“It took the city of New Orleans to transform the centuries-old celebration of Mardi Gras into America’s Greatest Party.” –New Orleans Online
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a historic holiday celebrated prior to the Christian penitential season of lent. Mardi Gras first became popular in North America when a French expedition came from Paris to the Mississippi River in 1699. Breaking from travel to observe their religious celebration, explorers landed on the West Bank of New Orleans and christened the site ‘Point du Mardi Gras’. Consequently, NOLA has been a primary location for the celebration which includes masquerades, balls, parades, and parties galore.
Traditions for this iconic event have developed and evolved throughout the ages. One of the most notable traditions has been the signature colors. In 1872, the King of Carnival determined that the official colors would be purple, green and gold. To incorporate symbolism, the King determined that: purple represents justice, green stands for faith, and gold signifies power.
CELEBRATE WITH A COCKTAIL
Classic New Orleans Hurricane
Whether you’re on Bourbon Street, in the French Quarter, or in the local bars of New Orleans – the Hurricane is a popular drink. Jimmy Buffet famously sang “Pour me something tall and strong, make it a hurricane before I go insane” in reference to the tasty Hurricane created at Pat O’Brien’s Piano Bar in New Orleans. This sweet drink is made with rum, fruit juice, syrup or grenadine, and topped with a cherry or orange slice. For those looking to add a little zing, soak your cherries in Everclear liquor. Follow the recipe here to make this festive drink!
ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE JAMABALAYA WITH SHRIMP
New Orleans is famous for a lot of a variety of regional foods, but if you have ever been to NOLA, you know that creole cuisine is a specialty in this town most of all. Jambalaya is one of the most delicious meals served, and we can understand why! This traditional rice dish combines meats and seafood, a bit of spice, and a whole ‘lot of flavor! Follow this link to get a yummy Andouille Sausage and Shrimp Jumbalaya recipe.
OUR ATTACHMENT TO NOLA
We admit, we have a slight obsession with the culturally rich city of New Orleans. Mardi Gras is an incredible production and we love to help our clients celebrate. However, our true attachments to NOLA are the ties that extend far beyond the fetes.
For the past 7 years, Mosaic has been doing community service in NOLA in a unique and meaningful way. Mosaic’s owner, Susie Perelman, co-founded an organization called Event Pros Take Action which allows professionals working in the event industry to give back to those in need. Partnering with the SBP, the group took their first trip to New Orleans in 2008 to assist with the recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Every year since, we have been traveling to NOLA to help rebuild and furnish homes to help the community recover from the devastation that is still prevalent in the city 11 years later. Mosaic, Inc. has even donated fabric and pillows to help furnish and decorate the home!
In addition to rebuilding homes, EPTA has taken on additional projects to give back to the community. We collaborated with The Covenant House to produce a carnival event for the homeless youth residing at their shelter. Furthermore, EPTA works with Liberty’s Kitchen to deliver a series of round table discussions that engages students enrolled in their hospitality curriculum.
Check out some of the good work we have done in New Orleans. We can’t wait to return again this July!