How to throw a community party that’ll raise your local profile

Whether it's Easter or Fourth of July, you can host a bash people will remember
  • You need to start planning a big event at least 60 days in advance.
  • Get invitations directly into the hands of children for kid-friendly events.
  • Don't rely on free entertainment (like face painting or balloon animals) -- in some cases, it really pays to hire a professional.

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If you haven't started thinking about your Fourth of July event, then you're probably not expecting hundreds of people to show up. However, if you're Amy Parry, CEO at Closing Alliance and party person extraordinaire in St. George, Utah, then you know that a big turnout requires planning -- lots of planning. Parry had about 600 people show up to her annual Easter egg hunt this year, and the next one up is the Fourth of July, which she says she's hoping to take to "Easter level." How does she do it? Getting started Parry's Easter egg hunt wasn't something she launched herself -- but she was able to leverage a good thing when she saw one. "A friend of mine started it as a neighborhood get-together," Parry explained, and she helped her friend out the first year. "That was 20 or 25 kids and no parents showed up," Parry remembered. "The next year it got a little bigger and some parents showed up ... last year it was probably close to 500 people, and that's when we started ...