New Orleans Theme Party

23 Fun Ideas for a New Orleans Theme Party


New Orleans Theme Party

Mardi Gras is one of the most exciting events of the year. You can participate in a variety of activities to commemorate the occasion. The date for Mardi Gras, which means Fat Tuesday, changes every year, but it is always 46 days before Easter. It is a time for rejoicing because it is the day before Lent begins – the weeks leading up to Easter that is traditionally spent fasting or giving up luxuries. 

With many states reopening, you might want to throw a small party and invite your friends. Celebrate your reunion with some enthusiastic New Orleans air! We have put together an exclusive guide to walk you step-by-step through hosting your own Mardi Gras Celebration for your friends, family, co-workers, and/or community members. 

There are three colors associated with Mardi Gras: purple (symbolizes justice), green (symbolizes faith), and gold (symbolizes power). Using this color theme, we have put together recommendations on decorations you can buy or make at home, party favors, and an event menu! 

New Orleans Theme Party Decorations

Decorating the Tables

Stick with the classic Mardi Gras colors of green, gold, and purple for your table decorations. Use combinations like a green and gold tablecloth and maybe a purple table runner. Scatter Mardi Gras beads, gold coins, and Mardi Gras confetti all over the table. Place feathered masks on the table as centerpieces. Choose different colors for Mardi Gras-theme plates and utensils and make them look as extravagant as possible!

Mardi Gras Garland & Tinsel

Decorate your party’s venue with tinsel and garland strands in Mardi Gras colors.  Since Mardi Gras is known for decorating with excess, don’t be afraid to completely cover your venue with draped garland!

Mardi Gras Beads

Not only can your guests wear festive Mardi Gras beads, but you can also use the beads to decorate for your party.  For this idea, use gold, purple, and green beads and hang them on lamps and ceiling fans, and also decorate with them between tableware on the dining tables.

Festive Streamers & Balloons

Green, gold, and purple balloons and color-coordinated crepe paper streamers are some of the more inexpensive and easy ways to decorate for a festive celebration! Be sure to use purple, green, and gold streamers and balloons to cover your venue, which you can grab at your local party store.

Colored Lights

To create a perfect Mardi Gras ambiance, buy some purple or green twinkle lights. Also, you can get some festive scented candles in green and purple and light them around your venue.

Costumes & Accessories

Set up a variety of Mardi Gras costumes around your room including green/gold/purple hats, beads, and masks. Have your guests dress up in them to make the party even more festive!

New Orleans Music

When choosing music for your New Orleans theme party, be sure to choose a selection of music from New Orleans-famous musicians including the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Kim Carson, and Joe Stafford. You can also play general Jazz and Zydeco.  If it fits in your budget, consider hiring a traditional Jazz band to play at the party through our list of local musicians. 

New Orleans-Themed Party Favors 

Mardi Gras Beads

New Orleans giveaway ideas must start with lots of Mardi Gras beads for your guests! Mardi Gras beads are such a significant symbol of the carnival and are quite affordable to have as party favors.

Masquerade Masks

As a recognized symbol of Mardi Gras, colored masks make easy and decorative party favors. You can find beautiful, feathered masks in green, gold, and purple at party stores for reasonable prices as well as mask-shaped candies and other mask-related decorations. 

Fleur-de-lis Favors

The fleur-de-lis is a symbol that is symbolic in New Orleans for decorating. For small, fleur-de-lis trinket favors, find items like compact mirrors, candles, or wine bottle stoppers decorated with fleur-de-lis emblems or in the shape of them!

New Orleans Chocolate Favors

 You can never go wrong with chocolate! Make your own or order New Orleans chocolate pralines for a yummy treat. For simpler chocolate favors, make goodie bags full of gold-foiled chocolate coins and mask-shaped chocolates!

Mini Bottles of Hot Sauce

Since hot sauce is a staple in New Orleans cuisine, buy an assortment of miniature hot sauce bottles and give them to guests in goodie bags to take home!

Bottles of Wine

For a New Orleans/Mardi Gras-theme celebration, alcohol is usually a welcome party favor, even better if it’s not too expensive. This could be as easy as grabbing a few extra bottles of the wine you plan on serving at your party and tie ribbons and personalized tags around the top of them.

New Orleans Theme Party Activities

The Mardi Gras Game

Tell your guests that if they say “Mardi Gras” anytime throughout the night they must give their strands of beads to whomever they were talking to. At the end of the party, the guest with the most beads around his or her neck wins the game!

Carnival Coin Toss

Since Mardi Gras is a carnival, setting up carnival activities is a great idea!  Whether this means face painting kits, setting up a coin toss, or a balloon-pop game, all of these are easy and relatively inexpensive activities. 

Treasure Hunt

Gather a bunch of inexpensive Mardi Gras coins and beads. Spray paint the beads and coins with glow-in-the-dark paint in the colors green, yellow, and purple. Hide them, and whoever finds the most wins!

Mardi Gras Costume Contest

 Be sure to include in your invitations that your guests should dress up in theme costumes for your Mardi Gras party! Give prizes to the winners with the best costume and other categories including most original, best design, and most ridiculous.  

Dancing to Dixie

Dixieland music is a genre of Jazz that is famous in New Orleans. What better way to celebrate this festive city’s culture than playing Dixieland music and setting up a dance floor for a dancing Dixie activity! Consider hiring a Dixieland band to play if it works with your budget.

Classic New Orleans-Style Dishes to Include

 Crawfish Boil

Crawfish is one of the many famous foods of New Orleans and can make an excellent party menu! Set up tables and chairs outside for a crawfish boil and serve crawfish at varying levels of spiciness. Since it’ll get pretty messy with all your guests tearing up Crawfish, make sure to provide a lot of napkins and trays for guests to pile their mess on. Supply kits for crawfish boils are always an easy option!

New Orleans Menu

In addition to crawfish, serve a variety of traditional, spicy New Orleans food.  Choose from dishes such as spicy seafood gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. You can make these dishes yourself or reach out to a local caterer. 

Drink Menu

Serve a variety of cocktails in hurricane glasses. Choose rum-based New Orleans hurricane cocktails to stay true to the New Orleans theme. You can also serve daiquiris, a New Orleans staple. They are easy to make virgin for the children as well as your guests who don’t drink.

Mardi Gras King’s Cake

For a traditional New Orleans dessert with a Mardi Gras theme, bake a King’s Cake! The cake was created in honor of the Three Wise Kings. Find a recipe online to guide you through baking this cinnamon-roll like cake. Traditionally the cakes have a tiny model of a baby, to represent baby Jesus, baked into the cake. The guest who finds the baby figurine in his or her piece of cake wins a prize! 

New Orleans Costume

In your party invitations, tell your guests to dress in traditional New Orleans-esque costumes and colors. You can have them wear purple, green, and gold for more of a Mardi Gras theme or they can stick with wearing things decorated with fleur-de-lis’.


New Orleans is a very fascinating place and decorations alone can make your New Orleans Theme Party amazing. We hope you use these tips and have a great party.

Written by Madeleine Desmaris /Yi Yang

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