As raucous, wild and loud as Mardi Gras celebrations usually appear with street parties, drinking and carousing, it can be surprising to realize that Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, is actually part of a religious observance. The Catholic Church’s Lenten season of fasting and penitence begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras. The holiday celebrations allow participants to live it up and enjoy the best of food and drink before they give up these indulgences for the next eight weeks of penitence until Easter and Christ’s resurrection.
Because churches, not just Catholic ones, observe Lent, they also frequently observe Fat Tuesday with meals and meals. Pancake suppers are particularly popular through the years. If your church or community group is planning a special event, check out this Mardi Gras large group tablesetting for ideas of how to do some inexpensive decorations.
Since Mardi Gras is an annual event that your organization might celebrate for many years to come, you may want to buy decorations that can be used again and again. That’s why I bought the Mardi Gras plastic hats, masks, beads and noisemakers because they could be used in different ways each year, thus saving money.
At my church, we set up ten to fifteen rectangular banquet tables in our long chapel which we use as a fellowship hall. We cover the tables with white paper tablecovering. The white color makes the other colors stand out . I used alternating green and purple construction paper as placemats and for the centerpiece underpinning. I used gold napkins which meant each table featured the three colors of Mardi Gras–gold, green and purple.
In the center of the table, I laid green and purple construction paper sheets down the length of the center. I used gold, green and purple plastic hats as the larger elements . These can be found many craft, party or costume shops. The hats stack nicely for easy storage. I bought a large tub of 144 multi-colored strands of beads which are great for spread down the tables. You could also use them at each placesetting. Notice that I used tall glass cylinder vases filled with colored beads for some the hats to sit on for height. I also laid noisemakers down the length of the tables as well as pictures and messages that I printed on my home computer printer. I also used little Mardi Gras boxes for beads; these could be used for candy treats and put at each guest’s placesetting.These colorful decorations are easy to set up and get your crowd into the Mardi Gras mood. Enjoy!