Mardi Gras is the opening of Drink in the Middle of the Week Season, serving as a warm-up to Saint Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, which both fall on Thursdays this year. Mardi Gras is, of course, meant to be the last night of indulgence before Lent begins.*

The Mardi Gras party at Bar 7 (1015 1/2 7th St. NW) has all the basics: beads, king cake, masks and drink specials. Happy hour is from 5 to 7 p.m., and the party continues till 2 a.m. If you wear purple and green, you’ll get drink specials all night. Expect to see a lot of people drunkenly trying to convince their bartenders that turquoise counts as green.

For a more mature time, try Acadiana (901 New York Ave.NW), which celebrates Fat Tuesday on Monday and Tuesday with $5 cocktails, $4 beers and a street food menu of various deep-fried things. Try the Category Five, a variation on the classic Hurricane cocktail (and proof that it’s okay to make hurricane references in conjunction with New Orleans again). The fun starts at 3:30 p.m.

If you’re a beer connoisseur, Dogfish Head Alehouse (locations in Gaithersburg, Falls Church and Fairfax) is offering prix fixe dinner, featuring bayou food and Dogfish Head brews, for $60 a seat.

*Please, everyone, stop giving up things for Lent if you’re not Catholic. It’s a religious observance, not a diet aid. Do you fast during Ramadan, even if you aren’t Muslim? Further, stop depriving yourself during Girl Scout Cookie season.

Photo courtesy of Eva Mages/For The Washington Post