The Barbecue: The Time Has Come!

Every year, when the wintery skies clear, the summer sun coaxes you into the great outdoors, and a certain patriotic holiday (for us Americans) makes you roll up your sleeves and embrace that age old tradition of the Barbecue.


Whether you flick the gauge on the propane tank to check the fuel, knock the rust off the grates of the grill, or send the boy off to the store to buy fresh charcoal, there is always a excited undertone as the ritual of the pre-barbecue is observed.

  • Family and friends are free of obligations and can attend.
  • Cabinets are searched to ensure that there is indeed enough foil, cups, paper plates, plastic cutlery, etc.
  • The weekend weather is free of rain and blustery wind.
  • The Grill is thoroughly scrubbed.
  • Food combinations are planned, necessary sauces are set aside, and the vegetarian options are noted (for Aunt Claire, of course).

And as soon as you complete that last-minute trip to the grocery store, and have battled your child’s technology addiction (TV, mobile, iPad, and all other handheld devices are off!), it’s time for the main event!

A great aspect of the Barbecue is that it ignores all social and cultural barriers.  Gather around a grill and you can immediately feel your mouth water as the savory aroma wafts your way.  Regardless of culture, financial standing, or community, BBQ parties surpass all borders.

BBQ Party Ideas to Have Fun in the SunThere are few things in life as welcoming and social as the Barbecue.  Families reconnect, friends gather in the sunshine, excellent food is consumed, and fresh air is enjoyed.  Kids (youth, or just big “adult” kids) immediately group together, playing badminton or volleyball, frisbee or kicking around a soccer ball, or the play becomes imaginative, with unique don’t-touch-the-lava like games that spring forth on a child-like whim.

And let us not forget the all-knowing grill master.

“Flip it over, don’t flip it so much, slather it with more sauce, don’t cook it so long, are you sure it is done?”

He or she may not always be at the helm, but rest assured, there is a Grill Master in attendance, and his or her opinions will be heard.  Grilling, after all, is a skill-based, family affair, with knowledge passed through the generations.  Grill masters have spent many long hours learning the craft, watching from childhood at the elbow of his or her predecessor. The Grill Master is the epicenter of the event.  Those gathered at the Barbecue are the Grill Master’s responsibility, and such a duty is not taken lightly.  Much like a captain going down with the ship, the Grill Master is often the last to eat.  But do not worry, for the Grill Master also reserves the right to taste test (for quality assurance purposes only of course, clearly) as often as he or she sees fit.  In the end, it’s worth the kudos and grateful (if not congratulatory) slaps on the back.

People seem to be more generous, have you noticed?  Freely offering burgers and hot dogs to passersby, and sometimes complete strangers. And who can refuse their generosity?  No one.  The sights, sounds, and smells of the Barbecue take us all back to those wonderful times growing up.  When, even after the sun’s light would disappear below the tree-line, we could stay up and play with our friends, trying to score one last point before all the light was gone.  And while the adults cleaned up the mess, and packed away the treats, we would chase fireflies, trying to see who could gather the most.

group_barbequeEven now, whether you gather at a lake, at a park, on your patio behind the house or any spot you can set a grill; the lure of the Barbecue is universal.  So, in these last few days before the 4th of July, scrub that grill, pull your plastic utensils from the back of the cabinet, and dust off that red and white checkered table cloth… because it’s BBQ season, and time to embrace your community!

You know you want to!

Michael Marcantel
Project Manager


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