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.
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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