Mardi Gras Carnival Guide


Mardi Gras falls out on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, better known as Fat Tuesday and marks the beginning of the Carnival season. Carnival season is best spent surrounding yourself in the amazing jazzy music of New Orleans.

Being in New Orleans during Mardi Gras is like sensory overload. The smells of bourbon and gumbo in the air, dazzling costumes, strings of beads flying everywhere, brassy melodies, the alcohol-fueled dancing and a parade of all parades that set the holiday far apart from any other in the country.

People from all over the world fly to New Orleans just to be a part of this amazing celebration. If you are unable to make the journey to New Orleans and join Mardis Gras, we’ve put together a little list of songs, cocktail recipes and decor ideas to help bring that New Orleans carnival celebration to you, no matter where you are. 

Mardi Gras Carnival guide
Mardi Gras Carnival guide

Some essentials you’ll need


Beads, masks, hats, costumes:

It’s NOT Mardi Gras without them! Beads come in all shapes and sizes. Most people go for the standard purple, green, and gold ones. You can do something creative and distribute them as rewards for the best costume. You don’t have to toss them through – wearing them is just as cool. Mardi Gras masks are sometimes creepy. It’s meant to make you look mysterious and alluring all at the same time.

Some go all out with a mask that covers the entire face, and some opt for a simpler look of just covering the eyes. Some wear hats with sequins and feathers or some oversized furry bucket hats or crowns/tiara. Typical Mardi Gras costumes are creative and flamboyant usually involving feathers, satin, and sequins. If you don’t have time to make your own, a good idea is to purchase on from a local costume store. 


Mardi Gras Carnival Cocktails:


Mardi Gras Carnival Guide Cocktails
Mardi Gras Carnival Guide

One of the most popular Mardi Gras cocktails has to be the Hurricane. This fruity drink is typically served in a curvy glass and will bring you right to Bourbon Street. This drink is delicious and can easily be made at home. It contains passion fruit, citrus juices, and is traditionally made with rum.


New Orleans Hurricane Drink Recipe



 ½ cup ice

2 fluid ounces light rum

2 fluid ounces passion fruit liqueur

1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage 

1-ounce lemon juice

1 fluid ounce of 151 proof rum 




  1. In a shaker, combine everything except the 151 proof rum and shake.

  2. Float the 151 proof rum on top of the drink. {Do not drink from the top of the cup, make sure to use a straw and drink from the bottom up.}

  3. Garnish and Enjoy Responsibly!




Mardi Gras Carnival Guide food
Mardi Gras Carnival Guide

Traditional food during Mardi Gras includes hot slow-cooked dishes like gumbo, red beans, and rice, chili or jambalaya. Finger food is always welcome, as well as any food that is purple, green or gold. Most popular and well known is the King Cake.

This delicious and traditional round cake is covered with glaze and purple, green and gold sugar, and whoever receives the piece of cake with the figurine in it will have a stroke of good luck. One of our favorite Mardi Gras appetizers is the hush puppies. This easy to make, crispy, sweet and savory appetizer is the perfect addition to any meal or party.


Hush Puppies



  • 2 cups Cornmeal

  • 1 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour

  • ½ tsp Baking Soda

  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

  • 3 Tbsp Green Onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons Buttermilk

  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten

  • Vegetable Oil, for frying



  1. Sift together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

  2. Stir in onions, buttermilk, and egg until thoroughly mixed. The result will be a batter-like consistency.

  3. Heat oil to about 375 degrees F and drop the batter by the spoonful (about 2 tablespoons each). Fry until golden brown.

  4. Remove each fritter and place it on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve hot.


Music & Entertainment:


Brass, jazzy music plays a huge party in any Mardi Gras celebration, as well as circus music, also known as Carnival music. If you are hosting a Mardi Gras Party this year, at home, here is a list of popular Mardi Gras music to have your DJ play that is sure to put your guests in that Carnival vibe. 

Carnival Time – Al Johnson

Mardi Gras Mambo – The Hawketts 

Casanova – Rebirth Brass Band 

Hey Pocky A-Way – The meters 

Jock-A-Mo – Sugar Boy and his Cane Cutters

My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now – The Dirty Dozen Brass Band



Games are also a great way to entertain your Mardi Gras crowd. Games like Gold Coin Treasure Hunt. Divide your guests into gold, green and purple teams and give each the first of their set of clues. Solving it will lead each team to its next clue and so on. The first pair to find their treasure chest wins!

Simply make 3 treasure chest out of a shoebox, paint one gold, one green, and one purple, fill them with beads, fake money or chocolate coins. Hide the boxes throughout your party space and write three sets of clever clues, it’s as easy as that! Or Mardi Gras Musical Chairs, set up chairs (one fewer than the number of players to start) and play your favorite Mardi Gras music. Let the games begin! Another great option is to rent a photo booth.

Photo booths add hours of entertainment to your guests without much preparation. When renting a photo booth from Angels Music Djs and Production, we provide all customizable Snapchat-like features,  instantly transporting you guests to New Orleans with Bourbon Street backgrounds, and Carnival face mask disguises all via technology, photos are printed on the sport, so guest can have them mementos for a year to come.

 Interested in photo booth rentals? We will be happy to assist you. Please give us a call at (949)394-2572 Or go to Photo Booth and we will be glad to help you with any and all your party needs. 



  We hope you found our Mardi Gras carnival guide / party-list helpful. We hope you dance all night, enjoy the jazzy, Carnival music, eat some yummy food, and enjoy a few cocktails with friends. Don’t be afraid to go over the top with decorations, costumes, and party favors, adding masks, feathers, anything green, purple and gold to your decor plus some fun party games and you’ve got yourself an outstanding party! Have any questions? we would love to hear from you Contact Us!  

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