Mardi Gras is an extended celebration (weeks long!) in New Orleans. So it is fitting that readers have come up with many fun ways to enjoy this last big party before the stoicism of Lent begins. Here are some great party ideas posted by readers in the Entertaining Forum.
Create Your Own Mardi Gras Ball
"We are hosting a couples wedding shower in a Mardi Gras theme this year. We are having it during the Mardi Gras season - approximately a week and a half before Fat Tuesday.
We are decorating the entire inside and outside of the house as if you were at a Mardi Gras Ball with garland, streamers, lights, balloons and Masks! All in the traditional Purple, Green and Gold. On the table we are using the shower invitations, doubloons, beads and moon pies as part of our decorations. The King Cake will serve as our centerpiece and whoever finds the baby will win a door prize...
Dress will be casual since we want this to be a party atmosphere and not so formal. We live in Mobile (where Mardi Gras was invented) and most of us attend balls on a regular basis so we want this to be more casual! All guests were requested to wear their favorite beads on the shower invitation but they will also be given some upon entering the party.
Just like a Mardi Gras Ball, the party will have a theme - "Stars fell on Alabama" (a Jimmy Buffet song). We have painted a large piece of plywood to coordinate with the theme and will take Polaroids of each couple standing in front of it to give them as a gift as they leave the house! (You always get your picture taken at the balls in front of the theme for that year.)
We will serve jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, moon pies, King Cake, Mardi Gras Margaritas, dips and crackers. We are planning on playing Mardi Gras related jazz, zydeco and dance music during the event. Must have song - "Mardi Gras Mambo" by Buckwheat Zydeco!"
A Large Costume Party "I've been having Mardi Gras parties for about 10 years. Went from a small dinner with a few friends and a luncheon at work to a large costume party. However, much of my extended family is in New Orleans.
In addition to a keg of beer, I offer:
Jambalaya, Crawfish bread, Andouille BBQ, Shrimp & Crab appetizers, Cheese straws, Natchitoches Meat Pies, Several other appetizers and, of course, King Cake."