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Celebrate Mardi Gras early with your very own party

Although Mardi Gras may be a few months away, that doesn't mean you can't capture the essence of the event with your very own party inspired by the festival. The best part is that this theme can be used for everything from a birthday to New Year's Eve party.

Mardi Gras gives you a chance to go over-the-top with your event. Everything from the decorations to the party invitations should be bright and colorful. Of course you're going to need to remain organized to pull off such a shindig, but with a few easy tips you'll be able to organize an amazing event that will make your guests feel like they're down in New Orleans hanging out in the French Quarter.

The signature colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold, and those shades should pop up on everything you use! Your invitations should feature those hues along with a picture of a mask or beads, items that are often associated with the huge event. If you really want to add a personal touch, send each friend their own set of beads with a note attached providing them date and time of the bash. Encourage your friends to come dressed in costumes, and hold a costume contest at the end of the evening to crown the king and queen of Mardi Gras.

After you've sent out the invites to your friends, start thinking about what decorations you'll be needing. Of course, balloons and streamers are a must, but you should also look into getting supplies that bring a sense of drama to the party. Stick with the green, purple and gold color scheme, but look for decorations that have these colors in metallics. Door curtains are the perfect way to set the tone as your guests will walk through them as they enter. Also, masks are a huge part of the celebration, so include plenty of items that have masks on them. Remember, the more glitter, the better.

As you're transforming your place into your very own Bourbon Street, think about the architecture that is featured on the famous avenue. There are tons of intricate lamp posts and iron gates. You can find scene setters that emulate the atmosphere and use them as backdrops. Hanging a large personalized banner celebrating Mardi Gras is also a great item to include when putting up the decorations. Metallic whirlers and danglers are some other perfect items to have hanging from your ceiling for this event. Also, have plenty of party favors like noisemakers, beads and masks on hand for your partygoers.

While everyone is enjoying themselves and dancing along to some great New Orleans jazz, be sure to set out some refreshments. Look into serving some great barbecue and Louisiana delicacies, but keep plenty of paper goods like napkins, paper plates and cups nearby.

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