[Photo provided by Where Y'at Magazine Staff]

How To Have A More "Comfortable" Mardi Gras

10:32 February 03, 2017
By: Emil Flemmon

Mardi Gras is one big party to be enjoyed by not only locals but practically anyone who wants to let their inhibitions go. We all know about the numerous parades, floats, beads, the famous colors and more, but what about other celebratory ways outside of the usual?

With Mardi Gras having its own set of norms, a brief escape from the noise and crowds isn’t always out of order. So how can one capitalize on keeping traditions alive in the confines of a more “sophisticated” environment?

Here are a few ideas for you:

Costume Party:

You can easily opt with friends to rent a venue, big or small, and create a costume-themed party while still keeping the traditional colors. Have a caterer provide you and your guests food, bring your own masks, hire a DJ for music, offer an open bar, and more, which will give you the whole nine. However, if you want to scale back on the expenses, try a home dinner party instead. You can still keep the costume theme, use a playlist instead of a DJ, and create a menu for your guests to be served.

Potluck and Games Party:

Not necessarily out of the dinner party range but a little more unique. Have a bowl of beads and masks of choice for your guests at the front door. Once they arrive, they can sort through the variety, all while bringing over a favorite dish for everyone to enjoy. Instead of music, choose a plethora of games as your entertainment (not the kind that will get you arrested, of course). Don’t forget to add a king cake to the bunch!

A Mystery Party:

Since masks are often worn and seen in the French Quarter, a mystery party at your home, backyard or whatever location you prefer can add playful anticipation. You can start by purchasing feathered masks for your guests. Now, logically, each guest will know who the host is or the person who orchestrates it. Therefore, greet each attendee at the door to ensure that the masks are worn. Feathered masks are better suited for disguises or mystery-type soirees. You can still include activities and a game of “Guess Who” to be enjoyed by everyone.

International Celebrations:

Though it may not always be the first thing you think about, the Mardi Gras celebration does have ties to China. The abundance of brightly colored beads that get thrown and later discarded during Mardi Gras are manufactured in China. If you have diverse friends, family or acquaintances, try paying homage to the Chinese culture with a sit-down dinner. Create the décor with colors revolving around purple, gold and green with pillows to match. Examine the cultural climate of a place you’ve visited outside of the U.S. or another location where Carnival is celebrated, such as Rio de Janeiro. Then apply your learning to create a different ambiance without minimizing the party effect. 

Overall, there are a variety of ways to celebrate the event. Mardi Gras has a rich history dating back to its conception on March 2, 1699, so think outside of the box for next year’s occurrence. Trade in your regular street attire for a more upscale option and minimize the excessive crowds. Don’t forget to introduce your guests to creative invitations showcasing location, menu and a specific attire. Also, be sure to include other options you believe your guests would be open to. Elegant tables filled with candles and decorative gifts are not too far out for another fun-filled reverence. 

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