Mardi Gras Party

Hosting or Attending a Mardi Gras party?
It is the party of the year in old New Orleans! but Mardi Gras is celebrated all over the world!  It's 
time to enjoy life, party, and have a great time!   Mardi Gras 2011 is on Tuesday, March 8. Mardi 
Gras, “Fat Tuesday”, is the last day of the Carnival season and it always the day before Ash 
Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Create a Mardi Gras ambiance with a New 
Orleans jazz mix CD playing softly, Mardi Gras decor, and a picture slide show of your friends if 
there is a television in the party room.  
Traditional Mardi Gras 

Krewe of ZULU
The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club -- has interesting history and "golden 
nugget" (coconut) parade throws.

Mardi Gras Indians
They wear beautiful beaded and feathered costumes they hand design throughout the entire year!

Krewe of Bacchus
Krewe of Bacchus features national celebrity monarchs each year, and a crowd of over a hundred thousand.

Krewe of Rex
This Krewe is a classic Mardi Gras parade feature and gave way to the colors of purple, green and gold, as well as the collectible doubloon coins (first thrown by Rex in 1960).

Krewe of Endymion
Began in 1974 and included many celebrity guests.

Krewe of Cleopatra
In 1972, this Krewe took its name after the historical Queen of Egypt and is the first all-lady organization.

Krewe of Elks Orleans
More than 50 unique truck floats parading after Rex down St. Charles Ave.

Krewe of Orpheus
Known as a super Krewe and established in 1994 with a record 700 riders!

Krewe of Proteus
Founded in 1882 and its first parade theme was Egyptian mythology.  This is the second oldest Krewe of the New Orleans Mardi Gras season.

Krewe of Mid City
Founded in 1933, the Krewe of Mid-City is the 5th oldest Krewe of the New Orleans Mardi Gras season.

Krewe of Thoth
Founded in 1947, this Krewe is named after the Egyptian Patron of Wisdom and the Inventor of Science, Art and Letters.

Krewe of Okeanos
In 1949, this Krewe's name was inspired by the Greek god of oceans and fertile valleys.

Krewe of Crescent City
Created in 1947, this parade Krewe sports 3,000 male and female riders.

Krewe of Tucks
Founded in 1969, the Krewe of Tucks has been a crowd favorite for nearly 40 years. Known for their awesome throws!

Krewe of Caesar
Founded in 1979 and named after an actual person rather than a mythical being!

Krewe du Vieux
Founded in 1987, this Krewe prides itself with hand-made mule-drawn floats.

Krewe of Little Rascals
Founded in 1983, this is the best and most extravagant children's Mardi Gras Krewe in Carnival history.

Krewe of Oshun
Founded in 1996, this crew got its name from the Yoruba goddess of love and intimacy.

Krewe of Excalibur
Founded in 2000, Excalibur was named after the legendary sword of King Arthur.

Krewe of Pygmalion
Founded in 2000, a Greek legend of a Cypress King was the inspiration for this Krewe.

Krewe of Pontchartrain
This Krewe was organized in 1975 and is named after Lake Pontchartrain.

Krewe of Shangri-La
The Krewe is named after the mythical Eden-like land called "Shangri-La" in the Himalayan mountains.

Krewe of Sparta
Founded in 1952, Krewe of Sparta takes its name from Sparta in southern Greece.

Krewe of Pegasus
Founded in 1957, Krewe of Pegasus is named for the winged horse of Greek mythology.

Krewe of Gladiators
Founded in 1973, this Krewe snagged their name from the Roman warriors.

Krewe of Alla
Founded in 1932, this all-male Krewe is one of the largest krewes

Krewe of Carrollton
Founded in 1924 by a group of local businessmen, this Krewe is the most punctual Krewe there is!

Krewe of King Arthur & Merlin
Founded in 1977, King Arthur  parades on New Orleans' Uptown route.

Krewe of Barkus
The Krewe of Barkus is the only Mardi Gras krewe in New Orleans that's dog worthy

Krewe of Nemesis
This Krewe was named after the goddess of retribution in the Greek mythology.

