Throw The Best Mardi Gras Party, Ever

With its parties and parades, its colored beads and feathers, its glitter and glitz and gold, Mardi Gras isn't a celebration known for subtlety. If there were ever an occasion to go all out, it seems Mardi Gras — which has a rowdy history that dates back thousands of years — would be the one.

But, even those who won't be attending the famous festivities in Louisiana (where Fat Tuesday is a legal holiday) don't have to miss out on all the fun. For merrymakers looking to bring the hoopla home, we're sharing 12 items to get the wheels turning for a smaller-scale celebration miles from Bourbon Street.
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Beignets are a New Orleans classic (as is Café Du Monde, which opened in 1862 in the city's French Market). Fried and finished with a coating of confectioners' sugar, these French doughnuts make an ideal treat for Fat Tuesday, a day named for pre-Lent indulgence.
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Trade paper cups for jewel-like fleur-de-lys glasses you'll use year-round. The stylized lily motif is the symbol of NOLA and can be seen around the city during Mardi Gras season.
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Paper straws in traditional purple, green, and gold make festive accompaniments for celebratory drinks.
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Let legendary musician (and New Orleans native) Fats Domino provide the soundtrack for the night with The Fabulous Mr. D, featuring the 1953 B-side "Mardi Gras in New Orleans."
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Better than a disco ball, this gold foil piñata releases a shower of confetti made using tissue paper and mylar cut by hand.
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No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete with beads — these 12-millimeter strands do double duty, functioning as both costume jewelry and colorful party decor.
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Beauty's in the smallest of details: Why stick with plain white cutlery when forest green — or glittering gold — is an option?
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Rum is a key component in the Hurricane, a classic New Orleans cocktail. When making your own, consider using this blend, made by local artist James Michalopoulos using Louisiana sugarcane.
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In lieu of a disposable laurel — or a mask embellished with sequins or feathers — try a gold-leaf crown handmade by Oregon's Bloom Design Studio. (Men's styles are available, too.)
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Top your king cake — or a pile of those beautiful beignets — with sparkling letters that spell out the word on everyone's lips.
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Keep appetizers at arm's reach — we're thinking Creole deviled eggs, crab cakes, or Oysters Rockefeller — with a ceramic platter in all the right colors.
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Photograph festivities with this specialty Polaroid film from The Impossible Project, which frames each instant image in matte gold.