Mardi Gras is an annual celebration that takes place each February in Louisiana for a two and a half week period ending with Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Lent. The Mardi Gras season begins on January 6 and continues until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is set 46 days prior to Easter. All across Louisiana, Mardi Gras traditions are celebrated differently depending on one’s location and background. In New Orleans, Mardi Gras social clubs (Krewes) host a number of lavish costume balls and lead grand parades with massive floats throughout the city. In Cajun country, bands of costumed revelers on horseback ride through the countryside chasing chickens and gathering ingredients for a community gumbo to be served at the Mardi Gras fais-do-do.
Years since Katrina & Rita hit, yet thousands upon thousands
of people are still displaced.
School districts are closed and entire cities are shut down.
People are still living in FEMA trailers. People are being plowed by insurance bureaucracy.
It's not in the news everyday, but these people still need our help.
I've always had an affinity for New Orleans. I've never been there, so it's like a "fantasy" town to me, a style, a culture, an atmosphere, a land at disneyland, rather than an actual urban city. I love the architecture, the music, and the local customs. My husband and I, for years, have talked about spending Christmas in New Orleans. I've learned so much about the area since the storm. I've had New Orleans themed decor in my kitchen, mugs and art, for ages - I still want to visit someday. I hope and pray that this wonderful historic city gets back on its feet very soon. ~ God Bless ~ Nancy
READ MORE: Hurricane Katrina: Killer, Destroyer of Cities and Homes and Lives A photo narrative by Linda Saxon Nix Biloxi, MS
By contacting the charity that you choose to benefit - before the party - They may be able to send you brochures or a video about their work.
*You can choose your charity before the party, or you could hold a raffle, where the winners get to choose the recipients of your donation. Be sure to include charity information in your invitations - so that even those who cannot attend, can still make donations.
I like to use small locally-based organizations, such as churches and community projects.
The big, national, organizations tend to spend my small donations for junk-mailing. >:(
Acadiana Outreach Center A non-profit outreach shelter, providing support to hundreds of men, women and children (even before the hurricanes hit). Currently they are providing shelter to evacuees, serving as the local distribution point for supplies to all other shelters in Lafayette
Gulf Coast Community Foundation - committed to meeting the needs of the people of South Mississippi.
Center of St Bernard
offers a non-political, nondenominational, safe and inclusive space
to assist residents in their return home, where they can gather
to reconnect as they rebuild their lives, businesses and neighborhoods.
Greater New Orleans Foundation: www.gnof.org ... click on Hurricane Katrina Recovery Fund.
Grassroots Hurricane Katrina Relief - an excellent source for finding smaller organizations
Louisiana Environmental Network Local health assistance to evacuees, long-term clean-up of NOLA.
FoundationsForRecovery.org is an internet portal established by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to report to its donors and the greater community on its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Project HEAL (Helping Employ Artists Locally) assists artists impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by providing displaced artists employment opportunities in local communities.
cannot stress enough the importance of including
the charity information on the invitation.
Your guests will be happily prepared for donating,
if they know in advance of the party.
Alternate Party Titles & Phrases:
"Party with a Purpose"
"Beads for Needs"
"Hearty-Gras" - use hearts for decoration - sell hearts pins, etc.
"Pardi-Gras" - a term that Disneyland used for a parade, its cute.
... or spelled "Party Gras"
Sample fundraising wording for your invitations:
"All proceeds from the nights event will be donated to New Orleans recovery organizations"
"You are cordially invited to attend The Women's Club Mardi Gras Fundraiser, benefiting Gulf Coast Charities"
"The Hometown Corporation cordially invites you and a guest to
attend its annual
Mardi Gras fundraiser to benefit The Katrina Rebuilding Foundation"
Mardi Gras Clip Art & Printables:
Miss Pita's Domain
Printable Mardi Gras masks
Find the perfect invitation or announcement for any occasion.
Personalize, preview, and order right on the spot to be delivered in days.
