11 Mardi Gras Party Ideas for 2021

Getting ready for Mardi Gras 2021? Check out these ideas to help you plan.

Lauren Miolene

Contributor

Mardi Gras is just a few weeks away and we’re already ordering beads and comparing gumbo recipes in anticipation. Although we can’t celebrate down in the Big Easy this year, we can create our own New Orleans-style fun from the comfort of our own homes. 

This year, Mardi Gras Day, aka Fat Tuesday, falls on February 16th and signals the beginning of the Easter season. Since most Mardi Gras parades and celebrations will be held virtually this year, we’re here to help you plan the best socially distanced or virtual Mardi Gras themed party of the year! From hiring virtual party entertainment to setting up your space, we've got lots of ideas to plan a super fun (and safe!) Mardi Gras party.

Bonus: Check out these specific tips on how to throw a socially distanced party and how to host a zoom party!

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Here are 11 Mardi Gras party ideas for 2021.

Be COVID smart

Within the past year, COVID has definitely impacted how we are celebrating life’s important events. We can still get together, virtually and socially distanced, of course! Review the CDC and WHO guidelines to keep yourself and your guests safe, healthy, and informed.

Celebrate Virtually

The safest option of all is to celebrate with a virtual Mardi Gras party. All of the Mardi Gras party ideas below can be easily translated into a virtual Mardi Gras party. Keep an eye out for our pro tips for virtual parties and safety tips.

Guest List

The guest list for your Mardi Gras party is definitely going to be shorter this year. For in-person celebrating, keep invitations to a small group of people in your current bubble. 

Pro Tip: For others you may want to include in the Mardi Gras festivities, consider a virtual event so everyone can join in on the Fat Tuesday fun.

Invitations

We recommend sending out invites that allow guests to choose whether they feel comfortable celebrating in person or on an online platform. This lets everyone get together at their own comfort level. While sending out invitations, have fun with it! Create your own custom cards, or select a fun evite to get guests excited.

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Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Food

Try your hand at traditional Cajun and/or Creole cooking! Don’t be intimidated by the rich culinary traditions of Louisiana, all you need is a delicious yet basic recipe. Show off your cooking skills with some jambalaya (which is usually a little simpler than gumbo). You can also read up on the difference between Cajun and Creole to really impress your guests.

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Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Make sure you save room for King Cake for dessert! It’s not a true Mardi Gras celebration without this colorful treat. Check out Chef Holly Chegg’s recipe and don’t forget to hide a plastic baby in there for good luck! Yes, really.

If cooking isn’t your thing, you can always hire a caterer or book a food truck so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your celebration. 

Pro Tip: To be as safe as possible, plate out individual portions of any food or drinks beforehand, to eliminate any additional touching.

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Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Drinks

As you may have heard, cocktails are a very important part of Mardi Gras celebrations. It’s a good idea to have a little bit of everything, but we definitely recommend making a few authentic southern cocktails. Check out these recipes for Hurricanes and Sazeracs—two New Orleans favorites!

If you want to leave the drinks to the professionals, consider hiring a bartender. Many bartenders also offer virtual services so you can have a mixology class during your celebration.

Bonus: We've got more delicious Mardi Gras Party Food and Drink Ideas.

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Decorations

It’s time to break out all of the beads, sparkles, and colorful party decorations because more is better when it comes to Mardi Gras! Make your guests feel like they are down on Bourbon Street by including backdrops, streamers, and festive Zoom backgrounds for a digital decoration. 

Turn up the Music

No fun Mardi Gras celebration, or any New Orleans party for that matter, is complete without great music. Music is an essential part of Mardi Gras culture and New Orleans heritage. Whether you prefer a jazz band, funk band, or brass band – we can help you find great musicians with virtual options available to make your Mardi Gras party the best on the block.

Find Musical Entertainment

Pro Tip: Jazz at Lincoln Center is also streaming free and premium online concerts which is the perfect addition to a virtual Mardi Gras party. Check it out here.

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Photo: Mike Flippo/Shutterstock.com

Dress the Part

The official Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold—so the more color, the better! Stock up on Mardi Gras beads and feather masks to give out as party favors while your guests arrive. Feeling creative? Check out Little Lovelies guide to making your own Mardi Gras Masks here.

King and Queen

At some point during the night, crown the King and Queen of the party. Either pick guests at random or give the honor to the best dressed. Don’t have a crown? Just use the silliest hat you can find.

Book Entertainment

Switch up traditional face painting by booking a caricaturist this year! There are plenty of vendors that will attend socially distanced or even virtual events. This also is a great party favor for guests of all ages.

Make the memories of Mardi Gras last by renting a photo booth or booking a photographer. They will capture every detail of the day and have festive props for guests to use. 

Pro Tip: Learn everything you need to know about booking virtual party entertainment on The Bash.

Find Virtual Entertainment

Although we can’t celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana this year, we plan on bringing the southern charm to us this Mardi Gras season. 

Find more social distancing and virtual party inspiration on The Bash.

Published on 2/1/2021