How to make Mardi Gras magnificent and magical might be a challenge for some, but we are going to give it our best shot. Not being in New Orleans or one of the other participating cities, will not be as much fun for sure. We will all be figuring out how to make the most out of Mardi Gras 2021. Homebound partying this year will make Mardi Gras magnificent, magical and very personalized.
Who Wants to Make Mardi Gras Magnificent This Year?
I want to make Mardi Gras magnificent this year! I did not want to put my Christmas tree up this year. So… I flipped it and decided to make it look Mardi Gras colors and celebrate. Now, I do want you to hear me: I DO NOT celebrate Mardi Gras for the root cause of what Mardi Gras is ALL about.
Celebrating Mardi Gras with the Welch’s is just about having fun. We plan on celebrating Mardi Gras at home this year with eating well and sharing in a great time with good friends. Yes, we have done Mardi Gras in NOLA and Slidell with some friend’s of ours. It is a memory that we will always have. There were new friends that we met in 2017 & 2019 that will always have a special place in our hearts. They ALL helped make Mardi Gras magnificent for newbies.
What exactly is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras was a celebration that is believed to be a French Catholic tradition. Some say that there may be ties that would reach all the way back to 133-31 BC with pagan roots. The modern day explanation is: Laissez les bons temps rouler [Let the good times roll]. I’m not sure many even know why they are celebrating Mardi Gras, at all.
List of What Makes Mardi Gras All That It Is:
- Krewe royalty planning for a activities
- Designing and building amazing floats
- Parades, lots of parades
- Drinking – A LOT of drinking
- Eating delicious cajun cuisine
- King Cake
- Purple, Green and Gold – traditional Mardi Gras colors
- Beads – Loads of Beads
When Did We Make Mardi Gras An American Celebration?
It showed up around 1699 in the French Louisiana territory. There were three different capitals in just a few short years, so the claim to fame for the original Mardi Gras is still fussed over. First celebration was in Mobile, Alabama later it was moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1723. Although it was a minute before the first organized parade rolled in 1837.
Picking the Right Dates for Mardi Gras Celebrations “Authentically”
The last 12 months are calling for some fun. To make Mardi Gras magnificent, you must know what the date is for each year. It changes every year. The date shifts; it is always 47 days prior to Easter. Although, it can be as early as February 3 and as late as March 9. This date is called Fat Tuesday. It is the day that wraps up all Mardi Gras festivities.
Ash Wednesday the next day. It is the start of lent. Christians of many denominations still take part in Lent of some form or fashion. Carnival / the Mardi Gras season begins at Epiphany on January 6 and goes through Fat Tuesday.
What Date Will You Pick to Celebrate?
Since, Mardi Gras celebrations can range over a period of several weeks, you have the choice of several weekends. Which is very helpful if you are a football fan and want to have a superbowl party, too. I personally would separate them on different weekends if at all possible. Two large events that you have to prepare food, plan drinks, put up decorations and do invites can be super overwhelming for two days in a row.
If it is up to me I would pick the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. That is the big final weekend for all the floats to roll through Slidell and New Orleans. Yes, there are some on Monday and Tuesday, but the ones on that weekend are HUGE.
Let’s Take a Little Trip Before We Make Mardi Gras Grand This Year!
Okay, I lied let’s not take a trip… Let’s take two! I have meant to get these posts out for like the last 3 years. We are heading to New Orleans 2017 Mardi Gras and 2019. The crew (not Krewe) that we went to see were some great friends that were our neighbors back in Arkansas for a few years, the Marton’s.
We had friends and family all around for the event in 2017. We met a ton more friends before the weekend was over. This was the Welch’s first to be celebrating “Mardi Gras” in NOLA. Yes, we were total Mardi Gras virgins! The Sister’s, which when you see the pictures, you will understand were the life of the party.
Having learned things to do and NOT to do made the 2019 return an easier flow. However, we were missing Noah. Needless to say it was a blast, too. It was a large time, with lots of beads and great catching up with friends from before.
Hopefully, I can get a more detailed post about those individual trips because they deserve their own special attention. Way too much to tell about those experiences. More than I want to drop in this space right now, because we need to plan a party y’all. It’s time to make Mardi Gras special for you this year!!!