You can either charge for tickets to your party, or, collect donations at the party itself with raffles or other party games. Ticket prices vary greatly by the formality of your party. For a casual party, I might not charge admission, but for a catered affair, I would charge at least three or four times the price of the individual meals, or you can give a slight discount for the purchase of an entire table. Again, make sure the invitation is clear - this is a fundraising event.
"Beads for Needs" - sell Mardi Gras Beads at your party for $2 or $3 a strand, depending on the income level of your guests, you may consider charging up to $10 or $50 for beads! (It's for charity, people!!) The item cost on these beads is very reasonable, and this has become a very popular fund raising tool for organizations all over the country since the hurricanes.
If you are celebrating someone's birthday, you might suggest that guests make donations in lieu of gifts, and let the birthday-honoree choose the charity.
Auction - Offer New Orleans themed gifts, trips, and baskets - either a silent auction or traditional style - and if you can get these auction items donated, all the better.
Bead Toss - For a donation, player gets to try to toss a strand of beads around the prize they want
Guess the # - Fill a large jar with strands of beads, or colorful coins, and charge $1 per guess, the closest guess wins a prize
Many other carnival style games can be themed to Mardi Gras. Use plastic gold doubloons instead of tickets!!
50/50 raffle - after selling raffle tickets, half the money goes to the winner of the raffle, and the other half goes to the charity.
Before the party, decorate several postal envelopes with stamps & addresses of charities, and attach them to festive party favors. This allows the guests to make additional donations at their own convenience, after the party as well....
Several schools around the US have held fundraisers of all types - lots more ideas
A typical Mardi Gras menu includes a variety of cajun and traditional southern dishes.
Hurricanes, Mint Julep
Cocktails and Libations of New Orleans
Appetizers, Sides, & Salads
New Orleans Rice Salad
New Orleans Style Olive Salad
1 pound ground beef
1 pound beef sausage
1 (8-ounce) package dirty rice mix
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green Chile peppers
1 onion, finely diced
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet, brown the sausage, onion, and ground beef; drain. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine rice mix and 2 cups water.
Add diced tomatoes and chilies. Stir in the kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then add meat mixture.
Bring back to boil, reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook for 20 minutes. Serve. Makes: 8 servings
Mardi Gras Stuffed Pork Roast
Cajun Prime Rib
4 lb Prime rib roast (10-1/2 lbs)
1/4 c Garlic powder
2 Onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c Black pepper
1/4 c Salt
SEASONING MIX (OPTIONAL)
1 tb Plus 1 tsp, salt
1 tb Plus 2 tsp, fennel seeds
2 1/2 ts Dry mustard
1 tb Plus 2 tsp, white pepper
1 tb Plus 3/4 tsp, black pepper
2 1/2 ts Ground cayenne pepper
Remove fat cap off top of meat (butcher can do this for you) and save. Place the roast, standing on the rib bones, in a very large roasting pan. Then with a knife make several dozen punctures through the silver skin so seasoning can permeate meat. Pour a very generous, even layer of black pepper over the top of the meat (the pepper should completely cover it); repeat with the garlic powder, then the salt, totally covering the preceding layer. Carefully arrange the onions in an even layer on top so as not to knock off the seasoning. Place the fat cap back on top. Refrigerate 24 hours. Bake ribs in a 550F oven until the fat is dark brown and crispy on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours. (this is done so the juices will solidify and the steaks can be cooked rare.) Remove fat cap and discard. With the blade of a large knife, scrape off the onions and as much of the seasonings as possible and discard. Then with a long knife, slice between ribs into 6 steaks (4 will have bones); trim the cooked surface of meat from the 2 pieces that were on the outside of the roast. Season and cook in your favorite way for steaks.
TO BLACKEN THE STEAKS: Combine the ingredients of the seasoning mix thoroughly in a small bowl; you will have about 8 tablespoons. Sprinkle the steaks generously and evenly on both sides with the mix. using about 4 teaspoons on each steak and pressing it in with your hands. Heat a cast iron skillet over very high heat until it is beyond the smoking stage and you see white ash on the skillet bottom--at least 10 minutes. (The skillet cannot be too hot for this method.) Place one steak in the hot skillet (cook only one side at a time) and cook over a very high heat until the underside starts to develop a heavy, black crust, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the steak over and cook until the underside is crusted like the first, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining steaks. Serve each steak while piping hot.
