If a flight and hotel room in the city is too much for your budget, throw a Mardi Gras party. A well-organized Mardi Gras party has the potential to rival the excitement and mayhem of Bourbon Street, without the price tag.
No Mardi Gras food menu would be complete without a King Cake. Mardi Gras lore states that whoever gets the slice of cake with the toy baby inside will hold next year’s party. However, before you serve the cake, warn guests to chew carefully.
For the main course, Louisiana cuisine includes shrimp, paella, sausage, jambalya and gumbo. Or try Just Simply… Cuisine’s delicious recipe, Andouille Sausage, Shrimp, Tasso Ham and Grits. Complement your food with the New Orleans Hurricane, a rum-based drink beloved by revelers.
Send out a quick eBlast invitation. Set the Mardi Gras mood with your invites. Floats, masks, crowns and beads are all commonly associated with Mardi Gras, but you can’t go wrong if you use the colors purple, green and gold. Purple represents justice, green symbolizes faith and gold means power.
Where Mardi Gras decorations are concerned, more is more, especially when you’re talking purple, green and gold. A trip to a local party supply store should yield colorful streamers to decorate walls, beads to adorn the guests and ready-made Mardi Gras masks to use for decorations or to give the guests.
Mardi Gras is loud and exciting for guests who are there in person, and you can recreate that experience at the Mardi Gras party. If you’re into rock, add the song “Hurricane Party” by New Orleans-based band Cowboy Mouth to your playlist. If you want to be as traditional as possible, play jazz tunes or Zydeco, a multicultural musical style that sprang up in Louisiana.
Depending on the guest list, Mardi Gras activities can range from the tame to the outlandish. For children, decorating Mardi Gras masks is always a highlight at a Mardi Gras party. Purchase pre-made mask kits, or simply cut a mask shape out of cardstock or cardboard, and allow the kids (or grownups) to decorate with glitter, markers and paint.
If adults make up the guest list, play wild games such as truth or dare or strip poker. Have contests, and offer beads to those who wear the best costume. However, since Mardi Gras is a night of revelry, consider collecting the car keys of anyone who drives over, and make sure designated drivers are present so everyone gets home safely.
Even if you can’t recreate the Mardi Gras atmosphere down to the last detail, focus on having fun and really whooping it up. After all, Mardi Gras is your last chance before the beginning of Lent.