Tailgate for Fourth of July, you say? Hell yeah! This time, we’re setting the truck up for a different type of main event — the game of fireworks! Grab your friends, pack all the essentials for a day party, and post up at the best firework spot. Follow along below to learn everything you’ll need to pull off the best tailgate of 2017.

Those fireworks though :) Amirite?

First things first — you’ll need a rad truck to house all your goodies. We borrowed our friend’s classic ’78 Toyota — otherwise known as Little Blue. Now let’s talk about the food we filled it up with.

A hot dog bar! Grab a portable charcoal grill that can stay lit all day long for dogs upon dogs. Supply your friends with all the best toppings, including jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, bacon bits, and, of course, ketchup and mustard. Bring ramekins with you to separate all the toppings to style out the perfect hot dog topping station.

Hot dogs not your thing? No worries, we’ve also prepared (my favorite) chicken and waffle sandwiches. Add some red and blue dye into the waffle batter to make these sandwiches ready for the festivities. Throw in some lettuce and wrap it up in butcher paper for ultimate snacking.

Fourth of July isn’t complete without watermelon slices and red, white, and blue Jell-O shots ;) Follow this recipe to bring your friends back to their Jell-O-shooting college days.

Maybe it’s the summer berries or the light, airy texture — either way, angel food cake is the perfect cake for summer. We used a large donut pan to make a three-layer giant donut angel food cake. Add Cool Whip and berries to each layer, and then dive on in!

What’s a party with only one dessert? Not a party I want to go to! Donuts are always a great idea :) We followed this rainbow donut recipe and used only red, white, and blue colors. Top off with icing and sprinkles to make an array of donut designs.

Our final must-have was a white summer sangria. We mixed together Champagne, white wine, and apple juice, and then added in raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Top it off with apple slices in the shape of stars. We are obsessed with this flag-themed sangria.

Time to style out your party scene. The key? Staggering heights. Use the bins that you’ve packed everything in and turn them over into mini tables for food. We headed over to Target to pick up a few essentials — bins, hot dog trays, cute Fourth of July straws, and an American flag table runner.

One of my favorite and quirky decor items are pineapples! Spray paint them red, white, and blue, and you’ve got yourself a prop. But like I said, it’s a prop — don’t eat it after you’ve spray painted it :)

Another classic decor item — letter boards! They’re the perfect piece for friends to grab an Instagram-worthy photo.

Fourth of July outfits are kindof a thing. This year I’ll be rocking the short overalls — plenty of pockets for keys and cameras. Head over to Old Navy and Target to find great Independence Day apparel at a decent price.

Now it’s time to party!

Notice how I went for the donut (insert crying face emoji). Dessert always <3


And now onto activities!

After eating a whole bunch, lounging is very necessary. Bring plenty of blankets and pillows for chatting and watching nighttime fireworks. May we also suggest making a flag rug :)

After the food has settled, grab your favorite lawn activities and start playing. This is actually a glow-in-the-dark Playaboule Bocce Ball Set ($80). We highly recommend.

Before you know it, it will be time to cozy up for the fireworks. In my experience, it’s best to get everything tidied up before the sun goes down. Then you won’t be a staggering maniac tripping over things as you clean up in the dark.

Grab a spot on the car or on the ground and get ready for an epic firework show.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Show us your patriotic party by tagging us on Instagram + using hashtag #iamcreative!

DIY Production and Styling: Kelly Bryden
Models: Kelly Bryden, Cassidy Miller, Natasha Thomas, Lindsay Saito, Sean Kesterson, Will Harlan, Kyle Peters
Hair and Makeup: Misty Spinney 
Photography: Kurt Andre

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