There’s something both nostalgic and comfortable about dipping your toes into a cool stream, tasting the fruits of the season, and lounging on a pallet while enjoying the company of a best friend. As America celebrates 238 years of independence, we invite you to bring these easy ideas to your celebration.
Event designer Autumn Evans Beaulieu of Petal Chik Designs used a patriotic red, white, and blue palette to set the tone for a Fourth of July party for two couples, their children and children’s friends. “I wanted the picnic to have a casual and rustic feel, but also knew it needed a few formal touches, like the floral arrangements, to set it apart as a special occasion,” Beaulieu says. The rustic setting at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center not only provides a beautiful backdrop, but also an afternoon of outdoor fun for or the active families.
“Cheesecake in a Jar” desserts, created by freelance chef Mariah Parks, utilize summer’s abundance of delicious berries. Plus, the dessert’s colors coordinate perfectly with the picnic’s red, white, and blue décor. (Get the recipe here!) Beaulieu covered a classic wooden picnic table with a cream burlap tablecloth and large, red-and-white striped canvas ribbon that has a jute edging. “I like the idea of using these ribbons as runners because they remind me of the flag,” she says.
“Watermelon-Infused Iced Green Tea,” another of Parks’ creations, keeps the picnickers cool and refreshed while they play games on the lawn.
The centerpiece is an arrangement of David Austin red garden roses mixed with privet.
A mix of red anemones and privet, which was cut from the grounds’ lush landscape, create a cheerful loose arrangement. A tall, glass votive candleholder was repurposed as a vase. Sheets of birch bark wrapped around the cylinder and tied with a navy grosgrain ribbon give the vessel a hint of rustic flair.
Patriotic pinwheels are a fun way to watch time fly by for the children at the gathering.
Special thanks to the Haney, Harvey, and Hay families for being our models and to Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center (ferncliff.org) for use of their space.
Event design Autumn Evans Beaulieu, Petal Chik Designs, Little Rock, (870) 243-1134, petalchikdesigns.com
Catering Mariah Parks, Little Rock, (501) 940-3018