Everyone knows that New Orleans is known for an over-the-top celebration of Mardi Gras, but you don’t have to live in New Orleans to have a fun party with friends.
Rumor has it, the historical celebration of Mardi Gras is said to have begun years ago with the Romans, so continue this tradition and join in the fun.
February is often a dreary weather month, so a Mardi Gras party is just the thing to get everyone smiling again.
The Colors of Mardi Gras
The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are green, gold, and purple. Add the modern day addition of teal and a touch of orange for fabulous party color-scheme.
Traditionally, green represents faith, gold represents power, and purple represents justice. However, every color is used in costumes and masks, so really, any color of lights and decorations can be used to liven up your Mardi Gras party. Feathers, beads, and lights are bound to make your party the one your friends, family, and neighbors will look forward to every year.
The Beaded Necklaces
In case you aren’t familiar with the traditions, strings of beads in every color are thrown from the colorful floats as they move down the streets of New Orleans. Use your own strings of beads readily available at your local party store along with purple, green, teal or gold mini lights to decorate the ceiling, chandeliers, outline bookcases and doorways, and accent your food tables. Hang curly confetti and ribbon from the ceiling too for added color and texture.
Give out bead necklaces and bracelets to your guests as they arrive so they can feel like they’ve gone to the Bayou.
Costumes and Masks
Make the party a masked-costume event. Suggest that your guests get into character by dressing up as court jesters, kings, queens, princesses, or pirates. Party masks appeal to the internal super-hero in every man and add mystery to the fun. It’s fun to hit the store for supplies. (Or you can order masks online!)
Think of some small but fantastic prizes for the most ornate, best decorated, most glittery, or the best-themed mask.
Prizes might include:
- Bottle of wine
- Mardi Gras souvenir
- Dinner out gift certificate
- Wine glasses
- Movie tickets
Fake coins (both plastic and chocolate), or Mardi Gras coins, in the colors of purple, green, and gold lend to the party atmosphere and fun when sprinkled around the traditional food dishes, punch bowl, and cake table. Gold pots filled with plastic doubloons and placed around the party area look great too. Our mini LED light sets strung across and around the table will look great when combined with the other colorful decorations.
Decorate the outside of your home with strings of C7 or C9 bulbs in these colors:
- yellow (gold)
Illuminate your porch, sidewalk, steps, banister, balcony, patio, garage, front door, and windows with our light sets in the traditional colors of Mardi Gras.
Lights and Costumes
The bigger and the bolder the costumes for Mardi Gras, the better. Large feathery hats will sparkle when you use battery-operated lights to show off an ornate headpiece. LED battery operated light sets are also great additions to table centerpieces. Add a strand of our mini lights around the King Cake too for added sparkle.
Wine bottles filled with craft lights will look great in your wet bar or on your buffet table.
Traditional food dishes served at a Mardi Gras party might include shrimp jambalaya, rice and beans, shrimp and crab appetizers, hearty crab chowder, chicken or shrimp gumbo, meat pies, a variety of cheeses and crackers, chips, pretzels, crawfish mashed potatoes, and King Cake for dessert. Punch is always a hit at any party along with drinks such as hot cider, hot toddies, a variety of sodas and non-alcoholic drink mixes.
Don’t forget a King Cake – you’ll find one at your local bakery.
Add your own personal touches to your Mardi Gras party and enjoy food, fun, and laughter with your party guests.
Before everyone leaves, perhaps see who would like to host the Mardi Gras festivities the following year – or set a date for your party next year!
Originally published Jan 14, 2014