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San Antonio is known for its ability to revel, to elevate occasions and even stretch a party into a two week celebration each April. Alamo City native, Sara Stumberg Walker, the proprietor of the recently launched special events planning company, Sara Walker Private Events is making a career out of the art of party giving. She’s done luxury weddings, galas, luncheons, and Fiesta events, but we asked her for guidance on celebrating summer’s big bang – Independence Day. Here are her tips for an outdoor or poolside all American party at home:

Party Decor

PHOTO CREDIT: Jenny Cookies, Hometown Evolution, Rebecca Arthurs

• Add a little something extra to your swimming pool with large, trendy, fun floats that come in all shapes, summer designs and sizes, such as swans, or popsicles.

• Tie weights to the ends of the strings of colorful balloons and sink them in the pool. The balloons will float above the water and add movement to your poolside decor. You could also add a light inside the balloon to add some extra glow to your evening pool party.

• Colorful LED garlands can be used to decorate your outdoor seating area at night. They can also be carefully hung over an entry way or placed across your outdoor dining table.

Patriotic Place Settings

PHOTO CREDIT: The Bright Ideas Blog, House Beautiful

• Impress your guests with a festive red, white and blue table setting. Use a white tablecloth with a blue runner, accompanied by red western bandanas in place of napkins.

• A few vases with blue or white hydrangeas make the perfect centerpiece.

Red, White and Blue Buffet

PHOTO CREDIT: Dell Cove Spice Co, Good Housekeeping

• Get creative with your menu items and surprise your guests with a patriotic-themed build-your-own hot dog bar.

• Add an unexpected twist by rimming your cocktail glasses with red salt or blue sugar.

• Set up a self-serve lemonade station.

• Create the perfect summer cocktail with prosecco pops. Simply purchase popsicles and place in wine glasses and add a splash of prosecco.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flair Flickers, Your Cup of Cake, Veggie Quest

• Garnish homemade or store-bought, vanilla cupcakes with strawberry and blueberry toppers.

• Toss watermelon, feta and blueberries to create a salad or thread watermelon cubes and blueberries on sticks.

• Get creative with easy-to-eat, refreshing and simple crudité with fresh-cut carrot sticks, celery and bell peppers in easy-to-grab clear plastic cups with dressing at the bottom.

Guest Entertainment

PHOTO CREDIT: Hostest with the Mostess®

• One of the most important elements of party planning and setting the mood is the music. Make sure to have a preset summer playlist playing in the background for all of your guests to enjoy.

• Entertain the younger party guests with exciting pool games such as pool noodle races and throwing glow rings for retrieval at the bottom of the pool during the evening.

• Amuse guests of all ages with outdoor classics such as pin the tail on the donkey, whiffle ball, and corn hole.

• Sparklers are a great way to top off the night, which even the most serious guests will adore.

These luxury offerings from Portfolio provide the ideal setting for memorable summer gatherings and soirees to delight friends and family:


This one-story entertainment destination offers a magnificent Keith Zars pool and spa. At night, enjoy the evening under your covered patio next to the outdoor fireplace.


This spectacular Spanish revival is a resort-style paradise. Past the iron gates lies a lush, private courtyard with tiled-surface pool & spa, fireplace and a covered poolside lounge.


This stunning one story estate in the Dominion offers resort style grounds with a pool, spa, elevated fire columns, expansive patios, outdoor kitchen, projector/screen and fire pit.

For more details on this Patti Nelson listing, check it out here.


Located on a double lot on the 10th green in The Dominion, the word oasis doesn’t properly describe this Kevin Crawford listing. Entertaining is made easy with its gorgeous pool and spa, outdoor kitchen and large fire pit that seats numerous people.


Stately French Country home boasts privacy, Hill Country views and grounds ideal for entertaining with an outdoor space consisting of a fireplace, pergola and stunning pool with water features.

For more details on this Patti Nelson listing, check it out here.


Artfully executed by renowned architect and builder, Steve Heflin, this Hill Country Village estate offers a courtyard, Keith Zars pool and spa, outdoor kitchen with TV and Fireplace and a sports court.


With a pool built by Liquid Assets that replicated the grandeur of the W Hotel Austin pool, cozy outdoor fire pit living space, outdoor grilling area, Mediterranean outdoor orchard dining area and manicured grounds, you don’t have to look far to see how this Monte Vista gem listed by Liz Braden and Paulette Jemal is the perfect locale to host parties.


This iconic Hilltop Gated Estate offers a private pennisula with jaw dropping views overlooking the Tapatio Springs Golf Resort. With an outdoor kitchen, professionally landscaped yard and extensive patio with a fireplace, entertaining is a breeze.

For more details on this Denise Graves listing, check it out here.


This beautiful property is more than a horse lover’s dream. It’s park-like setting, covered patio with fireplace, balcony, pool and spa makes it the perfect fit for those who enjoy entertaining.

For more details on this Patti Nelson listing, check it out here.


This exquisite estate with timeless architecture and big sky views offers an infinity pool and spa, LED lighting and fire pit, covered patio and great hardscape areas is the perfect property for entertaining friends and family!

For more details on this Denise Graves listing, check it out here.


Stunning villa in Cordillera Ranch with panoramic views offers al fresco living and dining with an outdoor built-in grill, fire pit, spa and pool with waterfall!

For more details on this Patti Nelson listing, check it out here.


With over 211 visually stunning acres in the exclusive Diamond E Ranch, this beautiful Texas Hill Country recreational and entertainment property is highlighted by amazing views, award winning Keith Zars pool and spa, and a summer kitchen.

For more details on this Denise Graves listing, check it out here.


Nestled behind a private gate, you will find this stunning Trinity home! Step into luxury with the most impressive outdoor space for entertaining with its pool, hot tub, fireplace, outdoor kitchen, bar & huge grassed area for kids to play!

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