Krewe of Rhea
Founded in 1969, the Krewe of Rhea is named for Rhea, the daughter of Uranus and the mother of Zeus

Krewe of Centurions
Founded in 1979, this all-male organization was named after legendary Roman warriors -  Centurians were leaders of men.

Krewe of Ancient Druids
Established in 1998, this Krewe is a priest class of ancient Celtic societies who connected their people with the gods and nature.

Knights of Babylon
Founded in 1939, this crew has not changed its float design for over 60 years.

Knights of Chaos
Organized in 2000, the Krewe of Chaos is formed by 200 male riders.

Krewe of Cork
Founded in 2000, the Krewe of Cork has grown into a world famous Mardi Gras and wine industry spectacle

Krewe of Muses
Organized in 2000, the Krewe of Muses is named for the daughters of Zeus and patrons of the arts and sciences.

Krewe of Hermes
Founded in 1937, the Knights of Hermes take their name from the Greek mythos of the winged courier of the gods.

Krewe d'Etat
Founded in 1996 as as a superior Krewe and has  numerous floats with many riders.

Krewe of Aquila
Latin for Eagle and has some of the most beautiful court costumes in Mardi Gras.

Knights of Jason
Founded in 1965 as Kenner's only parading organization, the Knights of Jason became silent by 1974.

Krewe of Morpheus
Established in 2000, this Krewe is named for the Greek god of dreams.

Krewe of Isis
Founded in 1973, the all female Krewe 
of Isis first started parading in Kenner

Krewe of Iris
Founded in 1917, but started parading in 1959 and is the largest all female Krewe in New Orleans.

Krewe of NOMTOC
Founded in 1951, this Krewe (New Orleans Most Talked Of Club) began parading in Orleans Parish in 1971.

Mystic Knights of Adonis
Founded in 1999, The Mystic Knights of Adonis shares only a similarity in name to The Mystic Krewe of Adonis which paraded in Orleans Parish during the 1950's.

Corps de Napoleon
Founded in 1980, The Corps de Napoleon honors Louisiana's French history by taking its name from France's greatest hero, Napoleon.

Krewe of Zeus
Founded in 1958, this Krewe holds nightime parades in the suburbs of Jefferson Parish where it's the oldest parading organization.

Krewe of Argus
Founded in 1972, The Krewe of Argus takes its name from the Greek God, Argus, the all-seeing with one hundred eyes.

Krewe of Elks-Jeffersonians
Founded in 1974, The Krewe of Elks-Jeffersonians is sponsored by the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, a worldwide fraternal society dedicated to charity and volunteers

Krewe of Jefferson
Founded in 1972, this Krewe is the last truck parade in Jefferson Parish.

Krewe of Grela
Founded in 1947, this Krewe is named for  where the parade passes through, Gretna, LA.

Krewe of Bes
This Krewe follows Grela's parade route through Gretna, LA.

Krewe of Choctaw
Founded in 1935, but their first parade ran in  1939.  Took them a while to get everything together and ready to go.
Mardi Gras Dictionary

The nick name given to the descendents of the Acadians and Acadian culture.  They are French settlers that were forced out of Nova Scotia by the British and resettled in southern Louisiana in the bayous.

The leader of each Carnival organization (krewe).  However, some Krewes elect a board and a president and do not have a Captain.

The Mardi Gras season that commences on January 6th (the Twelfth Night) and ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras).  This season leads up to Lent (fasting).

COURT (Royal Court)
The King, Queen, Maids and Dukes of a Carnival Organization.

A large warehouse where floats are built and stored.

Toy plastic or metal coins bearing the Krewe’s insignia on one side and the parade theme on the other.  First introduced by Rex in 1960.

Also known by the Christian calendar as Shrove Tuesday and is the last day before Lent.  It is a day of merry-making and carnival - marking the climax of the carnival period.

Naphtha-fueled torches held by revelers that traditionally were the only source of nighttime illumination.

