Masked characters, dogs in costumes, marching bands and other Mardi Gras partiers are set to make their way through Clarendon tonight.
After dodging the threat of snow following two years of weather delays and cancellations, the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard, making its way from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.
After the parade, revelers then can head to the first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) The party is scheduled to run from 7 to 11 p.m.
More than 30 groups are expected to march in the parade, which is organized by the Clarendon Alliance. The non-profit organization has billed the parade as a “family-friendly event” that is “big fun.”
“Participating in the parade is a great way to have fun — participants can wear masks, dress completely inappropriately, and throw stuff at people,” the Clarendon Alliance says on its website. “What’s not to like?”
Except maybe traffic.
Some roads will shut down starting at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the street closures include:
- Wilson Blvd from Veitch Street to Barton Street will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Wilson Blvd from Barton Street to Irving Street will be closed from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m.
Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend, but must have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets to the party cost $20 online and $25 at the door.
Photo courtesy Jason Dixson Photography
Pending good weather, floats, bands, horses and “critters in costumes” will march down Wilson Blvd during the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for early February.
This year’s parade is planned for Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 9. It will start at 7 p.m., traveling along Wilson from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street. The deadline to register to participate is Feb. 1, and bead orders must be submitted by Jan. 25.
Snow has forced the family-friendly parade to be postponed to mid-March the last two years in a row, but this year the organizers — the non-profit Clarendon Alliance — have planned an additional event that’s not weather-dependent on the evening of the parade.
The first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball will be held from 7-11 p.m. at the Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd. The ball will have live performances from jazz ensembles the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band. A ball king and queen will be announced between the bands’ sets.
Traditional Louisiana food will be served alongside wine, beer and punch. Ticket holders will get one free ticket upon entry. All other food and beverage sales will be cash only or from additionally purchased food and drink tickets.
Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Tickets to the ball are now for sale online for $20 per person, and parade participants can get their tickets at a discounted rate. Proceeds from the tickets — beyond parade expenses — will benefit St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.
The Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the parade, announced this morning that it will not be held tomorrow night, on Fat Tuesday, as scheduled. Instead, the parade is being rescheduled for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).
Six to ten inches of snow are expected to fall overnight.
The annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras parade is back this year after a snow-induced hiatus in 2014.
The parade is scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17, on N. Barton Street. About 40 floats and parade participants have already signed up to take part in the hourlong event, which will run up Wilson Blvd to N. Irving Street.
A snowstorm on Mardi Gras forced the Clarendon Alliance — which organizes the event — to push it back to St. Patrick’s Day. Yet another storm that March forced the 16th annual parade to be canceled altogether.
“Normally it’s a rain or shine type deal,” Clarendon Alliance Executive Director Matt Hussmann said. “But the snow banks were so big on the sidewalks, nobody could watch the parade.”
This year, if the weather cooperates, Hussmann said the “family-friendly” parade should continue to be the biggest and best-attended Mardi Gras parade in the D.C. area. The Ballou High School marching band is back, the Louisiana State University alumni group will again have a big presence, and beads and candy will again be flying around.
“The parade’s got a great feel to it,” Hussmann said. “It’s really a local event. The people in the parade are businesses people go to. Everybody’s yelling and waving and dressed up and they’ve got costumes. The floats are really creative. There’s a lot of music, they’re throwing beads and candy. It’s just home-grown fun.”
Before the parade, Courthouse’s Bayou Bakery will be hosting a “Bayou Gras Block Party.” The New Orleans-themed bakery, at 1515 N. Courthouse Road, is offering $30 tickets for three cajun dishes — like jambalaya and chicken and sausage gumbo — $20 tickets for Mardi Gras-themed cocktails and $15 tickets for three pours of Abita Amber Ale. Children under 12 years old will get a free mac and cheese.
The block party will run from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tickets can be bought online or at Bayou Bakery.
Today is Mardi Gras, and although the ice and snow has forced the postponement of the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade, another street festival is going on as planned.
Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road), the Cajun-themed coffee shop and restaurant by New Orleans-native chef David Guas, is hosting its Bayou Gras Block Party this evening, starting at 5:00 p.m. in front of the store.
Northbound N. Courthouse Road is shut down to make room for a large heated tent between Clarendon Blvd and 15th Street N., and is expected to remain closed until the party ends at 10:00 p.m.
The block party will include a choice of three cajun dishes for a $30 ticket, three cocktails for a $25 ticket and/or three beers from Louisiana brewery Abita for $15. There will also be free oysters available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Update on 3/3/14 — The parade has been postponed indefinitely due to snow.
The annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade will take place next Tuesday, March 4.
