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The Ultimate Guide To A Carnival Theme Party

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The Ultimate Guide To A Carnival Theme Party

Carnival or Mardis Gras is celebrated around the world and together these celebrations make up some of the most iconic street festivals held each year.

While the traditions for Carnival vary from country-to-country, thanks to the enormous spectacles held in places such as Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and Venice it has a strong style made up of wild costumes and loud colours.

A Carnival theme event is the perfect way to liven up a party or gathering and it provides you with a range of creative options when it comes to decorating and planning your event. 

To help you get started, we’ve created this guide to run you through some of the best ideas for lighting, designing, and furnishing your venue to create an unforgettable atmosphere for your Carnival theme party.

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Getting Started

A Mardis Gras theme can work for a variety of events including birthday and school discos, but it’s very well suited to large events with on-stage entertainment and dancing, as well as banquet dinners and award ceremonies.

Mardis Gras celebrations happen in the days leading up to lent around February or March, but it can be used as a basis for a fantastic summer ball or end of year party.

When it comes to choosing a venue, the main thing to keep in mind is that you’re likely to need lots of clear-floor and stage space. Colourful art deco and modernist style buildings will lend themselves well to a Mardis Gras theme but with the right decorations, you can make anywhere work.

carnival event style

Decorations, Furniture, And Design

Using Rio’s fabulous Carnival celebrations as your main source of inspiration, you want to create a tropical landscape filled with the sights and colours of Mardis Gras. You might consider using string curtains, Venetian-style masks, feathers, palm trees, beads, streamers, and lanterns. 

By using light panels of breathtaking Carnival scenes, bright tableware in traditional colours, and iconic features from the streets of Rio such as coloured shutter doors and tropical plants, you can truly take guests into the world of Mardis Gras.

When it comes to furniture to compliment your decorations, you want something that feels just as extravagant and glamorous as Mardis Gras. Consider using lit archways, poseur tables, cube chairs, or a glowing full-length bar.

If you want to make the most of this event as a branding and social media opportunity, then you can install a selfie booth or create a backdrop for guests to picture of themselves while wearing masks or costumes. (If you’d like to know more about using your event as a branding and marketing opportunity then be sure to read Rachel Grate’s post on event marketing here.)

rio carnival event theme

Centrepieces, Lighting, And Colour Scheme

Classic Mardis Gras colours are gold, yellow, green, and purple but your main aim should be to choose vibrant colours that put guests in a party atmosphere. The difficult part is making sure that your colours don’t clash while still having a rich arrangement of different hues and patterns.

Bringing Carnival to your venue is going to require some astounding lighting. You can use paper lanterns, festoon bulbs, and light panels to create an ambient atmosphere but to get people dancing and in the festival mood you will need spotlights and dynamic lighting.

Table Art’s custom centrepieces are the ideal way to cost-effectively control the lighting at your venue. They can come in your choice of colour and the lit designs are remote-controlled so you can match the lighting with the mood as it unfolds.

For the centrepiece design, you can choose from a range of props and statement pieces including palm trees, twisting flames, and captivating pixel tubes. Check out some of our past creations for even more inspiration.

A good centrepiece keeps each table focused on the theme and adds texture at different heights of your venue.

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Let The Good Times Roll: Creating A Captivating Carnival Theme Party

Attempting a Mardis Gras or Carnival theme party is ambitious with all of its larger-than-life decorations and enormous personality, but pulling it off makes all of your planning more than worth it. Guests will be taken to a world they’ve never experienced before and it gives them the chance to get creative as well.

If you want help making your Mardis Gras or Carnival theme party come alive, then get in touch with Table Art for a consultation. We can help coordinate your style and we can build, transport, and install custom centrepieces and furniture.  


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