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DC COMMUNITY POST

Throwing a Great Post-Barbecue Party

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When the sun shines, sales of barbecue food go through the roof, and there's no reason why you shouldn't make the most of any good weather too, just like your neighbors will be doing. But if you're having friends and family over to eat with you, you might want to have a post-barbecue party to ensure that you don't waste a moment of the fair weather.

Preparing your Party
Preparing a post-barbecue party shouldn't be too much of a challenge, as there's only so much decorating you can do within the space of your own garden. If you want a celebratory feel, consider hanging bunting or fairy lights above your table—just make sure that any lights you use are proper outdoor lighting and not simply indoor lights that you've brought outside. You can also get brighter outdoor lights, if you want to be able to see easily after the sun goes down and don't like the fairly gentle illumination offered by fairy lights.

Music
A portable stereo allows you to have music outside, and with most households these days having an MP3 player at their disposal, it should be easy to get some music playing even if you're a long way from the house. Using a portable MP3 player on battery power can drain it quite quickly, so be careful not to let it run out before your party's ready to wind down. The alternative is to run an extension cord up to the area where you are barbecuing. Or, of course, you might have outdoor plug sockets, if your garden has ever been rigged with them in the past.

Snacks
However full you might be feeling at the end of your barbecue, if your party runs late into the night you're likely to want a snack of some kind. The old favorites like chips and chocolates are still as popular as ever, but if you're thinking ahead you might want to set aside some barbecued chicken wings, or even make a barbecued dessert. Wrap bananas in tinfoil and bake them on the barbecue until they are hot and soft, then serve with honey or syrup and chocolate sauce for a tasty pudding. You can even do this as the embers of your barbecue are dying down, if they're still throwing off enough heat, making it a good way to get a last tasty treat out of the day.

Seating
Finally, make sure there's enough seating for everybody, as nobody is likely to want to stand up throughout the barbecue and its after-party. You might not have enough chairs to go around, but be creative about where people can sit, as even the edge of a raised flowerbed or rockery can double as a perching point. If you're going to be using such features as makeshift benches, provide plenty of small cushions so nobody spends their evening sat directly on rock or stone. And you can supplement these with bean bags to provide a few extra comfy seats that can easily be moved around the garden.

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