Things You Want to Consider When Planning to Make Mardi Gras All Your Own:
- A Little or Lot – I flipped two of my trees to be Mardi Gras trees
- The Whole Place or Just a Small Space
- Pick the Right Colors for your Theme – One tree is Purple, Green and Gold. Tree 2 is Teal, Pink, Purple and Silver.
- Backdrop for Pictures Would be Fun
- Charcuterie Boards,
- Cajun Favorites – Meat pies, Gumbo, Bayou Rice, Jambalaya, Etouffee
- Easy Slow Cooker Dishes,
- Sweets – King Cake, Beignets, Cookies, Cupcakes
- Drinks – Let’s have a designated area to set up the bar! It can be one tray space or put 2-4 together for more room.
- Party Punch
- Fuzzy Pucker – Equal Parts: Apple Pucker & Peach Schnapps
- King Cake Whip – Equal Parts: RumChata & Whipped Vodka, topped with Whip Cream & Sugar Sprinkles
- Skewberry – Equal Parts: Skrewball & Raspberry Liqueur
- Southern Fleur de Lis – Equal Parts: St. Germain & Crème de Cassis
- Southern Monkey – Equal Parts: Rocktown Bourbon Cream & Morgan Jackson Banana Cream
- Great White Skrew – Equal Parts: Skrewball & Godiva White Chocolate
- Morning After or How to Start the Day
- Mimosas: All start with Sparkling Wine (dry is best for all of these recipes)
- Purple – ½ part SW, ½ part grape juice, splash of Blue Curacao
- Gold – ½ part SW, ¼ part orange juice, ¼ part pineapple juice
- Green – ½ part SW, ½ part pineapple juice, Splash of Blue Curacao
- Southern Bloody Mary – See Below
- Mimosas: All start with Sparkling Wine (dry is best for all of these recipes)
- Music – A great fun playlist is always a perfect way to set a mood for any get together.
- Games – If this is what your friends are into.
- Board Games
- Party Favors
- Beads, beads and more beads
- Masks (There are Mardi Gras masks with and without feathers)
- Donations – (not necessary, just my spin on it) If you have friends and guests coming why not make the most of it for a cause? Set up a basket or Box by the door to collect items for a local charity.
- Socks, gloves, hats, or winter accessories for a homeless shelter.
- Canned goods for a food pantry.
- Game for a children’s shelter.
Southern Bloody Mary
- 6 oz Bloody Mary Mix Zing Zang, Zatarain's Cajun Mix (Any will work.)
- 6 oz Vodka Rock Town, Tito's, Belvedere – These are our go to's.
- 2 Tblsp Olive*, Dill Pickle or Okra Juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/8 tsp Salt To taste. We like salt.
- 1 tsp Seasoning Salt Mix Dick Loehr's Seasoning, Tony Charterie's, Slap Yo Mama
- 1 or 2 Wedge Lime and/or Lemon Optional Garnish (use juice to wet rim for rimmer salt to stick, instead of just water.)
- 1 Piece Pickled Okra Optional* Garnish
- 2-3 Olives Optional* – Can vary in variety. Green is our usual. Jalapeno or garlic stuffed are prefered.
- 1 Stick Celery Optional Garnish
- 1-2 Spear/Baby Dill Pickle or Kosher Optional Garnish
- 1 Piece Pickled Baby Corn Optional Garnish
- 1 Piece Bacon (Fried Crispy) Optional Garnish
- 1-3 Pieces Boiled Shrimp Optional Garnish
- 1-2 Cherry Tomatoes Optional Garnish
- 2-3 Pearl Onions Optional Garnish
- 2 Tblsp Seasoned Rimmer Optional
- 6-8 cubes Ice
- (Should you use the 24 oz tumbler you will want to increase oz of liquid to 8ozs, make seasonings heaping portions instead of level.) Wet rim and roll it in the rimmer of choice if you like. This step is totally optional. Start with adding alcohol over ice. Add in juice of choice (olive*, pickle or okra). Next come the spices. The tomato mix is last fill glass, leaving an inch from the rim to have room for garnishes. Serve with any combination or all of the above optional garnish items. Sometimes we use a lot (ALL), but I have used an asterisk* by the ones that I feel are a must or prefered.
Details for a Magical Mardi Gras Wrap
- You’ve planned the dates.
- Have all the goodies to make it special.
- Fabulous food and drinks to make it merry and delicious for everyone.
- Now it’s time to just get your good time on!