BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Among this weekend's Black History Month events you'll want to know about:

The Charlin Jazz Society's tribute to jazz composer Fats Waller is at 8 Saturday with trumpeter Clark Terry, pianist Walter Davis, bassist Larry Ridley, drummer Keith Copeland, saxophonist Arthur Dawkins and remarks by Waller's son Maurice. Tickets ($12) for the concert, at the Hotel Washington (15th and Pennsylvania NW) can be purchased at the Warner Theater, Ticketplace or by calling the society at 362-0858.

As part of the Smithsonian's two-day "Black Migration and the American City" conference, there's a blues, jazz and gospel concert at Baird Auditorium (in the Natural History Museum) at 8 Friday. The conference itself runs 10 to 10 Friday and 10 to 5:30 Saturday with discussions and lectures in the Museum of American History's Hall of Musical Instruments. It's all free, including the concert, but reservations are recommended. 357-4176.

The National Park Service shows free films on Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver 1 to 4 Sunday at the Clara Barton National Historic Site, 5801 Oxford Rd., Glen Echo. Call 492-6245.

A SHOW OF BOATS

The Washington Boat Show is open noon to 10 Friday, 11 to 10 Saturday and 11 to 7 Sunday at the D.C. Convention Center, with more than 600 power-, sport- and sailboats, nautical clothing and gear. It's $6; $3 for kids under 12. Call 569-7141.

HIGH-FLYING VOICES

The 23rd annual U.S. Air Force "Guest Artist Series" begins Sunday with singer Roger Miller, the U.S. Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants and country music personality Ralph Emery. The free concerts continue at 3 every Sunday afternoon in February and March (except March 13, when it's at 7) at DAR Constitution Hall. Future guests include jazz singer Diane Schuur, trombonist Phil Wilson and the French Armed Services Chorus. No tickets required: first-come first-seated. 767-5658.

NEW ORLEANS STYLE

Put on a pretty face for some Mardi Gras fun:

The Torpedo Factory's 13th annual Mardi Gras costume party with zydeco music by group Loup Garou, cajun munchies and a costume contest/promenade is 8 to 1 a.m. Saturday at 105 North Union St. in Alexandria. Tickets are $15 at the door. Call 549-5543.

There's a masquerade ball and Mardi Gras party with New Orlean's own Rockin' Dopsie and his Twisters along with Washington's own Uptown Rhythm Kings at 8 Saturday at the Greenbelt Armory, 7100 Greenbelt Rd. Admission is $10. Call 445-4500.

REST OF THE BEST

The D.C. Special Olympics Basketball Tournament is 4 to 10 Friday and 8 a.m. to 3:30 Saturday at Howard University's Burr Gym, 2401 Sixth St. NW. Free. 544-7770 . . . Tennis pros Stan Smith, Ilie Nastase, Bob Lutz and Dick Stockton battle in singles and doubles matches at 1:30 Saturday in the First American Bank Tennis Challenge at the Columbia Athletic Club, 5435 Beaverkill Rd., Columbia; $15. 301/730-6744 . . . St. Raphael's antique show gathers 48 dealers with furniture, glassware, pottery, linens and more 11 to 8 Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 Sunday; $2.50 at St. Raphael's Church, Falls and Dunster roads, Rockville. 762-2143 . . . For George Washington's birthday, Gadsby's Tavern Museum presents the period operas "A Grand Federal

Entertainment" at 8 Friday and "Thomas and Sally" at 8 Saturday. Tickets are $12.50 and $15 at 134 North Royal St., Alexandria. 836-0621.

CHILLY SCENES

It's going to be a cold weekend one way or another, thanks to Wintergreen ski resort and

D.C.'s Chicago Bar and Grill. From 4 a.m. to dusk Sunday, the Virginia resort will be blowing 450 gallons per minute of man-made snow onto 19th Street between Dupont Circle and M NW, turning the corridor into a slalom and toboggan raceway for competition starting at noon. Though skiers and three-man toboggan teams have already been chosen, spectators are welcome for free. Call 463-8888.

Meanwhile, the West End will be in a deep freeze with an ice-carving contest in front of the Westin Hotel (2401 M St. NW) Saturday. If you have the know-how, the tools and would like to compete (it's free), call 429-2400. If you just want to watch, it's from 11:30 to 1:30. Call 457-5020.

AN UNUSUAL BEAT

James Makubuya will be playing an eight-stringed African lyre called a ndongo in a free concert of Ugandan music at 3 Sunday in the S. Dillon Ripley Center Auditorium, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. (There'll be a demonstration of the instrument at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the Lecture Hall of the National Museum of African Art.) 357-4870 or 357-2700.

VIVE LA DIFFERENCE

The Kennedy Center's Cultural Diversity Festival starts this weekend with "Chinese Story Time," featuring storyteller Linda Fang at 10:30 and 12:30 Saturday and 1 Sunday. Future productions, each shown three times in the Theater Lab, include "Music and the Underground Railroad" (about the secret escape route slaves used during the Civil War) with actors Kim and Reggie Harris and "Dances From Around the World" by the Kaleidoscope Dancers. Tickets for all the programs have already been distributed, but unclaimed seats will be available 15 minutes before showtime. Call 254-3600.