Photo: Wavebreak Media Ltd via 123RF

Baby Boomers Recognition Day is on Aug. 17. It’s a chance to celebrate a generation that’s shaped so much of our world! Take the opportunity to host a summer party that highlights and honors everything great about this notable generation.

Why are the Baby Boomers a unique generation?

“Boomers,” as they’re affectionately known, were born between 1946-1964 and represent the group of babies born immediately following World War II. After the difficulties of the Great Depression and the War, Americans were eager to return to a sense of normalcy and stable family life. Thus, the population of the U.S. grew by more than 2 million between 1940 and 1950. Early boomers experienced sweeping cultural changes, such as the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Summer of Love, and the Watergate scandal. Shaped by these experiences and bolstered by a thriving economy, boomers became powerful leaders in all areas of life and are still heading many of the financial and political institutions today. They were the first generation to grow up with television, watch the moon landing, and begin to incorporate more technology into daily life. Their perseverance through change defines their generation, alongside loyalty and a drive to innovate.

What is this day about?

In 2011, a group of bloggers decided to honor and recognize the generation that had given so much to the world and is now headed into retirement. Baby Boomers Recognition Day was born and initially celebrated in June, then later moved to Aug. 17 to avoid conflicts with Father’s Day. As boomers move out of the limelight and into retirement, switching from working careers to volunteer hours, this Recognition Day is an excellent way to show how much their contributions are appreciated.

Photo: Wavebreak Media Ltd via 123RF

Tips for celebrating this year

If you want to take part in the recognition this year, plan a summer barbecue on Aug. 17 and invite boomers from your community and family along with their loved ones and neighborhood friends. If you’re a boomer yourself, take this opportunity to celebrate with your cohort! Plan a few throwback games and activities, prep themed food and drinks, and don’t forget to choose a playlist that any boomer would love.

Set the Scene – Music and Décor

Background music at a party is essential for setting the mood, so choose a soundtrack that reinforces the boomer theme. If this isn’t your generation and you need some help curating, head to the Billboard Top 100 lists from the 1960s and 70s for inspiration. To coordinate with your musical selections, choose décor that evokes staples of that era—everything from a “malt shop” theme, complete with checkered tablecloths, to funky disco decorations can bring back fond memories. Consider sending formal invitations to the party so guests can see what theme you’ve chosen and dress appropriately!

Food and Drinks

The menu for a summer Baby Boomer Barbecue is simple. Growing up in “quintessential American homes” means that hamburgers and hot dogs were staples—don’t get too fancy! Side dishes like ambrosia and Jell-o salads were popular and are easy to make for your party (or ask the guests to make it a potluck!). If you’d like to branch out from the grill, look at the most popular dishes from the 1950s and 1960s for inspiration from boomer’s childhoods and adolescence.

Games and Activities

Nothing makes a party memorable like some fun games and activities. Play a round of Baby Boomer trivia (a few examples are here and here) and give the winner classic candy as a prize! If you’re hosting a small or medium-sized group, ask everyone to bring a baby or childhood photo of themselves. Pin these to a bulletin board with corresponding numbers and ask guests to match the photo with the person! This activity is an excellent way to get the conversation flowing. Before you know it, guests will be telling stories about their favorite childhood memories.

Whether you’re a boomer hosting an event for friends or a community member who wants to honor a generation that’s given so much, make this Baby Boomer Recognition Day special with a party no one will soon forget!