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Mardi Gras is approaching and no one knows how to throw a party like we do! Don’t fret if you can’t make it down to the Big Easy, we’ve got some killer tips to help you throw a small-scale Fat Tuesday party at home. So get your favorite merrymakers together and get ready for a New Orleans-authentic celebration that everyone will be talking about for the rest of the year!
Colorful bead necklaces are the quintessential carnival souvenir, but don’t worry about making anyone show their maracas to get one. Put them in a basket by the door and let each guest grab a handful as they walk in. Make sure to get plenty of beads in the signature Mardi Gras colors – purple, gold, and green. The purple symbolizes justice; the green represents faith; and the gold signifies power. Let everyone know that the beads are believed to bring you good luck in the year to come!
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. It’s celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday as a way to indulge before the start of lent. So… make it good! A crawfish boil is a traditional cajun favorite and it’s perfect for a cold weather party with a lot of guests. Whether you call them Crawfish, Crayfish or Crawdads – make sure to get a lot of these little guys! They are a New Orleans favorite and they’ll give your party serious New Orleans cred. Throw heaps of them in a huge pot to boil alongside handfuls of potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, and seasonings. When it’s done, serve everything together in a huge bowl with some fun utensils. Stack some colorful bowls and cocktail napkins alongside it and let everyone help themselves!
There is so much great music that has come out of New Orleans, it won’t be hard to find enough beats to keep the party going all night. Include some traditional classics from Harry Connick Jr., The Neville Brothers, Fats Domino, and B.B. King. Mix it up with some newer hits like “Saint James Infirmary” by The White Stripes. You can find great Mardi Gras playlists on Spotify or with a simple Google search. Just make sure your playlist is fun and upbeat – you want your guests to let loose and dance the night away in true carnival spirit!
Dessert (King Cake)
Hundreds of thousands of King cakes are consumed in New Orleans during carnival season. They are the traditional dessert of Mardi Gras and any real Mardi Gras party should have this sweet treat! Most self-respecting grocers will be stocked with King cakes during the month of February, but you can also check your local bakery or… dare we suggest, make one yourself? If you have the time and inclination, visit foodnetwork for a range of recipes and techniques for making your own. Traditionally, King Cakes are made from a ring of dough topped with a sweet glaze and lots of purple, green and gold (or yellow) sugar.
Recipes at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/king-cake-
“Let the good times roll” Attitude
A party is only as fun as the partygoers. Set the mood for your guests by dressing the part – wear something festive and colorful, put on a mask, and pile on the necklaces. Don’t be a perfectionist! Prioritize fun over Pinterest-worthy decor. No one will remember the wreath you spent 2 hours making out of beads. They will remember the feeling of letting go of their inhibitions for a night. The swinging music, the raucous laughter and the dancing are what they will be talking about until Christmas. By then, it will be time to start planning your next Mardi Gras party!