Skip to main content

Beads & Hurricanes & King Cakes, Oh My!

Photo by Samuel Dixon

Mardi Gras is a tradition spawned from a very rich history. The origins of the grand celebration can be traced back to medieval Europe, passing through Venice and Rome to the French house of the Bourbons. Referred to as “Boef Gras” or fatted calf, the tradition made its way through France. French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville came to a plot of land about 60 miles south of New Orleans and proclaimed it “Pointe du Mardi Gras” after realizing it was the eve of the holiday. He also named Fort Louis de la Louisiane (which became mobile) and by 1703  the small settlement celebrated America’s first Mardi Gras.

The tradition grew in America between 1711-1861 with processions know today as parades. New Orleans was established by 1718 and by the 1730’s Mardi Gras was openly celebrated but not as it is today, instead they were elegant society balls. For years the spirit of mystery and excitement continued to evolve, and today Mardi Gras is an experience like no other in New Orleans.

The countdown is on as Mardi Gras is just a few weeks away on February 13, 2018. New Orleans provides a helpful website full of information to help you curate a celebration that’s just right for you. On the site, you can find more details about the history of Mardi Gras, the floats, the parade view options, hotels, restaurants and more.

Can’t make it to N.O. for the real thing? I’ve got you covered, here are some local DC celebrations you can enjoy:


Mardi Gras Celebration Lunch @ St. John’s Episcopal Church

Sun, February 11, 2018

11:00 AM- 1:30 PM

$10 donations appreciated (but not necessary)

Join in fellowship at a festive lunch, in celebration of Mardi Gras



Mardi Gras Soiree @ Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center

Sat, February 17, 2018

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Food, Dancing, Costume contest and king cake!



* Mardi Gras Extravaganza @ Dock5

Tue, February 13, 2018

6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

The 2nd annual largest indoor block party in DC for Mardi Gras.

Celebrate Fat Tuesday with all the food and drinks you like with the price of one ticket.



DC Mardi Party @ 10 Tavern

Sat, February 10, 2018

1:00 PM – 9:00 PM

$3 Abita beers and $4 rum cocktails on special all day with prizes, mask and party gear.



*Mardi Gras Celebration @ The Park at 14th

Tue, February 13, 2018, 5:00 PM – Wed, February 14, 2018, 2:00 AM

Park is transforming into Bourbon Street for the night! Enjoy a ‘Hurricane’ cocktail and the tasty New Orleans inspired menu from chef Lois Spencer.

Bottle service is available.



If you need accommodations after all the food and booze, recoup with RoomShare!

Have you ever searched for a hotel and saw no vacancies for a specific date? The hotel could be full, or maybe not. RoomShare has access to those “reservations” at a hefty discount that will be unused due to the reserver canceling their plans.

If you create a profile, you can be matched to a same-sex roommate, enjoy your own bed and even more savings.

Can’t make it to Fat Tuesday? Sell your hotel room back on RoomShare and get back a portion of your booking fee, simple.

Make the most of all your travels with RoomShare, Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *