Plan your party prep now — Mardi Gras is Tuesday.

While many parades or public celebrations will be taking place in some major cities across the country, you don’t have to be on Bourbon Street in New Orleans to celebrate this raucous holiday.

Invite some friends over for a Mardi Gras celebration of your own. Mardi Gras is all about living it up before Ash Wednesday and 40 days of Lent, so the right attitude, good company and lots of food are a requirement for this celebration. Here are some tips to celebrate your very own Fat Tuesday event.


No matter the décor, make sure your decorations come in the classic Mardi Gras colors of gold, green and purple. Fill a room with balloons, streamers and fun banners, and leave colorful masks and hats on a big table for guests to wear (Party City has a great assortment of masks). Of course, you cannot have a proper Mardi Gras celebration without beads. Buy beads and plastic coins in bulk and leave them in bins and buckets for guests to grab. Have a large space? Drape multiple card tables with sparkly table cloths and arrange sprays of colored feathers at each table for centerpieces. Make paper glitter crowns so every guest feels like the Mardi Gras king. 

Food and Drink

No matter the party, a full Mardi Gras menu is a must — it is Fat Tuesday, after all. Chicken-Andouille Gumbo is a Louisiana classic and a big pot of it will go a long way. Check out Southern Living’s recipe here for your party. Crawfish Étouffée is another southern classic for the holiday. Mini-Muffulettas are a great quick dish, as well. They are typically made with a loaf of muffuletta (round bread sprinkled with sesame seeds), salami, ham, olives or an olive salad, pepperoni and cheeses like Emmentaler, provolone and mozzarella. Finally, you’ll absolutely need a King cake. The round, sugary cakes typically come decorated in Mardi Gras colors and are filled with pecans, sugar, cinnamon and a plastic baby Jesus (the next cake is on the person who gets the slice with the figurine in it). 

As for celebratory cocktails? Any deliciously boozy beverage will do. A rum drink or even Sazerac are all good options, and All Recipes features a list of four must-try classic cocktails for any Mardi Gras event. 


Mardi Gras is the perfect opportunity to host an outrageous costume party, so encourage your guests to arrive in full costume and award prizes to the "best dressed" or "most creative costume." See how well your guests know the origins of the holiday and have everyone participate in a quiz or Mardi Gras trivia game.