A formal printed request for attendance at a Carnival Ball.  In the 19th century, these were die-cut and printed in Paris.  They are not transferable to another person and it is improper etiquette to refer to them as ‘tickets.’

Annual event held the Sunday before Fat Tuesday in observance for the person who revived the Carnival season, Joe Cain (from Mobile, Alabama).

An oval pastry containing a small, plastic toy baby hidden inside.  The person that has the plastic doll in their slice of cake is crowned as the ‘King’ and buys the next cake and throws the next party the 
following year.

January 6th - also called the Feast of the Epiphany.  On this day, King Cake parties are traditionally held.  This day commences the Carnival season.

In New Orleans, Rex is known as the ‘King of Carnival.’ Rex is chosen by a committee of the Rex Organization.  The local New Orleans’s news media will disclose Rex’s identity on Fat Tuesday.

In New Orleans, King Zulu kicks off the Carnival parade celebration on Mardi 
Gras day.  ‘Zulu,’ meaning the wisest, is one of the seven characters of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

The general term for all Carnival organizations in New Orleans.  First used by the Mystic (Mistick) Krewe of Comus - the first Carnival organization in New Orleans in 1857.


This is French for Fat Tuesday.


In 19th century tradition, groups of 
African American men in New Orleans 
that portray American Indians in 
magnificent hand beaded and feathered 

A masked (and costumed) mystic society member who rides on horseback in the parade to keep the pace of the parade and prevent any gaps in between floats.  Marshals also toss throws from their 
saddle bags.

Mystic society member appearing in a mask and costume on a parade float.  These riders have the requirement by their respective organizations’ bylaws to remain masked while on the float to help 
the revelers who line the parade route.  These riders toss throws from the floats.

A secret organization that sponsors parades, parties, balls and other festivities for its members and their guests.   Membership was traditionally kept secret.

Young male servant or attendant for the King and / or Queen.

A Carnival/Mardi Gras parade involves maskers riding the floats that travel via standardized and traditional routes.  They include decorated floats, marching bands and the float riders (krewe 
members) that toss beads, cups, and other small toys to the onlookers.  Each parade will have its own theme with more than a dozen or more floats unifying the theme but portraying an individual piece 
of the story.  Bands typically march in between floats as well as the rest of the parade unit consisting of dance teams, parade marshals, flambeaux carriers, flag corps, local celebrities and the grand marshals.

Cajun for ‘having fun.’

A character of the Carnival Krewe usually selected by a Krewe’s Captain and /or the members of a Krewe or via a self nomination and vote by the Board of Directors - depending on the organization’s hierarchy.  She serves beside the King (in Co-Ed Krewes) as the ruling mythical monarchs of the make believe kingdom which is home to the namesake of the Krewe.  She will reign over a parade, a bal masque, or both.

A festive merrymaker who participates in the period of Carnival by participating in balls, parades and parties.  A reveler is more than a spectator; they are actual participants in the festivities.

Some Carnival Krewes select royalty each year.  Mostly members of their respective organizations.  The crew Bacchus, a more modern crew, elects a celebrity as their respective royalty (King).

A masquerade ball including an elaborate production of scenes, skits and dances linked to an underlying theme. Often performed by Krewe members.

A cohesive story or idea portrayed by the floats in the parades as well as the costumes of the float riders.  Each parade has a theme and each mystic society reveals a new themed parade each year.  The themes are typically mythical, historical, literary, geographical, or from pop culture.

Inexpensive toys and knick knacks tossed from costumed float riders during the parade.  The most popular ones are doubloons, beads and plastic cups.


Traditional call by a spectator wanting throws from the maskers on the parade float.


‘The golden nugget’ of all Mardi Gras throws of the parades.  It is a coconut that is hand decorated by a member of the Zulu Krewe.  This is the hardest throw to acquire and should be considered a prize possession.


The oldest African American parading club that began in 1909.  They have the tradition of being first to hit the streets on Mardi Gras day and are traditionally late.



