It’s only a week away: Canada Day, July 1! The holiday falls on a Sunday this year, making it the perfect weekend to host a great Canada Day pool party.

The key to the perfect Canada Day pool party lies, of course, in the prep — and thanks to our beautiful red and white flag providing an easy theme, it’s actually super simple to host a great Canada Day pool party.

1. You don’t have to go with red and white, but really, why not? Picking a consistent colour scheme will make it easy to send out fun e-vites and choose great poolside decor. You don’t have to go nuts on clear floating beach balls with models inside tossing red and white confetti, the way Cabana does Canada Day. How about bunches of red and white balloons and Canadian flag beach umbrellas?

2. Keep the outdoors, outdoors! Set up the music to stream so it can be heard by arriving guests, and put up a sign to invite visitors straight back to the pool to minimize door-answering and wet-foot hall traffic.

3. Plan a simple barbecue menu with lots of grilled veggies and meats. This can actually be easier than trying to plan a potluck, especially on short notice, as you won’t have to co-ordinate dishes among multiple guests or contend with the eight cold pasta salads that inevitably show up.

When it comes to themed food, use maple leaf cookie cutters to make fresh watermelon pops (they’re great for hydration) or set out a red and white DIY sundae table for a major wow factor. Keep mess and fuss to a minimum with durable plastic dishes designed for outdoor dining. If you do decide to go the potluck route, try an online sign-up website.

4. Set up a comfort station. Someone is bound to have forgotten their sunscreen, flip-flops, towel, sunglasses, chilled bottled water, or all of the above. Providing these essentials will propel your pool party into another realm.

Put this all under a tent or nice umbrella and add in some chairs or pillows for the perfect spot to get out from the sun. This is a great spot to also keep some infused water on hand in a nice water cooler.

Pretty and functional.

5. Between all the comings and goings, food and beach balls, it can be hard to keep track of everyone. Designate a safety supervisor to keep an eye on the kids and everyone else in or near the water. Give them a colourful lanyard or something recognizable that shows everyone who the safety supervisor is. Have them trade off when they go off duty or decide it is time for a beer. Adequate supervision around a swimming pool saves lives.

Don’t forget to have fun with the party prep. Take care of the basics well before the get-together and make sure the pool is properly balanced and well-sanitized.

A clear pool is an inviting one. Afterwards, give the pool a good heavy shock and prep yourself for the next week ahead. It is as simple as that.

Happy Canada Day.

Kara Redden is a swimming pool enthusiast who is passionate about educating others to spend less time on their pool and more time with their family. Kara is a Partner at R&R Pools in Halifax and is the Atlantic Chapter president of the Pool and Hot Tub Council of Canada.