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    Fourth of July party: Try expert hosting tips and crowd-pleasing recipes


    This July 4, millions of Americans will gather in backyards, at the lake or in parks to celebrate Independence Day.

    The holiday, which marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, is one of the biggest outdoor holidays of the year, with Americans spending $247 million on sparklers, etc., in 2014.

    If it’s your first time to plan a July Fourth gathering for your family and friends, professional event planner Jaime Dobbins is offering a few ideas that may help make it as stress-free and budget-friendly as possible.

    Her first suggestion: Make a plan for the family pets.

    “Fireworks scare pets, and you should really make a plan to accommodate them by boarding that weekend or giving them a quiet place inside the home during your party,” said Dobbins, who owns Grand Lake-based Core Productions Event Planning.

    Other critters you will want to take care of are insects, added Dobbins, a native of the Fort Gibson/Tahlequah area who has more than 10 years of experience handling corporate, college and residential events.

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    Lori was so considerate of our time frame.  We had only a few weekends to find and buy a house and they rearranged their schedules to help us.  It paid off because we are very  happy with our new home and neighborhood.  Thanks!! Lori Dodd is a Realtor Partner for Barry & Diane Evans | The Evans Group
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