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How To Hold a New Orleans Themed Party

Updated on October 21, 2015
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Throw a Mardi Gras party - not just for Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday, is a fabulous carnival featuring wonderful music, fantastic costumes and great food. What a great excuse to party - all year round.

If you can't make it to the fabulous city of New Orleans, no problem. Hold a party in your home and have your own Mardi Gras celebrations with your own family and friends.

I only went once to Mardi Gras and it was unforgettable. And it's much too good to enjoy only once a year. Enjoy a Mardi Gras-themed party at any time! You can have a Mardi Gras New Orleans themed party at any time of the year. It's is also known as Shrove Tuesday and is celebrated throughout the world.

It's celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday, a day which traditionally signals a period of forgoing pleasures such as fine foods, dancing and music. Because of this, the day before the self-denial begins is known for parades, festivals, masked balls, music, food and fun.

It's easy to decorate your home or dining table with a Mardi Gras theme. Music is no problem either. So why just celebrate the wonders of New Orleans once a year? This is a great party idea at any time of the year.

Planning your Mardi Gras party

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DECOR

The colors associated with this wonderful celebration are green, gold and purple. It's easy to decorate your home and your dining table using these colors. Beads are a feature of Mardi Gras so it's a good idea to have plenty of on hand. They make great decorations and can also be added to the centerpiece of your table for an extra flourish.

Remember to have plenty available for your guests to wear, too. Feathers are often used for costumes and decoration on Fat Tuesday, so it's a great idea to feature them in your décor too. Lights, candles, flowers - all can contribute to the green, gold and purple theme.

COSTUMES

Masked balls are a feature of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Both men and women wear fantastic costumes and extravagant masks. Feathers, boas, ball gowns, traditional dress - they are all used to add a hint of mystery and add to the color and excitement of the event.

You might wish to provide masks for your guests as these can be purchased inexpensively. Or ask your guests to come to your party dressed in their own fantastic costumes.

FOOD AND DRINK

All parties require really great food. In New Orleans, Cajun and Creole recipes are used. Lots of seafood, particularly crawfish, is eaten too. Other traditional foods are gumbo and jambalaya. Don't forget your vegetarian guests.

Dirty rice dishes and vegetable gumbo will be ideal. As for drink, the tradition is New Orleans is the Hurricane and a mix is available so this is easy to make. Because Hurricanes are made using fruit juices, it's a good idea to create a fruit punch for the designated drivers who are attending your party.

MUSIC

For many people, this is what Mardi Gras is all about! The parades that are so popular in New Orleans usually feature the more traditional forms of jazz and this can really make your party go with a swing. If you're planning a large party, rather than a small intimate dinner, you might look into the idea of hiring a local jazz band or trio. For dancing or for background music, jazz is an essential part of your party.

AN ANYTIME PARTY!

It doesn't have to be Mardi Gras in order to have a great New Orleans themed party! It's a great idea at any time of year.

Product ideas

Below see a selection of products that are available online that will help your party go with a swing (literally in the case of the music)

I've only shown a few here to get you into the mood but rest assured that you can buy everything you need for a hugely successful party online.

You'll even be able to buy ready made foods, traditional flavourings and mixes that will make catering for a crowd so easy.

Order on line and within a couple of days you'll receive your party in a box - ready to go for you and your friends to enjoy.

Costumes for her

Girls can have great fun dressing for these parties. The masks are truly gorgeous and can look very elegant and extremely stylish. In New Orleans masked balls are a huge feature of the Mardi Gras celebrations and have a slightly Baroque, spooky air about them. A New Orleans themed party is a wonderful excuse to dress glam!

Costumes for him

There's no need for the guys to miss out. In fact they can have just as much fun as the girls. Remember to keep your camera or smartphone at the ready to get lots of photographs of your guests in costume. Why not give prizes for the best?

Cookbooks

New Orleans and Cajun cooking is wildly popular today and there are some great recipe books that can help you make the most of it. For your party, serve a delicious buffet taking your inspiration from the selection of books below.

Photography

Photography downloaded from stock.xchng.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SteveKaye: That could be it, Steve :)

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      Maybe that's the key. I need to wear a mask with feathers when I give talks about birds. Amazing.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @tonyleather: That must have been wonderful!

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Carnival in Germany is a real treat to take part in, and I loved it!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @ShoppingQueen47: Thank you so much. It's a wonderful experience.

    • profile image

      ShoppingQueen47 4 years ago

      Mardi Gras is on my bucket list of things to do someday. It looks like so much fun! You have some great items picked out here.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @HeatherM2: It's a wonderful event, isn't it? I've only been once but I hope to go again.

    • HeatherM2 profile image

      HeatherM2 4 years ago

      Great Page - A nice selection of items. I was to Mardi Gras way back in 1988. I'm from Canada, and I was down there for my cousins wedding. It surely was a sight to see, something I'll always remember.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Such a fun celebration! Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Lots of fun stuff for Mardi Gras celebrations. :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @NibsyNell: Aren't they lovely? Thanks for visiting!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @NibsyNell: Aren't they lovely? Thanks for visiting!

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      Those masks are beautiful!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TolovajWordsmith: Indeed - thanks for visiting!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Party time!