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Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras in Washington

No Orleans? No problem. Laissez les bon temps rouler at one of these local celebrations.

Celebrate Fat Tuesday in Washington with these great events. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

It’s carnival season with Mardi Gras just a week away, but you don’t have to be in New Orleans to celebrate. Washington sees its fair share of Fat Tuesday feting, and as the official Louisiana-sponsored Washington Mardi Gras wraps up, the unofficial revelry begins.

Chef David Guas, a New Orleans native, hosts a full-throttle celebration at Alexandria’s Bayou Bakery on Mardi Gras day, February 12. From 5 to 11 PM, 15th Street gets roped off for a Mardi Gras block party featuring free oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters, specialty cocktails by Gina Chersevani of Buffalo & Bergen, a parade float, a costume contest, Bayou Bakery grub, and, of course, Abita beers.

Acadiana, known and praised for its New Orleans-themed fine dining, serves up a special Mardi Gras prix-fixe menu including NOLA classics such as crawfish jambalaya, buffalo frog’s legs with a cheddar cheese grit cake, and rabbit étouffée, to name a few. For dessert there’s a twist on the classic: king cake doughnuts. The dinner is from 5:30 to 10:30 PM on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras day, February 11 and 12.

For a more elegant take on the famous holiday, the Alliance Française DC and Art Soiree are throwing a black-tie-optional masquerade ball at the Washington Club on February 9. The Blues Style Brass Band provide the entertainment, as does an open bar offering Hurricanes, Sazeracs, and more. Buy tickets ($60) online.

The Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland, hosts the Crawdaddies, a Louisiana zydeco band, on February 9 for a Mardi Gras concert. Tickets ($23 to $25) can be found here.

The Clarendon Alliance’s Mardi Gras Parade rolls down Wilson Boulevard from North Barton Street to North Irving Street on Mardi Gras day at 8 PM, featuring bands, beads, masks, and more.

Rumors hosts its 12th annual Bourbon Street Bash, which mirrors its namesake: From 4 PM until close on Mardi Gras Day, Coors Light bottles are $2, Blue Moon bottles are $3, Bacardi drinks are $4, and Hurricanes are $5. In addition, there’s a brass band and food specials such as red beans and rice, jambalaya, and gumbo.

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