Wave Your Carnival Beads at These Mardi Gras Parties
Celebrate Fat Tuesday with New Orleans grooves, cooking classes, hurricanes and king cakes galore.
Mardi Gras—the green, gold and purple holiday where king cakes reign supreme—is nearly here. Whether you’d like to snag some sweets for home or party hard at a local venue, we’ve rounded up several ways to celebrate in and near Arlington.
Mardi Gras Brew-Ha-Ha
Feb. 18 | Noon-7 p.m.
Get a head start on Fat Tuesday at this all-day festival, featuring live music, food specials, festive accessories, and $3 beer taster tickets. In addition to the brews at Caboose Commons, the taphouse will host several guest breweries, including Atlas Brew Works, Lost Rhino Brewing Company and Solace Outpost. Purchase a 10-ticket bundle in advance and receive 20% off your order. // Caboose Commons, 2918 Eskridge Road, Fairfax
Beads and Brews at B Live
Feb. 18 | 8 p.m.
Spend the evening at this Clarendon nightspot known for live music and cereal shooters. The evening will spotlight the JJ Rupp Band, with additional DJ-spun tunes, and include drink specials, giveaways and plenty of beads to tote home as souvenirs. // B Live, 2854 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.
Mardi Gras at the Wharf
Feb. 18 | 3-7 p.m.
Hop across the river for this afternoon celebration at the District Wharf. The party starts with hurricanes from Thrasher’s Rum Distillery (helmed by the barkeep behind the Wharf’s Tiki TNT) and continues with a parade loaded with local talent (Eastern High School Marching Band, Batalá Washington), floats and appearances from the Mardi Gras king and queen. At 4:30, join a dance party with music from Naptown Brass Band and catch fireworks to end the night at 6:30. // District Pier, 101 District Square SW, Washington D.C. Free.
Dine and Shine Mardi Gras Celebration
Feb. 20 | 6-8 p.m.
Why not throw a little yoga into the holiday? Northern Virginia-based Eat.Yoga.Drink is collaborating with Ballston culinary school Cookology on this down dog-meets-dinner event. The session starts with a lesson in how to prepare Cajun andouille sausage potpie, salad and a king cake roll. While the food is in the oven, participants take to their mats and engage in a 45-minute yoga flow on the (sanitized) kitchen floor. Then, it’s time to eat. (And drink homemade champagne hurricane punch.) // Cookology, 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $99 per person.
Bayou Gras Mardi Pardi
Feb. 21 | 6-9 p.m.
This all-day cafe in Courthouse—led by New Orleans-bred chef David Guas—will close at 5 on Mardi Gras and do a quick-change to host a rollicking party at 6. The evening features live jazz and loads of themed fare and drinks, from king cake daiquiris to gulf shrimp jambalaya to beignets. And if you’d prefer to “pardi” at home, order Mardi Gras in a Box ($150), complete with a murder mystery game, hurricane mix, king cake and more. // Bayou Bakery, 1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington. Tickets $16-$22.
Retox Brunch Party: Mardi Gras
Feb. 25 | Noon-5 p.m.
Let’s face it, you may need a few days to recover from the fun of Mardi Gras. But you can get back into the spirit of things at this “retox” brunch party at Clarendon Ballroom. Grab some grub from bottomless food stations (the menu includes jambalaya, salmon-avocado toast and cupcakes), take advantage of specials on mimosas and champagne bottles, catch a dance crew and more. // Clarendon Ballroom, 3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free admission, priority seating $25.
Looking for some Mardi Gras-themed treats for home?
Check out the limited-edition king cake doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, a full-size king cake from Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe and an assortment of goodies (paintable cookies? yes please) from Pastries by Randolph.