The free, family-friendly parade will start at 8:00 p.m. at N. Barton Street and will make its way up Wilson Blvd to N. Irving Street in Clarendon. The parade features decorated vehicles, marching bands, parade floats, groups with animals, historic fire trucks, school groups and more.
According to Matt Hussman, executive director of the Clarendon Alliance, the parade this year will be the biggest ever in terms of entries. Among the groups that are expected to march in the parade:
- Ballou High School Marching Knights
- Batala Washington Drummers group
- Cherrydale VFD
- US Park Police Horse Mounted Unit
- DC LSU Alumni Chapter
- Krewe of Xenia
- Kensington Street Builders
- “The Band” Marching Unit
- Washington Nationals
- Corozon de America
- Sangre Boliviana
- Morenada Transpeco USA
- Tinkus Tiatacao USA
Before the parade, at 5:00 p.m., New Orleans native chef David Guas, of Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road), will hold his annual Bayou Gras Block Party in front of the restaurant in Courthouse.
The event will feature Abita on draft, bourbon cocktails, oysters, king cake, jambalaya, and gumbo under a large party tent. Tickets range from $15-30.
Disclosure: Clarendon Alliance is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Crowds lined Wilson Blvd last night to celebrate Fat Tuesday while taking in the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade.
Bands played, the D.C. Rollergirls skated through and kids scrambled for beads with as much enthusiasm as the adults. Representatives from local businesses and organizations also entertained the masses while riding or walking alongside the many colorful floats.
Photos by Jason Dixson Photography
The parade — the largest in the D.C. area — will run up Wilson Boulevard from N. Barton Street to Washington Boulevard. Several significant road closures will be in effect as a result. Parade-goers are being encouraged to walk or take Metro.
If you’re looking for something to do before or after the parade (other than watching the State of the Union address) here are a few local Fat Tuesday-themed happenings that might be of interest.
- Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) is hosting a “block party” outside the store starting at 5:00 p.m.
- Whitlow’s (2854 Wilson Blvd) is offering hurricanes, drink specials and a special menu
- Wilson Tavern (2403 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a Mardi Gras party with specials and free beads
- Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a free concert by The Grandsons starting at 8:30 p.m. The event includes free “gumbo shots.”
- RiRa Irish Pub (2915 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a live band starting at 7:00 p.m., plus offering $3 drink specials until 9:00 and “beads all over the place”
- Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) is hosting a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Party “all day long.” DJ Chris Styles will perform, specials will be available and free masquerade masks and beads will be provided.
- Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (3022 Woodlawn Ave, Falls Church) is hosting a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Floats are getting prepped and beads are being gathered for Clarendon’s annual Mardi Gras parade next Tuesday, February 12.
Thousands of residents are expected to line Wilson Blvd from N. Barton Street to Washington Blvd, where the parade will travel starting at 8:00 p.m. Around 50 businesses, restaurants and organizations are slated to march in the parade.
Because of road closures and lack of parking, parade attendees are encouraged to use Metro. The Courthouse and Clarendon stations are located near the parade route.
Street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.
The following restrictions will be in effect:
- Wilson Boulevard will be closed from Veitch Street to Barton Street 6:45-9:30 p.m.
- Adams Street and Wayne Street will be closed between Clarendon Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard from 6:45-9:30 p.m.
- Wilson Boulevard will be closed from Barton Street to Irving Street from 7:45-9:30 p.m.
- Courthouse Road at N. 15th Street — Bayou Bakery will be hosting a block party from 5:00-8:00 p.m., with setup beginning at 3:00 p.m. and cleanup ending at 10:00 p.m.
The parade — the largest in the D.C. area — will kick of at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and run up Wilson Boulevard from N. Barton Street to Washington Boulevard. The parade will be preceded by a pre-party at Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) at 5:00 p.m.
“Participating in the parade is a great way to have fun — participants can wear masks, dress completely inappropriately, and throw stuff at people,” parade organizer Clarendon Alliance said on its website. “What’s not to like?”
Fifty organizations participated in the 2012 Mardi Gras parade and the Clarendon Alliance is hoping to attract even more participants this year.
Clarendon’s annual Mardi Gras parade marched up Wilson Boulevard last night, to the delight of hundreds of paradegoers.
Among the those marching in this year’s parade were the Ballou High School Band, Washington Nationals mascot Screech, the D.C. Rollergirls, and the all-women, Afro-Brazilian/samba-reggae percussion band Batala Washington. Local businesses, churches, nonprofits and political parties also took part.
Photos by Erin Schwartz Sutherland
Happy Fat Tuesday — It’s Fat Tuesday, the traditional day of feasting (or partying) before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. To celebrate the occasion, the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade will be held tonight, starting at 8:00 p.m. See our list of local Mardi Gras happenings for additional festivities around Arlington.
