Idea No.

7822

Elvis Meets Bubba - Mardi Party

Award

Date

Jan. 2004

From

Jill in Washougal, WA, U.S.A.

Special Mention

Mardi Gras Party

Mardi Gras Party (Adult Theme Ideas) held on the 1st Saturday of August every year so that people can plan their calendars for it.   My husband and I are from the south and miss our southern heritage.  So, each summer we feel it is our honor-bound duty to provide some true culture and couth for our yankee NW Pacific friends.  We invite all our kith and kin and it's also a time for us to thank our business associates each year for their business. 

We've called the parties different titles each year, but we always cook up a mess o shrimp and boil a huge pot of crawfish.  (Crawfish have different seasons so you have to find a seafood house that can provide them, or order them online from Louisiana.) We teach newcomers how to suck de heads off the crawfish.  Some of the names for the party that we've used are:  Mardi Party in July, Bubba Party,  Elvis Meets Bubba.   We've had a different theme each year. 

For the Mardi Party in July event, we decorated in the traditional purple, green and gold.  We gave out beads to everyone who arrived.  We had a traditional King cake with the plastic baby Jesus cooked inside. (The person who gets the baby Jesus is supposed to have the next party for everyone!)  Everyone was encouraged to dress in costume if they felt inspired.  Many people really got into the spirit of it.  We also include a cook-off with each party, this affords our party a lot of conversation pieces too.  For the Mardi Party in July, we asked for people to compete with their best southern recipes.  We gave prizes for the ômost southern, best cajun, spiciest. 

We also had a contest for each table.  The participants brought decorative items to turn their table into their best rendition of a Mardi Gras float. One family won because they dressed their daughter in a whole paper southern belle dress covered in tissue paper flowers.  I always try to give something for party goers to take home: this year my husband made pecan pralines and I got clear plastic bags from a craft store and decorated the bags with purple and gold ribbons.   

The Bubba Party was really a big hit with our friends and party goers!  It was given in salute to all our ôwhite trashö relatives down south. It gave people the opportunity to just dress in jeans and black out a few teeth and be right in character. We made everyone take a name tag with new Bubba-like names like Billy-Bob.

For decorations we used big, stuffed deer heads on several trees around the ôback forty.ö We even put out an old couch for people to sit on.  We had an old clothes line stretched out amongst the trees with a bunch of gingham colored clothes and a big ole bra hanging on it. We got several American flags and displayed them sticking out of the back of an old, beat up truck.  We put a children's swimming pool in the truck bed with ice and cold drinks. 

Our cook-off this time was for a Roadkill Surprise, and each cook had to provide a story of how his/her roadkill died.  The amusing stories were read aloud during the party.  For prizes for the cook off, we gave an old concrete block so that the winners could prop up a car in their own yard.  We also gave out Jack Daniels, which we said was moonshined in our daddy's back yard.  The Elvis Meets Bubba has turned out to be the biggest hit.  To begin, as guests arrived, I had bought a stand up of Elvis, and we took pictures of everyone by the cardboard Elvis. We did the party in a backyard that was enclosed in a fence.

There was a great old walnut tree and we hung Christmas lights through the branches so they hung down forming a café type feeling. We also threaded lights through the fence.  We covered the whole inside of the fence with white paper so no one could see in and party people couldn't see out. I decorated the white paper with music notes, stars, etc. I got an overhead projector and made a huge picture of the gates of Graceland and put it over their big backyard fence gate. 

Then as the party went on, the Graceland gates rolled open and a friend with a classic car convertible drove right into middle of the party with Elvis and his entourage of girlfriends sitting in the back!  We had rented an Elvis costume and the entourage dressed in beaded prom dresses from the fifties.  Elvis was a big hit and everyone wanted to pose with the real Elvis!  Elvis entourage gathered brave girls from the party to get up with them and they danced as Elvis sang his one and only practiced song.

The cook-off was anything that was a favorite dish of Elvis which could be just about anything!  I decorated each table in a theme from one of his movies and people had to guess what movie it was.  I gave out Elvis prizes I got on Ebay, such as a coffee cup with his picture on it.  Next summers party theme is going to be Bubba on the Bayou because we live near a river now. 

For the surprise, I plan to have a white trash wedding. I have some friends who will dress up in wedding clothes the bride will of course will be pregnant.  They will arrive in the midst of the party in the back of an old truck, complete with hound dog and angry father of the bride.  Maybe Elvis will come back to give the wedding service and make the bride an "honorable woman!" I will serve wedding cake for dessert.  The cook-off this year is going to be anything that can be made with whiskey as a ingredient.

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