Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday is always an excuse to do it up - NOLA style. Each year tens of thousands of people flock to New Orleans to partake in the epic party. If you can't make it to New Orleans, here are 10 Tips on How to Host an Awesome Mardi Gras Party at home.
Not throwing the party this year, but invited to someone else's? Use this as inspiration on what to bring to be a good guest! ;)
Paint the Party
Get into the Mardi Gras spirit and get decked out in the traditional Mardi Gras colours – Purple, Green and Gold. The streets of New Orleans are draped with these colours throughout Carnival season. Each colour has a meaning – Purple represents Justice, Green symbolizes Faith, and Gold means Power. Not a bad combination!
Make Sure There's a King Cake
It isn’t Mardi Gras without King Cake! These cakes are made with a Danish-like dough - braided, baked, and then covered with icing and Mardi Gras colours. What makes it so special? There's a little plastic baby inside! Bizarre? Never. Legend has it, the person who finds the baby in their slice will have good luck for the next year. For the sake of throwing a Mardi Gras party - we say... the person to find the baby should host the next King Cake Party (or at least buys the next King Cake)! Order a cake and have it shipped from Manny Randazzo King Cakes, or other iconic bakeries in town.
Bring on the Jambalaya
From Jambalaya to Gumbo and Po Boys to Étouffée - Creole food is one of the most beloved cuisines in America. With over 10 different cultural influences, including French, Spanish, German, Indian and West African, creole cuisine is not only unique but also delicious! Any good Mardi Gras party will be stacked with creole cuisine.
RELATED: Skype top NOLA chef and private chef to NFL and A-list celebrities, Chef Gason Nelson, into your kitchen for a private 1:1 creole cooking class.
Build a Hot Sauce Bar
Louisiana is known for Louisiana hot sauce. Add a hot sauce bar to your Mardi Gras party. From Tabasco Pepper Sauce to Louisiana’s Crystal Hot Sauce, New Orleans likes to give their food a kick. Scour markets for varieties of Louisiana style hot sauce, or order them online. Your hot sauce bar will be daringly delicious.
Make the Famous Hurricane the Cocktail of the Night
These bright pinky-orange drinks are not only eye-catching, they are delicious! Fruity and filled with alcohol – hurricanes are guaranteed to get your Mardi Gras party going. The home of the original Hurricane is Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans. This iconic bar in the heart of the French Quarter is known for their lines (although the move quickly). They even ship their secret mix - so next year, get started early and ship some to have an epic drink on hand.
Stock Up On Beads & Doubloons
A huge part of any Carnival parade or Mardi Gras celebration are “throws”! Float riders shower the parade goers with various Mardi Gras themed items - the most traditional being doubloons, plastic cups and (of course) beaded necklaces. Beads and doubloons are essential for your Mardi Gras Party at home.
Make a Mini Float
There are over 60 different parades in New Orleans during Carnival season all with their own unique feel. Do a little research and find your favourite. Make it the theme for your Mardi Gras party! Some of the big parades are Zulu, Barkus and Endymion to name a few.
Create a Jazz Playlist
The world knows New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz. King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, Professor Longhair - and of course the legendary Louis Armstrong all had New Orleans in their blood. Make sure your Mardi Gras party is complete with a Jazz playlist to bring the soul of the city to you.
MoonPies, gold painted walnuts and coconuts are just three of several sought after things thrown out during Mardi Gras parades. And while we'd prefer to not have a coconut thrown our way, throw us a MoonPie and we'll be fine! Make sure your party guests leave with something special - MoonPies or golden walnuts for all!
Make it a Mask Party
Mardi Gras and masks go hand-in-hand. By law, float riders are required to wear masks during Mardi Gras parades. There's rich history of masks during Carnival; however, today they are just a fun way to join into the festivities.
NOLA Knows How to Party. Get an Uber
One sip of a traditional Hurricane and you'll know what we mean. Any Mardi Gras party will be a good time. So, NOLA knows how to party and you should, too. Just make sure to get an uber for the ride home.
Po Boy and Gumbo Cooking Class
Gumbo is a dish that takes years to master. Learn from the New Orleans Gumbo king himself. Skype Chef Gason into your home kitchen for a private cooking class. Learn how to make Gumbo and a traditional N'awlins Po Boy. It's the ultimate soup and sandwich combo!
Check out the Po Boy and Gumbo Cooking Class >
Jambalaya Cooking Class
One of our most popular cooking classes! Learn the secrets of how to make traditional Jambalaya, New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp and Creole Crab Cakes with Chef Gason from New Orleans. This epic class is one you'll never forget.
Check out the Jambalaya Cooking Class >