Recreate Rio at Your Brazilian Themed Mardi Gras


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A fantasy festival in your own backyard

The two names synonymous with vibrant colors and extravagant décor – Rio and Mardi Gras. Both scream of beautiful scenery and grand events. And with the help of a dramatic chromatic blend, you can recreate Rio a Brazilian themed Mardi Gras.

The one thing that stands between you and a wild night of festivities is a highly decorated and colorful blend of blues, golds, purples, and greens vividly coloring every aspect of the event venue. Hosting an outdoor/backyard Brazilian themed Mardi Gras in the summer will graciously embrace the eroticism of Brazil and warmth of South America. But, that’s merely a suggestion. Any time you bring the excitement of Mardi Gras to a party, you know you’re in for a fun night.

Begin by setting the scene. Have guests enter the extravaganza by walking up under the archway of Brazilian romance. Outline the archway with alternating strings of metallic gold, purple, green and silver balloons and stringed globe lights. Line the entrance to your yard with metallic gossamer to create a grand Rio walkway.

Inside your yard, place small masquerade ball masks around your space or buffet table. Have Mardi Gras inspired tables set up for your guests to enjoy your Brazilian dinner spread. At each table setting, place a Mardi Gras sequin mask as a party favor for each of your guests. Adorn your tables with Mardi Gras confetti wildly spread about each table. Your backyard will make even artists envious as the beauty of the bold color combination come to life.

Light up your Rio themed Mardi Gras party

Light up your Rio themed Mardi Gras party

The Spread

Of course, what’s any good party without good food and good drinks? And what would Mardi Gras be without a buffet of delicious party favorites? Cocktail wieners, buffalo wings, shrimp Diablo, and buffalo chip dip will all add a little Latin spice to your party go-ers. But, to sweeten things up, decorate a candy buffet with purple and green jelly beans, gold coins, silver wrapped Hershey kisses, and green – purple – and white spiced gum drops. Intertwine strings of colorful party beads and lights around your candy dishware. Line your candy buffet with fabric bunting. And don’t forget a drink table or bar. Since Mardi Gras is all about eating and drinking, be sure to have plenty of both. Offer signature or specialty drinks – such as “party pina coladas” and “Mardi Gras martinis.” Give them fun names and use food coloring to add to the festive colors of the event.

Get the Word Out

Everyone knows that at a Mardi Gras party, the more the merrier. So, if you haven’t yet used or aren’t familiar with the Party Crashers app for any smart phone, you should learn… and quick! With the Party Crashers app, the way you party is revolutionized. Ditch the dated party days of hand writing party invitations, mailing them out, and hoping the invitations don’t get lost in the shuffle of your family and friend’s mail. With the Party Crashers app, you can simply set up a party event, add the details – like attire, music, drinks, date and time – and “send out” the invites with a scroll through your email and social networking lists. And for added fun, you can open the event up to the public, making it “crashable.” Sit back and watch just who shows up to crash the party. Friends, family, and party crashers everywhere have the ease of party locating in the simplicity of their smartphone app.

There ain't no party like an app crasher party

There ain’t no party like an app crasher party

Nothing says Mardi Gras like good food, good fun, and lots of people… so for your next backyard event, turn up the heat with a little Brazilian bash.

The Ultimate Mardi Gras Cocktail Party


Mardi Gras Party Recipes and Ideas

The ultimate Mardi Gras cocktail party requires the ultimate selection of Mardi Gras cocktails and appetizers, served in an environment totally decked out in the ultimate Mardi Gras theme. Purple, green and gold are traditional background colors for this carnival of carnivals. However, Mardi Gras cocktail recipes tempt pallets with bourbon, rum and fruit juice, while popular appetizers are made with spicy, New Orleans essence.

Festive Mardi Gras Cocktail Party Recipes

Hurricane

Classic Mardi Gras Hurricanes are made with 1 part rum (equal portions of dark and light), 2 parts fruit juice (orange, pineapple and passion preferred), a dash of grenadine syrup and a hint of fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, squeeze fresh lime juice over the top, add the rest of the ingredients and shake thoroughly. Pour hurricane cocktail into festive Fat Tuesday tableware cocktail glasses, garnished with an orange slice and topped with a cherry to serve.

