Mardi Gras Themed 1st Birthday
Shana's little girl's 1st birthday party featured a Mardi Gras theme. It seemed like the perfect fit because New Orleans is Shana's home town, that's where she and her husband met, and it was the right time of year. Guests celebrated Audrey Gras by becoming part of the Krewe du Peek-a-Boo.
As they entered the back yard from the house, guests were greeted by a chalkboard sign inviting them to "Wear a hat, you know you want to." The children especially liked this beginning to the party and many adults took the opportunity to festoon themselves.
As anyone who has attended Mardi Gras knows, the trees on the parade route are always covered in beads after a parade. The orange tree in the backyard was decorated with Mardi Gras beads and festive pom-poms. Additional beads festooned the food and drinks tables. Shana also decked out her daughter's high chair to look more like a float, so that she could be the Queen of the Carnival.
Balloons were a fun addition throughout the front and back yard to help guests find their way to the party, and children were encouraged to select one to take home as a souvenir on their way out. Mardi Gras Beads were also given out as favors throughout the party.
Paper lanterns in Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold floated above the festivities on the cafe lights above the yard. And a metallic pennant banner swagged the perimiter of the yard, which created a fun, festive atmosphere and gave off a pleasant flapping sound. Shana also pumped Mardi Gras music into the backyard via a small wireless speaker.
Shana prepared and served native New Orleans cuisine staples of Chicken & Sausage Gumbo and Red Beans and Rice, with plenty of corn bread. Fresh fruit and veggies, a variety of cheeses, and home-made cupcakes (Shana even dyed the sugar for the cupcakes) adorned another table in the yard. A true King Cake was purchased from another New Orleans native living in Los Angeles, the owner of New Orleans Sweet Treats in Inglewood. And like any good Mardi Gras party, Abita Beer was served in addition to soft drinks, juice pouches, and water.
Inside, Shana used tissue pompoms, foil streamers, drapes and garlands as well as feathered masks and colored lights to extend the frivolity throughout the rest of the home. A color-changing laser-light which responds to music created a party atmosphere in the Living Room while Mardi Gras and Zydeco music played via Pandora on the television.