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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Barbecue Luau Party

Luau Barbecue Party
Got the Grill Fired Up


Grilled Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
Burgers and Hot Dogs


Grilled Hash Browns
Checking Hash Browns


Grilled Pineapple
Grilled Pineapple


Luau Party
Time to Eat

My oldest son graduated from high school this week, and we decided to have a barbecue luau to celebrate. The kid does not like formal gatherings or lots of attention. He cried all the way through his first birthday party with all the little kid games and goody bags. After that, I let him pick a couple of friends to come over, and I’d grill. That seemed like the best bet for graduation but with a theme added for fun.

Food for the Luau

I considered roasting a pig, but the group was medium in size – around 25 people. I thought about eating leftover pig for the next couple of months and decided that wouldn’t be a great idea for a smaller party.

With graduation and out of town company, I decided to keep it simple and grill hamburgers and hot dogs plus some fresh pineapple. That was a good idea, because my Mom ended up in the hospital all week up until the day before the luau. I slept over, and it’s rather hard to get much rest in a hospital.

We also bought chips, cheese, beef roll ups, gold fish crackers, and Skittles. One aunt made a yummy pasta salad and another made M&M cookies. I got up early and made homemade chili. In the South, hot dogs are usually served with chili (no beans) and most folks like chili on cheese burgers as well.


My brother took care of the decorations. Actually, it was his idea to have the luau theme. He found some neat stuff in Dayton and picked up a big poster, blow ups, wall decorations, garlands, luau plates/napkins, and leis.

The guys put up the decorations while I was working on the food. It’s really hard to do everything, so remember to accept help when offered – or ask for help if you’re getting in a time crunch.


As I mentioned, my son does not really like organized games and play. That meant that I needed to come up with things to do that would be informal and flexible.

Bubbles and water guns came to mind immediately. My younger son went to the Family Dollar and got those. I had him pick up the old fashioned flyswatters too. Those can be dipped in bubble stuff and make millions of mini bubbles. If you try that, you need to swish the flyswatter pretty fast to make the bubbles. Even the little ones at the party mastered it and loved making oodles of bubbles. The water guns were a hit especially with the male guests. They were all soaked – of course.

One of the boys suggested we get a Slip ‘n Slide. I haven’t seen one in ages. They did have Slip and Slides at Wal-Mart. Not the plain ones. Now they have fancy Slip ‘n Slides with double lanes and a NASCAR theme. We live in NASCAR country, so that seemed quite fitting.

For the little ones, we picked up a wading pool. I got some fish water squirters at Oriental Trading Company. The fish looked cute floating in the pool, and the cousins enjoyed those. One cousin also liked drinking the pool water.

I also found some glitter tattoos. Those rub on with water. They were a little tricky to get on. But, we got most everyone tattooed before the day was over.

Good Food and Good Fun

The luau worked out great. Some guests came later, and the flexible set up made it easy to drift in and out. Remember that you don’t have to have a super fancy party to have a wonderful time. Just make sure to have plenty of food and some things to keep the guests busy.



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