Mardi Gras might be one of the most exciting party events of the year. People travel from all over to dance, groove and celebrate on the vibrant streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. As a college student in Vestal, New York, it might seem impossible to properly celebrate Mardi Gras, but Pipe Dream has you covered. Here’s how to throw your own Mardi Gras party.
1. Hang up awesome decorations
Decorations are key when throwing a killer Mardi Gras party. To create the perfect atmosphere, cover your space in purple, gold and green. Whether it’s masks, feathers or posters, incorporate this color scheme as much as you can. Try stringing purple, green and gold Christmas lights all around. Beads are a staple of the Louisiana celebration and can be easily purchased at a dollar store. Hang the beads from lights, poles or anything else around the room. A Mardi Gras-themed piñata, like a joker or mask, can double as a cool decoration and a fun party game.
2. Get some tasty food and drinks
Mardi Gras translates to Fat Tuesday because it was originally meant as a last hurrah before the start of Lent. Traditionally, king cakes are eaten for dessert. The king cake features purple, gold and green icing and has a small trinket, usually a tiny plastic baby, inside. The cake is normally a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough, but can be made in other flavors as long as the colors remain the same. King cakes can be hard to find outside of New Orleans, but there are plenty of ways to make a variation on the classic treat. Bake cupcakes or cookies in the iconic colors of Mardi Gras to capture the festiveness of a king cake in a simpler dessert. If you are running short on time, donuts are another classic sweet emphasized during the celebration.
Mardi Gras isn’t complete without delicious drinks to go along with the food. Traditional Mardi Gras drinks feature dynamic colors and lots of alcohol. The iconic tropical cocktail, the Hurricane, which was invented at a bar in New Orleans, is a must-serve beverage. To really embody the feeling of New Orleans, grab some of your favorite fruit juices, rum and grenadine and shake together with ice.
3. Blast the party tunes
You can find a pre-made playlist on Spotify or Apple Music, but if you’re feeling creative, you can create your own list. The right music can create the perfect energy for your Mardi Gras party. Be sure to include your favorite party music alongside traditional jazz to get the party to Bourbon Street levels.
4. Time to dress up
The fun accessories are one of the most memorable parts of Mardi Gras. The wackier the outfit, the better it fits the craziness of the holiday. Popular pieces include anything sparkly or rainbow, metallic fanny packs, colorful wigs, weirdly shaped sunglasses and, of course, tons of plastic beads. You can get most of these at a local thrift store or party store, or if you don’t want to spend money, try combining funky pieces already in your closet.
5. You’re ready for Mardi Gras
You’ve done all the work — now it’s time to turn up the music, throw on your outfit, whip out the food and enjoy.