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Southern Living Inspired back yard at Harbor Club on Lake Oconee

Summer Gatherings and Unforgettable Moments

Thursday, May 30, 2024  |  Harbor Club  |  At Home

By: Kathy Phillips

At Harbor Club, we are looking forward to welcoming summer with fun gatherings and memorable moments as we embrace the exciting lake season ahead. With Memorial Day just around the corner, I’m excited to dive into a three-week celebration featuring tips for entertaining Southern style. 

Week 1: Kitchen Comforts & Culinary Charms

Southern Kitchen ready for entertaining guests

The Kitchen is the heart of every home and the stage for culinary masterpieces. As you prepare to host your own gatherings this summer, consider these helpful tips:

• Efficient Layout: Keep your kitchen layout conducive to mingling amongst friends and family. Arrange seating areas or bar stools where guests can chat with the chef without getting in the way of meal prep.

• Ambient Lighting: Opt for warm, inviting lighting to create a cozy atmosphere (or embrace the natural sunlight for daytime parties!) Dimmable lights or candles can add a touch of elegance to your gatherings.

• Preparation is Key: Prep as much as you can ahead of time to minimize stress during the event. Chop ingredients, set the table, and pre-mix cocktails so you can enjoy the company of your guests without feeling overwhelmed.

Week 2: Memorial Day Homage

Cottage in Carriage Ridge at Harbor Club on Lake Oconee with American Flag on the front of the house

As we approach Memorial Day, Harbor Club is brimming with reverence and gratitude. This week, amidst the American flags and the solemn beauty of remembrance, we gather to pay homage to the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Here are some thoughtful ways to pay tribute while hosting your Patriotic Picnic:

• Patriotic Curb Appeal: Boost your home’s curb appeal with patriotic decorations like flags, bunting, or red, white, and blue flowerpots. A welcoming exterior sets the tone for your Memorial Day gathering and showcases your pride in the community and country.

• Memorial Garden Tribute: Create a memorial garden in your backyard as a tribute to fallen heroes. Plant red, white, and blue flowers, and consider adding a flagpole or plaque to honor those who have served. A serene outdoor space dedicated to remembrance can add a meaningful touch to your home.

• Outdoor Games with Patriotic Twist: Organize outdoor games and activities with a patriotic twist, such as a relay race with red, white, and blue obstacles, or a trivia game about the country’s history and symbols.

At Harbor Club, Memorial Day is not just a holiday—it’s a sacred opportunity to come together as a community, to honor the past, celebrate the present, and cherish the precious gift of freedom. So, as we raise our glasses in toast, let us also bow our heads in solemn remembrance, for it is because of their sacrifice that we are able to gather here today in peace and unity.

Week 3: Patio Parties & Sunset Soirees

Southern backyard porch with fire pit for entertaining at Harbor Club on Lake Oconee

There’s something truly special about Southern-style homes and their curb appeal – those sprawling verandas where time seems to slow down, and the world feels just a little bit sweeter. This week, we’re trading our aprons for sun hats to embrace the art of patio and porch entertaining. Here are some tips to make the most of your outdoor entertaining space:

• Comfortable Seating: Invest in comfortable seating options like rocking chairs, porch swings, or cozy lounge chairs. Your guests will appreciate having a comfortable spot to relax and enjoy the view.

• Decorative Touches: Add personal touches such as colorful throw pillows, outdoor rugs, and potted plants. Create a welcoming ambiance that reflects your personal style and invites guests to feel more at home.

• Scenic Lighting: Enhance the ambiance of your outdoor space by strategically placing outdoor lighting to highlight the scenic beauty around you. String lights, lanterns, or even solar-powered pathway lights can create a magical atmosphere as the sun sets and stars start to shine.

To conclude our series on Summer Gatherings and Unforgettable Moments at Harbor Club, we hope you’ve been inspired to make the most of this exciting lake season. From the heartwarming kitchen gatherings to the solemn Memorial Day tributes, and the enchanting patio parties, each moment is an opportunity to create lasting memories with friends and family. As you implement these tips and ideas, may your summer be filled with joy, laughter, and meaningful connections. Here’s to celebrating the beauty of summer at Harbor Club – a place where every gathering becomes a cherished moment in time. Cheers to a fantastic season ahead!