Tiger Paw

Mix equal parts Southern Comfort, pineapple juice and raspberry wine over a shaker filled with ice. Strain cocktail into a martini glass garnished with fruit and serve on personalized Mardi Gras coasters.

New Orleans Hand Grenade

Mix equal parts gin, grain alcohol, melon liquor, rum and vodka over ice. Add water and sugar to taste and stir well. Guests drinking these powerful cocktails are likely to enjoy wearing festive Mardi Gras glitter masks, and lots of Mardi Gras beads, celebrating the true spirit of Mardi Gras well into the evening.

Easy Crabmeat Spread

 Combine 6 ounces of flaky crabmeat (fresh or canned) with 8 ounces of soft cream cheese and ¼ Cup salsa. Heat mixture in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until warm, but not hot. Serve with an assortment of crackers.

Golden Triangles

 12 sheets frozen phyllo dough

½ cup melted butter

Cajun Pork Filling

Apricot Dipping Sauce (optional)

Lightly brush one sheet of phyllo dough with some melted butter. Place another sheet on top of first sheet and brush with butter. Cover remaining phyllo dough and set aside. Cut buttered phyllo dough into six equal, horizontal strips. Place 1 tablespoon Cajun pork filling approximately 1 inch from end of strip. Fold one corner over, diagonally, lining it up with edge of strip to create triangle. Continue folding up the strip, until phyllo dough has many layers and is a single triangle appetizer. Repeat for remaining strips. Use rest of phyllo dough to make many more appetizers. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for approximately 10 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with Apricot Dipping Sauce if desired.

Cajun Pork Filling

Thoroughly cook 8 ounces ground pork in a medium skillet. Add 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and cook for another minute. Stir in ½ Cup soft cream cheese, 1/3 Cup grated carrot and a few dashes hot pepper sauce to taste. Mix well.

Apricot Dipping Sauce

Combine ½ Cup apricot preserves and 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce in a 1-Cup glass measuring cup. Stir in 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced green onion and ½ teaspoon finely grated orange peel. Microwave on high for approximately 1 minute, until bubbly and warm.

Mardi Gras and Masquerade Ideas for Your Classroom


Mardi Gras is just around the corner and if you study different holidays or the settlement of the United States, it’s the perfect reason to have a mini Mardi Gras celebration. You may also have a Mardi Gras celebration if you’ve been teaching your students French. (Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in English.)

Discuss the following leading up to your celebration:
• French settlement of New Orleans after the Civil War.
• Mardi Gras as a celebration of the “new year”
• First Mardi Gras celebration
• Today’s traditions: parties, multiple parades, etc.

When you have everything established and everyone has a good background for the “holiday”, kick back and celebrate!

For the perfect Mardi Gras classroom celebration, try the following:
• Order Mardi Gras masks for each of your students or have them create their own and hold a secret vote as to whose is the best.
• Use Mardi Gras decorations like the mystique mask door curtain and mask danglers to decorate your room.
• Purchase Mardi Gras favors for each student to take home and remember their celebration.
• Add a Jester standee as a photo booth that will make fine keepsakes for your students.
• You may even be adventurous and have groups of students make their own mini floats and hold a parade in your school.
• Don’t break the bank for your celebration. Shindigz has discount Mardi Gras supplies from which to choose.
• Let your students help you out with the food. They could research traditional French, Mardi Gras, or New Orleans food and each bring a dish to share with the class.

Even if you can’t tie in Mardi Gras to your Social Studies units, think about using Mardi Gras supplies for a masquerade ball or for a piece of literature such as The Phantom of the Opera. It’s always best to put yourself in your students’ shoes and think about what they want out of their studies. Reward their hard work on a literature unit with a theme party or have them put on a Reader’s Theatre for the novel you’ve read. Feather masks are perfect for the girls, and metallic masks work well for the boys.

No matter the reason to celebrate, your students are sure to have a blast with Mardi Gras!

Get Creative with ShindigZ Mask Decorations


 

Venetian MaskRecently, a ShindigZ customer got creative with our Jumbo Mardi Gras Mask decorations. As part of a Venetian-themed event raising money for Breast Cancer research. The masks were redecorated as part of a series of five and each was auctioned off. Several hundreds of dollars for were raised to support the fight against Breast Cancer thanks to these beautifully decorated masks!

Check out the beautiful masks decorated by a delighted ShindigZ customer!