The King's Cake has its roots in pre-Christian religions of Western Europe. It was customary to choose a man to be the "sacred king" of the tribe for a year. That man would be treated like a king for the year, then he would be sacrificed, and his blood returned to the soil to ensure that the harvest would be successful. The method of choosing who would have the honor of being the sacred king was the King's Cake. A coin or bean would be placed in the cake before baking, and whoever got the slice that had the coin was the chosen one.
Today, a plastic baby is served inside the cake, and the tradition is that whoever gets the baby has to bring in the next king cake, or throw the next party. Eating king cakes is the main Carnival activity between Twelfth Night and the start of parades more king cake lore
This is an excellent way to give away a door prize at your party - whoever gets the baby in their slice of cake wins a prize!!
Here's an excellent King Cake recipe, provided courtesy
of Chef Emeril Lagasse.
* 2 envelopes active dry yeast
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
* 1/2 cup warm milk (about 110°F)
* 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
* 4 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
* 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
* 4 cups confectioner's sugar
* 1 plastic king cake baby
* 5 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
* 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sugar sprinkles
Combine the yeast and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the melted butter and warm milk. Beat at low speed for 1 minute.
With the mixer running, add the egg yolks, then beat for 1 minute at medium-low speed. Add the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest and beat until everything is incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and starts to climb up the dough hook.
Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl with the vegetable oil.
Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1 cup of the confectioner's sugar. Blend by hand or with an electric mixer on low speed.
Set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your fingers, pat it out into a rectangle about 30 inches long and 6 inches wide. Spread the filling lengthwise over the bottom half of the dough, then flip the top half of the dough over the filling.
Seal the edges, pinching the dough together. Shape the dough into a cylinder and place it on the prepared baking sheet seam side down. Shape the dough into a ring and pinch the ends together so there isn't a seam. Insert the king cake baby or pecan half into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough.
Cover the ring with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free place. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the top of the risen cake with 2 tablespoons of the milk. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Make the icing. Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons milk, the lemon juice, and the remaining 3 cups confectioner's sugar in medium-size mixing bowl. Stir to blend well. With a rubber spatula, spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake.
Sprinkle with the sugar crystals, alternating colors around the cake. The cake is traditionally cut into 2-inch-thick slices with all the guests in attendance.
YIELD: 20 to 22 servings
RECIPES FROM THE CITY OF EUNICE, LOUISIANA
A blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking
Tabasco.com has recipes, party ideas, and a free Mardi Gras screen saver!
Mardi Gras Madness!. ..A full menu of Trim & Terrific recipes including: Barbecue Shrimp, Chicken And Sausage Jambalaya,
Mardi Gras Punch, Mardi Gras Salad, Pineapple Bread Pudding With Lemon Apricot Sauce, King Cake
BAYOU FISH FRY
CAJUN POPCORN (CRAWFISH)
CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA
DAWN'S QUICK SHRIMP CREOLE
EASY BANANAS FOSTER
EASY CUBAN SANDWICHES
EASY KING CAKE
MARDI GRAS SPARKLER
RED BEANS AND RICE
CHICKEN, PORK, AND SMOKED JAMBALAYA
NEW ORLEANS SHRIMP DIP
BEER BOILED SHRIMP WITH COCKTAIL SAUCE
MARDI GRAS BACARDI HURRICANE®
BAKED GRITS AND CHEESE
The Mint Julep is a powerful and refreshing drink that is often enjoyed during the hot summer months of New Orleans.
* 3 oz. Bourbon
* 1 tsp. simple syrup or 1 tsp. refined sugar
* 10-15 large fresh mint leaves
* Crushed ice
I n a Collins glass, put in all but 2 of the mint leaves. Then add the simple syrup. (If you choose to use refined sugar, add a splash of water in the glass as well.) Next, muddle the sugar and mint leaves in the bottom of the glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice and then add the bourbon. Gently stir the drink and then garnish with the left over mint leaves. Serves 1.
Sparkle Jester, Mardi Gras - $ 22.99
Jester-style hat with a shimmering green, purple and gold design
Sparkle Mardi Gras Mad Hatter - $ 22.99
Sparkle Mardi Gras Style Hat in Green, Gold, and Purple
Mardi Gras Lame Jester - $ 33.99
Shiny Lame' fabric Jester hat with three points in Green, Purple, and Gold
Mini Fish Beads (Dozen)
Mardi Gras Sparkling Cape
Scepter Jester, Large
Harlequin Mask, Satin
Mardi Gras Mask on Stick
Ultra Mardi Gras Mask on a Stick
Mask Beads Assorted (Dozen)
Venetian Mask w/Stick Silver Accents
Marabou Fan (Mardi Gras)
Cards & Dice Beads Large (Dozen)
Mardi Gras Jester Adult
Mad Hatter Top Hat
Mini Cards & Dice Beads (Dozen)
Venetian - Fiesta Mask
Venetian Sorceress Adult
Karnivale Queen Adult
Mardi Gras Miss Adult
Regal Queen Crown
The traditional Mardi Gras colors represent
Use metallic streamers, mylar balloons, and confetti in these colors to create a festive carnival atmosphere.
French Quarter Soiree Kit --Rendezvous On Bourbon Street Kit-- Midnight Masquerade Kit Components --A Night on Bourbon Street Kit --Masquerade Kit --t Mardi Gras Mask--2' x 4' --Bourbon Street Giant Mask--5' x 5 1/2' -- Calypso Island Kit Components -- Lighted Masquerade Arch Lighted Masquerade Arch Masquerade Columns --Masquerade Masks -- Lighted Masquerade Mask -- Comedy / Tragedy 3D Glitter Masks -- -- Mardi Gras Mambo Kit Wall Graphics and many more Mardi Gras decor items at Stumps Prom & Party
Amazing Designs 2056 Mardi Gras! I Embroidery Disk
Amazing Designs 2056 Mardi Gras! I Embroidery Disk
Multi-formatted disk will work with all machines as long as you have a reader/writer box
or have a machine that takes a floppy disk.
Consider hiring a Dixieland Band - Click
here to find one in your area
or perhaps you are looking to hire a Zydeco Band in your region?
Dancing To New Orleans - $ 19.96
Retail Price: 24.95
You Save: $4.99
From: Things From Another World, Inc.
B-Native.com is dedicated to bringing together select items that are created in New Orleans, by New Orleanians, or items that bring awareness to our city.
The New Orleans Craft Mafia consists of several independent artists in a variety of media: jewelry, clothing, accessories, home decor, and more.
Hand Made Collectable and Wearable Masks by Dalili
636 Royal St
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Buy mardi gras posters, zydeco cajun music, and New Orleans collectibles. Mardi Gras, Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz posters and CDs. French Quarter Masks, Cookbooks, and more from New Orleans. neworleansproducts.com
Treat your Guests to a Delicious Louisiana Creole
sorry this store was never able to reopen after the hurricanes
Hats, shirts, prints and more - The items are created, made and promoted by a group of native New Orleanians who lost their homes and personal possessions. 100% of the net proceeds will go to organizations dedicated to building, rebuilding or “greening” homes in New Orleans.
sorry this store was never able to reopen after the hurricanes
Great cajun food, books, Mardi Gras king cakes, gifts & more at everyday low prices!
New Orleans Showcase
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers
Handmade Soap Store
Neckwear Co. Inc.
Conversation-starting New Orleans tee's
Some photos of a Mardi Gras fundraiser at the Bootheel Youth Museum in Malden, Missouri
Photos from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity's, 3rd annual Mardi Gras fund raiser
Madcap Mardi Gras - Downtown Sandpoint, Idaho - Several Event Ideas
Photos from the St. Thomas More Mardi Gras Dance 2003
Thanks for visiting!
I love to give party planning advice... - I'm online whenever I'm not at work or asleep, but by chance if I'm not online, you can leave your questions there for emailed responses, usually in 24 hours or less!
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