune for your flowers) and with candles for the evening.Fourth of July recipes are pretty predictable for the most part. There is some comfort in knowing that your favorite barbeque recipes, potato salad, and, of course, deviled eggs will be served. This year, kick it up a notch. Instead of traditional potato salad make a BLT potato salad. Add bacon, tomatoes and chopped lettuce. Change up the deviled eggs by adding mashed avocado and use less mayo. Set up a hot dog bar with all the toppings and serve French fries on the side. Make your own mac and cheese and bake in cupcake wrappers. The kids will love it! Maybe serve with some fried chicken. For dessert, set up an ice cream topping bar. Keep the ice cream in the freezer so the sun doesn’t make it into a float; serve quickly once out.Let’s be honest, the best part of the party besides the food is the drinks. Adult juice boxes will be the hit of your party. All you need is 1 cup of sugar, 8-1/3 cups of water, 4 lemons to juice, vodka, and ice cubes. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/3 cup of water and place over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, cook the sugar until it dissolves but the syrup stays clear (do not cook the sugar until it starts to turn color). Remove from heat and cool. In a pitcher combine the syrup, the remaining 8 cups of water, lemon juice, vodka, and ice. Stir to combine. Pour into zip-lock bags (tall ones you can find on the internet) and put in the freezer to turn it into a slushy. Pop in a straw and enjoy!Davis Park News: Please get your 2016 summer poster and magnets, painted by David Berker of the KIKI ferry. They can be purchased at the DP post office and the Casino. They are done by CRAB, which stands for Davis Park Community, Recreation, Arts and Beautification. Let’s sell out this year! If you want to contribute to the parade you can send donations to 746 Montauk Highway, Bayport NY 11705. Don’t forget the grand re-opening of the Post Office. Stop by and see Linda, who is also back in the Harbor store. It was so nice to see you making my egg sandwich, which was delicious, just how I like it. Check out the band line up at the Casino Bar for the weekend. On July 2, come see NY Minute; on the July 3, In The Groove; and July 4, the Strecker Band. Don’t miss that line up. Check out the Casino’s specialty nights on their Facebook page for performance times.I hope I helped you with your party planning for the Fourth. Enjoy and have a safe Fourth of July.Email Cathy at [email protected] to let her know about your Davis Park events and happenings.1239482_10201687743137447_34397297_n