You can get creative yourself using our Mardi Gras mask wall decoration or Jumbo Mask Standees. Use spraypaint, sprayglitter, feathers, paper mache, sequins, gossamer streamers, or any other decorating material you can think of to transform our masks into personalized decorations with your own special flair.

A fun craft for a party, classroom or other event is decorating masks to wear! Plastic masks make the perfect base for creating cool Mardi Gras accessories or masquerade Venetian Maskcostumes.

We’re always glad to hear about the cool things customers are doing with our products. Tell us about your ideas!

Plus, be sure to check out our Mardi Gras TipZ and Masquerade TipZ for more ideas on how to use masks to create an awesome decoration or themed event!

Host an Extravagant Masquerade Bash


Midnight Masquerade Columns & Lamp PostThis theme is perfect for any celebration that calls for extravagance, elegance and opulence! Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, milestone birthdays, weddings, and black tie fund-raising events all lend themselves perfectly to choosing this theme.

PARTY SLOGAN:

After selecting this theme for your party, choose a slogan to use in your invitations, and to use in tying in decorations, favors and more to your theme. Try one of the following, or come up with a slogan that fits your personality and the tone you wish to set for your party:
• Masquerade Magic
• Midnight Masquerade
• Masked Ball
• Millennial Masquerade
• Venetian Masquerade
• Midsummer Masquerade
• Midwinter Masquerade
• Masked Magic

INVITATIONS:

This fancy dress theme party provides an opportunity to pull out all the stops! A personalized masquerade invite will set just the right tone for your party.

As an alternative, mail out inexpensive metallic masks with a hand written or computer generated tag attached with all the details of the party as your invitation. Request that each guest customize their mask to match their party attire, and wear the mask to the party. Suggest that they embellish them with feathers, tulle, rhinestones, paint, sequins, etc. Award prizes for different categories: “biggest”, “most creative”, “best match with attire”, etc.

ATTIRE:

For the most dramatic effect, ask guests to dress in black-tie formal wear. If you expect that some people will be reluctant, make the party “Black-tie Optional.” That way, most people will come dressed up, and those who don’t want to won’t avoid the party.

MUSIC:

A string quartet or harpist would be the perfect musical accompaniment for this party, especially during the cocktail hour and dinner. For a less formal approach, try a DJ or some festive CDs on your own stereo.

DECORATIONS:

Before you select your decorations, choose a color theme to work with. Generally, working with at least two colors, but no more than three works best. For a masquerade theme, choose one solid color, and complement it with either silver or gold.

• Check out perfect Masquerade and Harlequin Masks Centerpiece.
• We offer hundreds of decorations in silver and gold. Glittery curtains, huge inexpensive chandeliers, draped gold and silver gossamer, and zillions of silver and gold balloons just to start with! To add some extra flare to your party…purchase several cans of silver and gold spray paint, and cover anything and everything (not living) in your theme colors. A few suggestions? Cover disposable cameras, serving dishes (even inexpensive plastic can be sprayed), old chairs…the possibilities are endless.

• Never underestimate the power of decorating with balloons, as they can transform any room into a cozy and festive space in minutes at a very low cost. Balloon strands and swags are the perfect accessory to hang across the ceiling of a large ballroom, tent or gymnasium. For a very dramatic look, outline a dance floor or the perimeter of a room with balloon strands. Balloon columns work much the same way that balloon arches do, in that they are ideal when placed at entryways, for use as a photo backdrop, or as a terrific splash of color placed at intervals around a party room.

• If you have not had the pleasure of decorating with gossamer in the past, you are in for a delightful surprise. It is a wonderful, lightweight fabric that creates fabulous decorating touches at a very reasonable price. It drapes, hangs and holds its shape beautifully. The gossamer comes in a multitude of colors, patterns, and widths to fit any party decoration need. If you are decorating a large area, or want to make any area look more intimate and festive, use gossamer to drape, swag, or cover just about anything. Ceilings, walls, doorframes, edges of table skirting, or tabletops all look terrific when accented with gossamer. Create a tent-like appearance by gathering the gossamer at a central point in the ceiling and draping it to the walls. Many unsightly gymnasiums and banquet halls have been transformed into fantasy locations using our gossamer. Twist or braid two colors together for a stunning look. Wrap gossamer around columns, stair rails, or balloon arches in your theme colors.
• One of the hottest trends today is to cover banquet or reception chairs with chair bows! With our metallic silver or gold gossamer (at a budget price), you can drape a piece of 19″ gossamer across the top of each chair back, and then tie a gossamer streamer bow around the back of the chair. The bows can be cut to any length, and even look lovely with tails trailing on the floor.

