You don’t need to go to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras in style. Plenty of bars, restaurants and other venues are bringing Fat Tuesday celebrations (and beads) to D.C. Here are a few worth parading around town for.
Mardi Gras Family Day
The Anacostia Community Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so it’s upping the ante for its annual Mardi Gras Family Day (1901 Fort Place SE; Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free). For the first time, the festival will be held in the main gallery of the museum, which will play host to art workshops, clowns, magicians, fortune-tellers, face-painters, storytellers, musicians, a parade and more. A free shuttle will run to and from the Anacostia Metro station during the day.
DC Mardi Party
Though it’s not the most authentic celebration, the DC Mardi Party (Sat., 1-9 p.m., $25) is pretty close to spending an afternoon on Bourbon Street. The Chinatown bar crawl begins at 10 Tavern (707 G St. NW), where live jazz will be playing, and attendees will check in (between 1 and 4 p.m.) to pick up a mask and beads. Tickets also grant admission to all the venues (Fado Irish Pub, Jackpot, Rocket Bar and Fuel Pizza) and drink and food specials, like $3 Abita beers, at each locale.
Mardi Gras at The Wharf
Start off your Fat Tuesday at 6 p.m. with a parade — full of brass bands, floats and bead-tossing — through The Wharf (starts at Seventh Street SW) and ending with fireworks. Then head over to Union Stage (740 Water St. SW; Tue., 7:30 p.m., $15-$25) for the venue’s Mardi Gras concert, which includes sets from local funk and soul cover band Magnolia Blue and Baltimore rocker Cris Jacobs, who’s been known to play a song or two written by NOLA funk legends The Meters.
Mardi Gras Extravaganza
The all-you-can-eat — and -drink — party returns to Union Market’s Dock 5 (1309 Fifth St. NE; Tue., 6-10 p.m., $65) for a second year. A bevy of D.C. food and drink pros, including David Guas, Spike Mendelsohn and Gina Chersevani, are cooking up a Louisiana-style feast while local mixologists compete to see who can whip up the best hurricane. Don’t forget to bring your best mask and beads for the costume contest. Proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen.