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How To Throw A Mardi Gras Party – New Orleans Style

Mardi Gras is an annual event that occurs on Shrove Tuesday every year, so you need to know how to throw a Mardi Gras party pretty soon or else you will miss out! One of the best themes is a New Orleans style party, but what’s that and how is it organised?

Mardi Gras - New Orleans parade

Tips for your own Mardi Gras Theme Party 

To be true to the New Orleans style, you need to start partying on January 6th! This is because there’s a timeline right up until Mardi Gras on Shrove Tuesday. This timeline starts during Carnival season (on Jan 6th) and focuses on a string of parties and who’s going to host them!

At each Carnival party, everyone receives a traditional sweet cake with only one cake containing a token. Whoever finds this token in their sweet cake hosts the next party, and this continues right up until the big Mardi Gras party. At the same time, New Orleans hosts numerous parades that culminate in the well-known and very fabulous Mardi Gras parade.

So all of this means that you can get together with a group of friends and have multiple parties right up until Mardi Gras! So let’s take a look at the traditional food and drink you need for your Mardi Gras party, the right type of music and how to decorate for Mardi Gras. More importantly, where to buy Mardi Gras decorations so that you can create an authentic New Orleans vibe for your party.

Food for your Mardi Gras Party

king-cake Mardi Gras - New Orleans

King Cakes are the essential traditional food for a Mardi Gras Party in New Orleans. This is a braided brioche-style sweet bread topped with icing and coloured sugar. You can find lots of easy recipes online but start early so you achieve a perfect result for the party.

Other fabulous options for your party are crawfish, beans and rice, Creole crab cakes, prawn and chicken etouffee (sort of like a gumbo), pancakes, dirty rice (a traditional Cajun dish), beignets (French doughnuts) and crab chowder. There are plenty more fabulous recipes available online, so simply pick the ones that sound the tastiest, making sure to create enough for everyone, and you will have an authentic menu for your party. Now you know how to throw a Mardi Gras party with the right type of food, let’s look at the drinks!

Drinks for your Mardi Gras Theme Party

If you want authenticity for your party, then you need the right type of traditional drinks! Here are seven that are easy to make and will go down a treat with everyone. Recipes can be found quickly online.

  1. Hurricane cocktails: A mix of lime juice, light and dark rum and passion fruit syrup served in wide-bottomed glasses is a popular Mardi Gras drink in New Orleans.
cocktail Mardi Gras - New Orleans
  1. Ramos Gin Fizz cocktails: A welcome frothy drink made from gin, lemon and lime juice, sugar, egg whites, vanilla extract, orange flower water and club soda. Shaken well, these Gin Fizz cocktails are a delight!
  2. Mint Juleps: This cool refreshing drink will definitely be a hit at your party! Just mix together Kentucky bourbon, fresh mint leaves, white sugar and water, serve in a large pitcher and it will be a hit with everyone at your Mardi Gras theme party. 
  3. Pimm’s cocktails: If you love gin then you can’t forgo a Pimm’s cocktail at your party. You need Pimm’s No.1 (a gin-based liqueur), ice, ginger ale, and slices of lemon and cucumber. Served in large glasses, these cocktails are ideal for a hot Mardi Gras day of fun and frivolity!

  1. Creole cocktails: Originally from New Orleans, you mix spiced rum with club soda, fresh mint, crushed ice, lemon wedges, agave nectar and fresh mint to create a fabulous light and refreshing drink.
  2. Sazerac cocktails: Another delicious cocktail invented in New Orleans, you need rye whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters, sugar cubes, ice and lemon peel. You can use Cognac instead of whiskey and even add absinthe for a more traditional taste.
  3. Vieux Carre sippers: Popular in the French Quarter, this classic New Orleans drink is ideal for your Mardi Gras theme party. Mix cognac with rye whiskey and Benedictine liqueur, add sweet vermouth, Peychaud Bitters, Angostura Bitters and lemon peel to create a traditional drink that will please everyone!

Music for your Mardi Gras Theme Party

Before we move onto Mardi Gras decorations, no party is complete without some awesome music, least of all a Mardi Gras bash! So consider rhythm and blues, as well as Professor Longhair who had a rumba style. Then there’s Fire on The Bayou by The Meters, Feel Like Funkin’ It Up by the Rebirth Brass Band, and Dr John’s Gumbo by Dr John. You can also find a lot more music ideas online for your Mardi Gras inspired party.

jazz Mardi Gras - New Orleans

How to decorate for Mardi Gras


When you think about Mardi Gras, you need to think fun, decadent and OTT! For your Mardi Gras decorations, you need to know that there are three colours associated with a New Orleans inspired Mardi Gras theme. These colours are purple, green and gold. So use these three as your main colour scheme and you can’t go wrong.

Your Mardi Gras decorations can include long loops of colourful beads, hung on the walls or made into chandeliers, giant cocktail glasses, colourful and gaudy masks, rainbow balloons and bunting hung around the room or outdoor patio. Decorate a few ice buckets with feathered masks and beads, hang glittery streamers from the ceiling, and take inspiration from the French Quarter to make a centrepiece for your table. 

Where to buy Mardi Gras decorations


CostumeBox has plenty of party supplies and Mardi Gras decorations for your party and our vaults are chocked full of fabulous Mardi Gras costume ideas as well. So why not ask everyone to wear a Mardi Gras outfit to your party and really take it up a notch!

Now you know how to throw a Mardi Gras party, head over to our vaults and let the good times roll!


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