Shrimp ‘N Grits

Ingredients for 6 servings:

3 1/3 cups of water

2/3 uncooked grits

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup butter x2

½ tsp minced garlic

2 green onions, minced

16 oz. package frozen shrimp – peeled, thawed and deveined

1 tsp. lemon juice

Cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste

¾ cup cubed Velveeta cheese


Boil water in a saucepan and add grits and salt to the water, cover and reduce to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes until grits become tender. Remove from heat, keep warm.

 Over medium heat in a saucepan, melt butter and add garlic, stirring until softened for about 2-3 minutes. Add green onions for another 4 minutes.  Add shrimp to garlic/onion mix and cook until firm/pink about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and other spices (salt, pepper to taste).

Prior to serving, add butter to grits and the Velveeta and mix until thoroughly blended.  Again, season to taste. Serve with shrimp on top of grits with pan sauce poured over the top.

Cajun Jambalaya

Ingredients for 6 servings:

2 tsp. olive oil

½ tsp. onion powder

2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed

8 oz. kielbasa, diced

2 cups uncooked white rice

4 cups of chicken broth

1 yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

½ cup celery, diced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste.

3 bay leaves

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. hot pepper sauce



On medium-high heat, heat oil in a large pot. Sauté the chicken and kielbasa until lightly browned (~ 5-6 minutes). Stir in onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Add seasonings, cooking for 5-6 minutes until onions are translucent and tender. Add the rice, chicken broth and bay leaves.  Boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is ready. Remove bay leaves prior to serving.

Crab Bisque

Ingredients for 8 servings:

¼ cup butter

¾ cup yellow onion, chopped

4 ears of corn kernels (removed from cob)

½ cup of half and half

14 oz. chicken broth cans x3

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

½ tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp. creole seasoning

½ cup of milk

16 oz. fresh lump crabmeat

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt, pepper to taste




In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and stir in the onion, cooking ~ 5-6 minutes until translucent. Add the chicken broth, boil, and add the garlic, bay leaves, and seasonings. Stir corn into boiling broth, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove about 1 cup of the soup and allow cooling. Using a food processor, puree the mix for about 1 minute and set aside.

In a separate bowl, add flour and milk, and stir thoroughly before adding to the soup in the pot. Stir mixture and then add the puree, stirring again until blended.  At the continued low heat, add the crab meat and cook about 5 minutes.  Serve with garlic toast made with French bread.

Red Beans N’ Rice

Ingredients for 6 servings:

1 pound of dried red beans (soaked overnight)

10 cups of water

7 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. creole seasoning

1 pound of Andouille sausage, sliced

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

6 fresh

5 basil leaves chopped

1 ham hock

4 cups cooked white rice

Salt, pepper to taste




Using a slow cooker, add the beans, water. Over medium high heat, heat a skillet and brown the sausage rounds before transferring into the slow cooker. To the pan drippings, add the onion, green pepper and garlic and cook until tender for about 5-6 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and add seasonings, stirring thoroughly. Add the ham hock and cook for about 8 hours or until you have tender beans.  If there is too much water left, remove the lid and cook until they are a creamy consistency. Serve over cooked rice.

Café Beignets

Ingredients for 10-12 servings:

½ cup water

1 cup evaporated milk

1 tablespoon yeast

2 eggs (beaten)

7/5 cups of flour

¼ cup of shortening

½ cup of sugar

1 quart veggie oil for frying the beignets

1 cup powdered sugar for dusting

1 tsp. salt

1 cup of boiling water






Using room temp water in a small bowl (1/2 cup), add the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes to dissolve.  In another bowl (large), mix the sugar, salt, shortening.  Add the boiling water, mix, and then stir in the evaporated milk, stirring.  Cool to room temperature before adding yeast mix and beaten eggs. Stir thoroughly.

