Feb 15, 2007

Party Idea: Mardi Gras

They don't call it the Big Easy for nothing! Picture if you will, your guests celebrating in the streets of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, colorful masks and elegant costumes, aromatic spicy Cajun cuisine wafting through the air, the dizzying beat of New Orleans jazz, strands of sparkling beaded necklaces and coins everywhere.

Mardi Gras Invitations

Imagine their delight when your guests receive elegant feather-trimmed black mask invitations to the gala event of the year - Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball! Or choose festive Mardi Gras confetti invitation. Better yet, use a personalized Mardi Gras invitation for your event! Make sure to let guests know to come dressed in their most elegant costumes and get-ups with masks. If you're going to have a costume parade and judging (this always brings out creativity and competitive natures), include it on the invitation as well.


As your guests enter the French Quarter through magnificent balloon archways and columns, greet them with the sounds of a Dixieland jazz band playing in the background. If you can't afford a DJ or live band, we have a great N'awleans sound CD you can order.

Purple, green, and gold are the traditional colors of the celebration, and can be displayed throughout the party room. Mardi Gras mask cutouts, giant metal and flamboyantly colored masks and colorful jazz player murals, Bourbon street signs, balloons in all shapes and sizes, and twinkling mask lights add a festive glow to your decor when hung on the walls and suspended from the ceiling. Hang feather boas and Mardi Gras beads and coins around mirrors. There's a huge selection of hats and masks to choose from. Make sure you have plenty of beads, hats and masks on hand for your guests to wear. Mix and match decorations or order Mardi Gras decorating kits.

Create a real feel for the French Quarter by decorating each activity center or food area in unique ways with custom-created themed signs, murals and archways. For example, fortune-telling area can be "Voodoo You Love" decorated in the deep, rich colors of the Mardi Gras mambo decor package; the beverage area, "Bourbon Street," of course; the "Cajun Kingdom" buffet area can be decorated with large Mardi Gras Ribbon Columns; a masquerade ball makes the perfect setting for a photo op area - how about "Big Cheeezy" and lots of masks and balloons? The French Quarter wouldn't be as easy and sleazy and fun without a Tattoo Parlor; there are people who provide Henna tattoos. You can even jazz up the music area or dance floor with musical archways and jazz player stand-ups.

With a large crowd, you'll want to have assigned seating. Colorful whistles on chains, maracas and mini tambourines all make fun seating cards and your guests will enjoy adding to the celebratory sights and sounds of the evening! Another sure bet for a sweet evening is Mardi Gras custom created with your company logo wrapped candy bars. DeeeeLish!

Metallic garland in purple, green and gold make beautiful table trimmings when set on any of the three color linens! Topped with gold paper products or guilded china, the rooms will sparkle! Beaded wrist bracelets double as napkin rings. Top all the tables with lots of colorful beads, coin necklaces and Mardi Gras confetti. Boy will this be fun!

There are any number of great centerpiece ideas. One of my favorites is creating a large bouquet of feathered and sequined masks. (Make sure there's enough at each table for everyone to have one.) Wrap cylinders in multicolored beads. Add the stick masks and fill containers with Mardi Gras noisemakers, whistles, mini tambourines, glow necklaces and other fun stuff. Then top off the centerpieces will balloon clusters in purple, gold and green plus one large mask balloon in the center for height. Add a few Mardi Gras candles at the base and… Wow! You can also buy some great ready-made Mardi Gras balloon centerpieces.


Can't you just smell the zesty spices of the traditional New Orleans cuisine? Go Cajun! From Crawfish Etoufee to Seafood Gumbo or Jumbo Shrimp and Cajun fries, your guests will be begging for more. M-m-m-m-m, Great! You can also check out http://web.foodnetwork.com/food/web/searchResults?searchType=Recipe&searchString=mardi+gras&site=food and see what Emeril, the king of New Orleans himself, has to say about Cajun and Creole cuisine. And last but not least a King Cake for dessert! And finally, it's not a Mardi Gras party without Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Mix.


There are so many exciting activities you can plan, so pick and choose depending on your budget. Here are a few fun things your guests can do to while away the evening:

Have a costume parade and contest! Whoever has the most elaborate and creative costume is the winner!

All dressed up and ta-daaa! Capture it on film. Your guests will love a chance to strike a pose. If there's room in the budget, having disposable cameras on the table will give guests a chance to get to know their table mates and have fun taking pictures.

Another fun game that you can play is "Hidden Treasure." Divide everyone into two teams, and have a treasure hunt for gold Doubloons. You can hide a bunch of stuff with or without giving the teams clues as to the whereabouts of the "treasure." The team that finds the most "treasure" wins a prize!

Fortune Tellers, Tattoo artists, strolling magicians and/or musicians. It's all up to you. Just about anything goes on Bourbon Street!

Party Favors/Prizes

Mardi Gras Custom Created Candy Bar Wrapper
Mardi Gras Tambourines
Mini Neon Tambourines
Mardi Gras Lights
A bag of chocolate Doubloons are always a nice treat for your guests to take home. Also, different colored beaded necklaces or masks are a fun way to remember your time in your very own French Quarter.
But if you want to go all out why not serve up a traditional New Orleans drink, the Pat O'Briens hurricane in an authentic Pat O's glass that they can take home as a memento of your unforgettable event.