WASHINGTON - Get ready for a taste of New Orleans in the District.
The Wharf is gearing up for an epic Mardi Gras celebration with live music, culinary delights, and plenty of family fun.
Mardi Gras is all about the floats, the music, the King Cake, and, of course, those Hurricanes. But who wants to break the bank on a trip to New Orleans? Not everyone, that's for sure.
The Wharf is set to transform into a Mardi Gras on February 10th. There will be talented musicians, culinary artisans, and a fireworks display that'll light up the night.
Organizers say, this year they are going all out.
"In the past, we've had one live band, but this year, we have four – right here on the Grove, the District Pier, and around the Recreation Pier," said Julie Keleti, Media and Marketing Manager for The Wharf.
To kick off the Mardi Gras revelry, make a beeline for the District Pier Bar and order a round of Hurricanes, courtesy of local Thrasher’s Rum.
"Of course, we have to have a Hurricane, right? We're a rum bar, after all. We are going to have a bourbon milk punch, but we are not going to do bourbon. You know why? Why? Because we are a rum bar," said Todd Thrasher, Tiki TNT & Potomac Distilling Company.
And before you hit the parade, indulge in the iconic King Cakes from Praline Bakery.
"Mardi Gras is a time for people to come together and enjoy different foods and, especially in New Orleans, there is so much flavor and the King’s cake is something that is only done once a year, so it’s either get it now or you gotta wait a whole year," said Susan Limb, Praline Bakery.
With a mile-long parade route along Wharf Street Southwest, from Blair Alley to Parker Row, finding a prime viewing spot for the over-the-top splendor is a breeze.
"There will be a decent number of people here because Mardi Gras is huge right here in the District, so please arrive early and enjoy brunch or lunch," said Keleti.
And what's a Mardi Gras parade without stilt walkers, kings, queens, and jaw-dropping floats? And one of the most creative floats will be the Port of Washington Yacht Club, whose boat can transform to fit 40–50 pirates!
"When you have 40,000 people here, and they see this going through, everybody gets excited about this environment. That’s why the community is so welcomed to come down," said Bob Rose, Port of Washington Yacht Club.
"Lots of planning here. We started a few weeks ago with our committee to decide what to do, last year we were tug boats this year we are pirates because we like to stick with the water theme, and it’s a community effort, and it’s a lot of fun," said Elaine Ricks, Port of Washington Yacht Club.