We have curated and created some fun additions to bring “Nawlins” to your Fat Tuesday Celebration!
Tuesday, February 21 is Mardi Gras in 2023, a day celebrating the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday — the first day of Lent.
So what is all the fuss about?
It’s a feast that marks the last day before the beginning of Lent and the build up to the Easter holiday. In New Orleans, a strong Catholic tradition combines with city-wide hedonism both on the day itself and in the weeks-long build up. Come Ash Wednesday, there’s a collective hangover and the city returns to its regular levels of decadence as crawfish fries replace King Cakes and costumes are returned to their closets until the next time there’s a reason to dress up.
But the event season leading up to Mardi Gras goes on longer than you might think: Yes, the actual day of Mardi Gras is the liveliest Tuesday you’ll likely ever witness, but the Carnival ‘season’ that comes before always begins much earlier. Twelfth Night is always the traditional beginning of Mardi Gras celebrations with the first parades. Events slowly escalate until Fat Tuesday itself, but the celebrations can go on for anywhere from four to eight weeks, depending on when Easter falls.
How to Celebrate in your Community
- One way to get your residents into the Mardi Gras spirit is to pass out Mardi Gras beads for them to wear. Whether you are hosting a Mardi Gras lunch with po’ boy sandwiches and gumbo or leading a Mardi Gras parade through your community’s hallways, Mardi Gras beads are an instant way to make the event more festive.
- Add in a bit of mystery to your Mardi Gras festivities with masks. Either provide plain masks for residents to decorate as a craft activity using feathers and beads, or provide ready-to-wear feather masks for residents to wear at a fun masquerade party. This easy Make Your Own Mask craft is what we have provided!
- If you decide to hire an entertainer for your Mardi Gras event, be sure to pass out bells or kazoos or noisemakers for residents to join in on the fun.
- Use gold coins, or doubloons as part of your Mardi Gras activities. For instance, use them as party favors or table centerpiece decorations in your Dining Room for your Mardi Gras dinner, or hide them throughout your facility for residents to find during a day-long Mardi Gras Scavenger Hunt.erving bowls (perfect for the Guacamole and Salsa)
- Decorate tables and areas with Mardi Gras beads, and anything shiny that is green, gold, and purple.
Food & Drink Ideas
Here are some great recipes linked to their source
- Crawfish and Shrimp boils are great – especially for dexterity! This Cajun Shrimp Skillet is an easy one to make for a crowd
- Jelly-filled doughnuts are a MUST for Fat Tuesday!
- Make some iconic Shrimp Po’ Boys – and don’t forget the remoulade!
- An easy Jambalaya can also feed a crowd!
- Your residents won’t be quiet when there are Hushpuppies around!
- Other slow-cooked foods like Gumbo and BBQ is a great option.
- And don’t forget the star of Mardi Gras – the King Cake! Gambino’s ships and they are the “Kings of King Cakes”, but many local grocery stores and bakeries have them around this time.
- Serve sparkling juice and cider in a celebratory champagne glass
- Hurricanes are a must – as they are the official drink of Mardi Gras – here is a non-alcoholic version
- 10 Cocktails for Mardi Gras
It wouldn’t be a party without the MUSIC
- Spotify has a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta playlist
- Over 2 Hours of Mardi Gras New Orleans Music with Classic Dixieland Jazz
- Mardi Gras Party Classics on YouTube
Movies you can watch to help celebrate
Here are some of the best films to feature Mardi Gras and New Orleans:
- Easy Rider (Denis Hopper, 1969) | R | Adventure, Drama
- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Edward Zwick, 2016) | PG-13 | Action, Crime, Mystery
- Stolen (Simon West, 2012) | R | Action, Crime, Thriller
- Double Jeopardy (Bruce Beresford, 1999) | R | Crime, Drama, Mystery
- Déjà vu (Tony Scott, 2006) | PG-13 | Action, Crime, Sci-fi
- Tightrope (Richard Tuggle, 1984) | R | Clint Eastwood, Crime, Mystery Thriller
- A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) | NR | Classic film, Drama
- Girls Trip (2017) | R | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
- The Princess and the Frog (2009) | G | Disney, Animated, family, fantasy
- Jezebel (1938) | NR | Drama, Romance
- New Orleans (1947) | NR | Drama, Music, Romance
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) | PG-13 | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
- The Cincinnati Kid (1965) | TV-14 | Drama, Classic
- King Creole (1958) | NR | Elvis, Crime, Drama, Musical
- National Geographic’s “Celebrating Mardi Gras”
- Mardi Gras World, New Orleans, LA – Travel Thru History Show
- King Cake is Mardi Gras’ Most Famous Dessert | Legendary Eats
Fun Crafts to Make or Try
- MARDI GRAS HANDPRINT MASK
- DUCT TAPE MARDI GRAS BEADS
- KING CAKE MARDI GRAS NECKLACE
- FLAMELESS GLITTER VOTIVES IN MARDI GRAS COLORS
- DIY MARDI GRAS GARLAND