Bring your Party to a Boil

By Lauren Wallace | Photos by Sharon Coker and Leigh Reeves

The arrival of spring brings longer days, warmer weather and CRAWFISH! Whether as the theme for a fabulous birthday or special graduation celebration, these fun and tasty mudbugs add just the right amount of spice to any springtime soirée.

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For her son’s eleventh birthday, one fabulous party mom sought to celebrate the adventurous spirit of her son, Ethan, in a fun and festive crawfish boil. As a twin, Ethan shares his special day every year but this party was one that he could truly call his own.

Hosted at the family hunting camp in Little Yazoo, guests were greeted with an array of events to entertain both young and old. Fishing, skeet shooting, trails to explore and more. It was a true outdoor paradise! Mom, Rochelle, set the tone for the party early by choosing a red, white and light blue color scheme with pops of yellow. She worked with a local graphic designer to have a custom logo made and printed as a backdrop and on the t-shirts handed out as party favors. The look was also carried through on the festive invitations.

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The party was filled with fun, thematic décor from the crawfish can koozies by State Lines, red crawfish trays, stamped napkins and bottled Pepsi, to the crawfish stamped paper tablecloth runners—no detail was overlooked. But both mom and birthday boy agree, the highlight was the two-tier cake created by the Cake Diva herself, Maria de La Barre. Fashioned to replicated the look of a true crawfish boil complete with stock pot, crawfish, corn, potatoes, garlic and even flames made out of cake and icing–it was both amazing and delicious.

“Being from Louisiana, this is what a crawfish boil is all about,” said Rochelle. “Getting to visit with friends and watching the kids play together, all while enjoying some good, hot crawfish. It was the perfect celebration.”

While one group was gathering to celebrate a crawfish boil birthday, another was gathering to celebrate a special graduation in crawfish style. But this party was more than just about a cap and gown. For over two years prior to the big event the party honoree, Austin, waged a hard-fought battled against Lyme disease and the Epstein Barr Virus. Although he was able to graduate despite the effects of these two illnesses, it meant sitting out of most of his senior year activities. So, it was very important to Austin’s parents to have a BIG, fabulous celebration to close out the year.

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“The party had to include all the things Austin loves and enjoys and he has loved eating crawfish since he was a little boy,” said mom, Angie. “He will even get up and eat them first thing the next morning!” Angie chose the graphic of a crawfish holding a diploma as the visual theme for the party. It was used on the invitations and as the design for the amazing cake created by her aunt in Baton Rouge which featured a stock pot with edible details, dry ice smoke and backlit candy flames.

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The party took place at the family’s home. The main entree, crawfish of course, was served along with fried crappie in an aluminum jon boat. The party also featured an appetizer bar, s’mores bar, candy bar, espresso bar, frozen drink bar and photo booth with a life size cut-out of Austin so that friends and family could take pictures with the guest of honor without him having to pose for them. Festive crawfish details and sentimental touches were found everywhere. Angie used bottle sodas as part of the beverage options, a special treat she and Austin share. She also used Austin’s great-grandfather’s butcher block to hold a box of cards filled with well wishes and advice for the special grad.

Entertainment at the party was provided by Cassie Means, a family friend, who travelled with her band from Nashville to surprise the graduate and play for the big event.

As the party came to a close, only a few of the 350 pounds of crawfish prepared for the event remained. And yes, Austin ate them the next morning!