Three Arrested After Ballston Fight — Three suspects were arrested following a fight near the Ballston Metro station Monday evening. The fight broke out in the area of Fairfax Drive and N. Stuart Street. Fairfax Drive was partially blocked by police vehicles following the incident. Additional details were not immediately available.
Arlington Man Killed in Loudoun County — An Arlington man was killed when a deer came crashing through the windshield of the SUV he was riding in Saturday night. The freak accident happened on Route 9 in Loudoun County around 7:30 p.m. Police say a Toyota Prius first hit the deer, launching it in the air. The deer came down on the SUV, killing 26-year-old Rodolfo Ruiz Villatoro of Arlington. [MyFoxDC]
Legislators Accept Trips and Gifts — Among the corporate gifts and travel accepted by local state lawmakers last year: a $8,796 trip to France (Del. David Englin) and $400 circus tickets (Del. Patrick Hope). [Sun Gazette]
Arlington’s main event is the Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade. The free event starts at 8:00 p.m. More than 40 local groups will march in the event, some with floats and the quintessential beads. The parade will run along Wilson Blvd from N. Barton St to N. Irving St. The following street closures will be in effect:
- Wilson Blvd from N. Veitch St to N. Barton St will be closed from 6:45-9:30 p.m.
- Adams St and Wayne St, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 6:45-9:30 p.m.
- Wilson Blvd from Barton St to Irving St will be closed from 7:45-9:30 p.m.
In addition, street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. Parade-goers are encouraged to use Metro.
If standing outside for a parade isn’t your style, perhaps some of these other options will pique your interest:
- Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Rd) promises a celebration of Bourbon Street proportions. The Lundi Gras Party and Dinner kicks things off on Monday at 6:00 p.m. An all-inclusive four course dinner is offered, along with jazz music. On Tuesday, the party starts at 5:00 p.m. with “Parade Route Fare” like gumbo, muff-a-lottas, crawfish etouffee and oysters. Various ticket options are available for food, alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. Contact the restaurant for ticket options at 703-243-2410 or online.
- Union Jack’s (671 N. Glebe Rd.) is turning the obligatory Mardi Gras bead throwing into a contest to see who can collect the most. Prizes and specials are available throughout the night, and the evening’s grand prize will be a New Orleans trip.
- You don’t have to have a night out to enjoy some king cake. Pick up one of the fruity, colorful concoctions from Heidelberg Bakery (2150 N. Culpeper St) and enjoy hunting for the plastic baby in the comfort of your home. The bakery is taking advance orders.
- Maybe you can’t wait until Tuesday to begin celebrating. In that case, Lucy’s ARL (2620 S. Shirlington Rd) may be the answer, with its N’awlins-style Mardi Gras on Saturday. Starting at 8:00 p.m., jambalaya, oyster po’ boys and a crawfish boil will be accompanied by festive drinks and music. Free pool will be offered all night, and bead contests take place every half an hour. Tickets can be purchased online.
- Piola (1550 Wilson Blvd) is also starting the festivities early, in addition to focusing on Rio instead of New Orleans. Its 5th Annual Carnival Party takes place on Saturday starting at 9:00 p.m. Brazil’s national cocktails, caipirinhas and caipiroskas, will be served while a live band gets people moving to samba music. Feathers, costumes and masks are encouraged. Contact the restaurant for reservations.
- A number of churches mark Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, with traditional pancake suppers. Because in ancient times people used up all the sugar, fat, flour and eggs in their homes to observe fasting during Lent, many made pancakes. One of the churches having a pancake feast is St. John’s Episcopal Church (415 S. Lexington St). Everyone is welcome from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under 6. A food donation of cereal is also requested. St. George’s Church (915 N. Oakland St) will also hold a pancake supper. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 2-12 or $15 for a family.
The parade — featuring homegrown floats, Mardi Gras beads, and people and animals in costume — will take place on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 8:00 p.m. The parade route will take marchers up Wilson Boulevard from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.
Groups expected to participate this year include the Ballou High School Band, the Washington Nationals and the D.C. Rollergirls. The all-women, Afro-Brazilian/samba-reggae percussion band Batala Washington, meanwhile, will serve as the parade’s new drum corps.
Groups can still register to take part in the parade through next Tuesday, Feb. 14.
“Normally we have a lot of participants sign up at the last minute, so we know we’ll have a lot more entries by parade night,” said Matt Hussman, Executive Director of the Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the parade. “We think it is going to be a great parade, and we hope lots and lots of people come out to enjoy the spectacle.”
Missed last night’s festivities in Clarendon? After the jump are our photos from the 2011 Clarendon Mardi Gras/St. Patrick’s Day parade on Wilson Boulevard.