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An Outdoor Entertaining Checklist

Whether you're hosting a garden party, cookout, or backyard picnic, be sure to assemble all your supplies a few days in advance of the party to save yourself from having to rush around during the event. Rent or buy the basics, and use as many lightweight and waterproof items as possible. Print this handy checklist from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" to make sure your party lives up to its potential.

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Aprons

 

Bar towels

 

Blender, if making blended drinks; you'll also need a power source or an extension cord.

 

Corkscrew and bottle opener

 

Table, chairs, ground cloth, cushions

 

Tablecloths and napkins

 

Dinnerware, glassware, flatware, serving bowls, utensils, and trays

 

Food protectors: Mesh fly covers will keep pests away from food; beverages can be covered with weighted handkerchiefs or napkins.

 

Cooler, ice bucket, ice, tongs

 

Lighting, which could include votive candles, torches, kerosene lamps, or string lights, and extras of each; glass hurricanes protect a candle's flame from wind. Low-wattage bulbs are less likely to attract bugs.

 

Grill and grilling equipment

 

Paper towels, damp cloths or sponges, garbage bags, and garbage receptacles

 

Music; again, you'll need either a power source or plenty of batteries.

 

Hypoallergenic insect repellent and citronella candles to repel insects

 

Sweaters, shawls, portable heaters

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