Friday, Feb. 16: Two of DC’s most melodic bands take the stage tonight at the Black Cat. Both Bicycle Thieves and Lejeune play straightforward guitar rock that’ll have you humming their songs the next day. And for $10—but make it $20 and treat yourself to a couple of Red Room Ales downstairs—I can’t think of a better way to detox after a week of Valentine sweetness.
Saturday, Feb. 17: Want to party with some real animals during Mardi Gras? Then head to the National Zoo, where FONZ (Friends of the National Zoo) will be hosting “Carnaval,” a Brazilian themed Mardi Gras party. There’ll be dancing, drinks from local breweries, food from local restaurants, and live music. 8 pm to midnight. Tickets are $50 for FONZ members, $75 for nonmembers and are purchasable online here. Call (202) 633-3026 for more information.
It’s time to party like it’s America’s first president’s birthday—because it is! This weekend Mount Vernon (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Alexandria, VA) is celebrating the 275th birthday of George Washington. Several events at Washington’s estate will mark the occasion, including a special breakfast and a fife-and-drum corps parade. 9 am to 4 pm. $13; seniors $12; ages 6-11 $6.
Mardi Gras madness descends on the Gallery Place bar R.F.D (810 Seventh St., NW). tonight with cover band Gonzo’s Noise and free Mardi Gras masks for the first 200 people through the door. As at any good Mardi Gras party, there will be plenty of free beads. Doors open at 9 pm, and the cover charge is $5.
Sunday, Feb. 18: The Year of the Boar is almost upon us, and Chinatown is celebrating the impending Chinese New Year with its annual parade and festivities. Marching bands, dancers, and other performers will parade and —even more spectacular—a five-story high firecracker will be lit. I’m not sure if it’s the safest thing, but it certainly sounds like fun. The parade starts at the intersection of 6th and H streets, NW. 2 to 5 pm.
Tonight is the final showing of the stage version of "Edward Scissorhands" at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. Adapted from the 1990 Tim Burton movie, this well-received production explores the gothic story of a boy with scissors for hands through dance and music. Show times are 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm. $29 to $84.
The Washington area has a vibrant local music scene, and every year the Washington Area Music Awards throw an awards ceremony, the Wammies, to honor the year’s most notable artists. Tonight’s ceremony, the organization’s 21st, will feature performances by local bands like Shane Hines & the Trance and Randy Waller & the Country Gentlemen. Bob Schieffer hosts the event at the State Theater in Falls Church (220 N. Washington, Falls Church, VA). 7 pm. Tickets are $25 for nonmembers and $15 for members.