Add the flour slowly, forming a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Use handfuls of dough at a time and knead until smooth. Roll to 1/8 inch thick and cut into strips about 3 inch squares. Heat the oil in the frying pan to about 360F (180C) (med-high).  Carefully add the dough into the oil and all each to cook 4-5 minutes until puffy and golden brown. Remove and place on a drying rack (or paper towels) and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

The Hurricane

Ingredients for 2 servings:

2 oz. Bacardi Silver

2 oz. dark rum

2 oz. passion fruit juice

1 oz. orange juice

½ oz. fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon simple syrup

1 tablespoon grenadine

Garnish: orange slice and cherry




Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a Hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish on the rim.

Bayou Bloody Mary

Ingredients for 6 servings:

1 cup of vodka

4.5 cups chilled tomato juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

5 dashes of Tabasco hot sauce (or more/less to taste)

Celery salt, pepper to taste

Garnish with lemon wedge and celery stick





Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish on the rim and insert the celery stick into the drink.

Absinthe Frappe (Historical New Orleans cocktail)

Ingredients for 10-12 servings:

1.5 oz. absinthe

½ oz. simple syrup

2 oz. soda water

6-8 mint leaves

Crushed ice


Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice.



Tie a Purple Ribbon

Objective: to be the team who can locate as many envelopes containing various lengths of purple (and gold, green if you wish) ribbon and tie them together to make the longest strand.

Rules: purchase purple satin ribbon and cut it into various lengths (long enough to be tied together). Place in green or gold envelopes and hide within your boundaries – hiding the longer pieces in more difficult spots. When you say go, set the timer for five minutes, and the two teams hunt for the envelopes and collect as many as they can before the first timer goes off. When the timer goes off, the teams have 10 seconds to come back to home base for phase two of the challenge. When the teams are ready, the host says go, and they open each envelope and tie their ribbons together. The team with the longest ribbon strand is declared the winner!

Props needed: ribbon cut into various lengths and envelopes. A timer.

Playing time: ~ 15 minutes.


Rules: Purchase about 1.5 meters (~5 ft.) of bubble wrap packing material.  The guests take turns walking the length of the bubble wrap.  The first one to walk the length of the wrap without popping a bubble is the winner. If everyone does it without a pop – then change it up to walking on their knees, crab walks, front rolls etc.

Props needed: strips of bubble wrapping material (host supplied).

Playing time: ~ 10 minutes

Newspaper Mayhem

Objective: is to get your final player across the finish line by only stepping on two sheets of newspaper.

Rules: divide your group into two teams and have them line up at the starting line (create a starting line with painter’s tape.) Also, make a finish line however far from the start that you wish. Line up your teams behind the starting line. Give each team two sheets of newspaper. They race to the finish line and back by only stepping on the newspaper sheets. If they rip their sheet, they must wait for the host to get them a new one, as ripped sheets do not count across the finish line. The safest strategy is to place the newspaper in front of them, step onto it, grab the one behind and place it in front, and so forth. They must cross the finish line and race back to tag the next player in line, handing off their newspapers. The final player only has to make it one leg of the race and cross the finish line. The first team to have their final player cross the finish line with two intact newspapers is declared the winning team.

Props needed: newspaper sheets (2) for each team with some backup sheets for ripped sheets during the challenge. You can switch the newspaper to any Halloween cut outs that are as large as a foot, such as pumpkins. Relay lanes marked with start/finish.

Playing time: ~ 10-15 minutes.

Dangling Donuts

Objective: is to eat your donut the fastest!

Rules: using string, hang a donut for each player from a secure spot such as a tree branch, door jamb, etc. When the host says go, the players eat the donut without using their hands. However, if a piece of a donut drops from the string, they are allowed to catch it/pick it up with their mouth.

Props needed: a donut for each player, string, a place to hang the donuts. A very clean floor &/or sanitary drop cloth for the donuts to land on.

Playing time: ~5-10 minutes.

Cookie Monsters

Objective: is to be the first to eat your cookie.

Rules: place a cookie on each player’s forehead. When you say go, the players do anything possible using only their face to get the cookie into their mouth. If it drops to the floor, they are out. If they touch it with their hands, they are out. The first player to get the cookie into their mouth and eat it is the winner.

Props needed: a cookie for each player.

Playing time: ~5-10 minutes.