Royal Nights: Carnival at the Royal: Get an early start to Fat Tuesday celebrations when guest bartender Duane Sylvestre — formerly of Bourbon Steak and now a mixologist for the Campari USA group — whips up tropical rum cocktails perfect for the carnival of his native Trinidad. Sylvestre joins the Royal's new bartending team, Jake Kenny (formerly of the Columbia Room) and Alonzo Freeman (formerly of Sixth Engine), who will be making cocktails of their own. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Free; cocktails $6-$8.
Tuesday, Feb. 13
Mardi Gras at the Wharf: Washington's most buzzed-about development marks its first Fat Tuesday with a parade along the waterfront Wharf Street, live brass band music, a dance party on the District Pier and a fireworks display. Restaurants and businesses at the Wharf are sponsoring (and tossing beads from) parade floats, as well as offering food and drink deals. 6 to 8 p.m. Free.
Mardi Gras Extravaganza at Dock 5: The all-you-can-eat — and drink — party returns to Union Market’s Dock 5 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 D.C. Central Kitchen. 6 to 10 p.m. $65.
Dave Eggers at Sixth and I: Dave Eggers's latest nonfiction work, “The Monk of Mokha,” tells the tale of a Yemeni American from San Francisco who sets up a company to export coffee from Yemen, only to be caught up in the country's slide into civil war. The story, says Michael Lindgren in his review for The Washington Post, “is what certified literary good guy Dave Eggers does best: a true account of a scrappy underdog, told in a lively, accessible style.” Eggers discusses the book, followed by a signing session. 7 p.m. $38, includes a copy of “The Monk of Mokha.”
Melanie Fiona at the Howard Theatre: At the turn of the decade, Canadian soul singer Melanie Fiona established herself as one of R&B’s preeminent traditionalists. Thankfully — for Fiona and for fans of classic R&B — the sound is returning, with hits by such artists as Solange, Childish Gambino and Daniel Caesar changing the landscape. As she told Rap-Up, “I’m a purist . . . and it’s nice when I can find artistry in a new wave that pays homage to classic soul.” Perhaps she can ride the same wave. 8 p.m. $30-$59.99.
Wednesday, Feb. 14
'Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s' at the Hirshhorn: An expansive exhibition at the Hirshhorn looks back at the 1980s in New York City, a decade when art and consumer culture intersected and collided in new and surprising ways. It features almost 150 works by 68 different artists, from Jeff Koons and Barbara Kruger to groups including the Guerrilla Girls and Fashion Moda. Artist Krzysztof Wodiczko's seminal 1988 work “Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC” turns the museum's facade into a public projection screen for three nights (Feb. 13-15, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.). Through May 13. Free.
Sleigh Bells at the 9:30 Club: After a three-year break, Derek Miller and teen-pop survivor Alexis Krauss returned with “Jessica Rabbit,” adding electronic ambiance and synth-pop flirtations to the mix. Most important, they carved out more sonic space for Krauss’s airy vocals, and on last fall’s “Kid Kruschev” mini-album, her arena-size anthems speak to the current moment. 7 p.m. $30.
Mortified D.C.: Doomed Valentine’s Day at Town Danceboutique: At Mortified, adults share excerpts from their diaries, bad teenage poetry, love letters from summer camp or notes passed in 10th-grade math class. These true stories are hilarious, cringe-inducing — and sometimes both. The annual Doomed Valentines performance will make you glad you’ve grown up and gotten over than high school crush. Or have you? Doors open at 7 p.m. $17-$20.
Throw an ax at a picture of your ex at Bad Axe Throwing: Can’t bury the hatchet? Try throwing an ax at a picture of your ex. Bad Axe Throwing, D.C.'s first indoor ax-throwing venue, will let you use the photo as a target and coach you through the process. 6 to 10 p.m. $20.
Thursday, Feb. 15
Love is Awk at Jos. A. Magnus: Five female comics discuss dating, marriage and everything in between during a women-only event at the Jos. A. Magnus distillery. Tickets include one cocktail. 7 to 10 p.m. $40.
Friday, Feb. 16
Love Thy Beer: Winter Warmer Showcase at the Silver Spring Civic Center: This annual festival, run by the Brewers Association of Maryland, focuses on seasonal beers — it's heavy on stouts, porters, barley wines and barrel-aged offerings — but features a wide selection of brewers from across the Old Line State, including a good number that aren't found regularly in the Washington area. In addition to all-you-can-sample beer, the night includes live music and snacks. 6 to 10 p.m. $55-$75.
50 Shades of Rosé at La Maison Francaise: More than 100 wines are featured at this festival at the French Embassy’s La Maison Francaise, including a number of French rosés. Tickets include unlimited sampling and access to cooking demonstrations, food pairing seminars, burlesque performances, dancing, and a marketplace featuring local food and craft vendors. If you discover a new favorite vintage, all bottles will be available for purchase. 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. $69-$99.
First date survival guide at Busboys and Poets: A first-date crash course from Washington Post Date Lab writers, Solo-ish writer Lisa Bonos and sports reporter Neil Greenberg. These experienced daters will offer tricks on how to avoid, and recover from, classic first-date pitfalls and advice on how to turn a bad date into a good time. 5 to 7 p.m. Free.
— Fritz Hahn, Rudi Greenberg, Chris Kelly and Megan McDonough