• Columns provide an elegant decorating touch. We have several ready-made columns that can be accented with gossamer, streamers, or garland. They also look sleek and sophisticated standing alone or grouped together. Columns provide a grand entry-way or a great photo backdrop, and also work well to section off a large room (dance area, food area, etc.)

• Add twinkle lights to balloon arches, strands, columns or clouds, to gossamer swags and ceiling tents, table edges, or around the perimeter of a room.
• Think romance and mood lighting…candles, candles, and more candles in a shade to match your color theme. Use tapers, balls, and votives to pull together a sophisticated color theme. Fill all the tables with various sized candles and keep them lit throughout the evening. Prior to the party, put your candles in the refrigerator or freezer. Cooler candles will burn for a much longer period of time.
• Floating candles look absolutely lovely and elegant. Color the water with food coloring to match your color theme. (Just like painting in elementary school, the food coloring can be mixed to achieve just about any color you need!) Place a glass bowl, or several different sized wineglasses filled with water on a mirror. Add candles, and colored or clear gemstones and enjoy the dreamy look you have created!

Masquerade InvitationTABLEWARE:
• For tables, use super-shine table covers and skirting in silver or gold. This will add to the formal elegant tone of the evening.
• Gone are the days when guests expected to be served on good china. While formal dishes certainly still have their place today, more and more hosts and hostesses are using paper goods. Plastic and paper goods are now acceptable even at fun themed formal events. Our metallic silver or gold paper goods appear to be quite formal. Many country clubs and reception halls are using these products as a method of serving a large group with matching tableware, at a fraction of the cost of renting china. Cleanup is also much less costly.
• If you are entertaining a larger group, and are not using good silver or stainless cutlery, try this tip to make plastic cutlery look more festive. For an original touch on your party table, use a paint pen in a color to complement your theme colors to draw random dots or squiggles on the handles of plastic cutlery. Tie the plastic flatware together with floral or satin ribbon…big impact at a little price!
• Order personalized napkins imprinted with your special theme slogan, and wording to recognize the individual or event you are celebrating. Choose from a wide range of napkin and ink colors. Select a metallic foil, holographic foil, prismatic foil, or traditional ink imprint. The napkins will serve several purposes…great decorating in disguise, and a delightful memento of a magical evening.
• Check out the huge selection of custom imprinted glassware. There’s flutes, goblets, mugs, and snifters in a multitude of sizes, shapes, style and color options. Guests can drink water, wine, soft drinks, etc. from a special glass, then take the glass home and fondly recall the party every time they see the glass. All will add a lovely, elegant touch to your tables. Tie a small piece of satin ribbon, curling ribbon, or gossamer streamer to each stem for a festive look. The glassware can also hold a gathered cloth or paper napkin to create a tall dramatic look at each place setting. Glassware filled with candy, mints, or chocolate treats or with metallic shred to match your theme colors also creates a terrific table accent.

FOOD:
• Serve a formal sit down meal, complete with placecards. A Venetian flavored meal works perfectly with this theme. Garnish food with edible loose-leaf gold, and cover dessert in tiny edible silver and gold balls. Serve dry snacks and appetizers in metallic top hats turned upside down. Sheer glitz and glamour, this party will shine and sparkle in the memories of your guests.
• At the entry to the area where guests will be dining, place a large ornate, gilded mirror on a standing easel. On the mirror, in a removable paint marker, write the menu for the evening in a calligraphic hand.

FAVORS:
Even the most limited of budgets will find a suitable favor! Attendees of a black-tie masquerade affair are most deserving of a favor to remember the evening by! One element that is essential to a Masquerade Party is to have a photographer available to take plenty of pictures to capture the magic of the evening. Fancy clothing, highly adorned masks and a festive atmosphere…all deserve to be documented and preserved. Create a photo backdrop, and encourage all the guests to stop by to have a “formal” picture taken. The photographs can then be used as a party favor, along with a personalized frame imprinted with your event slogan to commemorate the evening.

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