As you plan your Mardi Gras party, remember to make yourself a checklist of things to do as well as a grocery list of all the items you need to buy for your food and beverage offerings. Get a few CDs or create an iTunes playlist of your favorite Mardi Gras music and don’t forget to decorate your home for the occasion. For an even more memorable Mardi Gras party experience, encourage your guests to dress up in the Mardi Gras colors or ask everyone to wear a Mardi Gras mask to the party.
Consider these tips on hosting a Mardi Gras party from party planning experts and those who have attended Mardi Gras in person. You can always add your own special touches, too!
Mardi Gras Party Decorating Tips
“Décor of traditional purple, green and gold should be abundant not only for the home (tablecloths, streamers, etc), but for the hosts and guests, too,” says Don Miller of Harrison Leifer DiMarco Public Relations. “Most party supply stores carry Mardi Gras supplies.”
Holly Clegg, Baton Rouge based cookbook author, suggests decorating your party tables with traditional Mardi Gras accessories like colorful beads and festive masks. You can strew them about the table for a casual yet classy look.
“Buy an assortment of green, purple, and gold paper napkins to enhance your theme and ensure easy clean up,” Clegg adds.
Mardi Gras Party Food Suggestions
Often the food at any party becomes a point of memory for years to come. If you plan your Mardi Gras party menu in advance, you can likely get all the supplies you need to create an authentic New Orleans style spread. Gather your favorite southern and Cajun recipes and let the fun begin!
Some top Mardi Gras party food ideas include:
– Crab and corn soup
– Red Beans and Rice
– Shrimp Po’boys
– King Cake
“Cuisine is vitally important, even for the non-experienced cook there are some good, quick dishes you can buy in the supermarket like jambalaya, red beans and rice, etc.,” Miller shares. “Andouille sausage is easy to find in most areas. Finally, an authentic King Cake can be ordered online and delivered in time for the celebration, and according to tradition, the person who finds the plastic baby in his or her piece of the King Cake gets to host next year’s party. First time revelers from my party last year are very enthused about hosting this year’s party and have been talking about it for months! Laissez les bon temps rouler!”
Don’t forget the ingredients or mix for your Hurricane drinks!
Mardi Gras Party Music Tips and Other Party Tips…
Mardi Gras Party Music Tips
Music goes a long way to creating the right atmosphere at a party, no matter what kind of event. You can ramp things up with upbeat music or keep a mellow pace to your Mardi Gras party. Consider the following tips to help you select the right music for your Mardi Gras extravaganza.
Create an authentic New Orleans atmosphere with jazz music. Selecting the right artists can do wonders for the mood and vibe of your Mardi Gras party.
“New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist Jeremy Davenport will add a sexy touch of sophistication to your party,” says Thea Pagel of Thea Pagel Productions. “If you want to funk it up and keep the party shaking into the wee hours, download Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Music needs to fit with the mood. A great free option is playing live streaming Mardi Gras music. Create three sets: one for the arrival to get people in the mood, another when the energy is peaking, and then wind down music before the party ends.”
Other Mardi Gras Party Tips
– Give all guests a few strands of beads when they arrive.
– Consider creating a party game where guests have to try to get the most beads – not necessarily in the traditional sense of how you might expect to get beads.
– Think about featuring a few different New Orleans style cocktails in addition to the Hurricanes.
– Decide whether you would like to make your party an annual event or if you would like to encourage one of your guests to host the next year’s party. Let the fun live on!
About the Experts:
Thea Pagel is a New Orleans party planner and owner of Thea Pagel Productions. For more information, please see www.TheaPagel.com.
Don Miller is VP of Public Relations at Harrison Leifer DiMarco Public Relations. He has attended Mardi Gras and spent time in New Orleans.
Holly Clegg is the Baton Rouge based cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC cookbook series. For more information, please see The Healthy Cooking Blog http://thehealthycookingblog.com and www.hollyclegg.com.
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