The 2017 edition of the Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade and Ball is being assembled right now! Weather permitting* the Parade will start on Fat Tuesday, February 28, at 7:00 PM at Wilson Blvd and N. Barton Street, and will continue up Wilson Boulevard, past Liberty Tavern and end on N. Irving Street. If the weather is nice, thousands of people will gather along the route to watch the range of floats, bands, decorated vehicles and marchers. It’s great fun, and you should enter your group or business or nonprofit in the parade. Seriously. Everybody who participates loves it. Dogs and Horses and floats and decorated vehicles and music and dancers and marching groups…it’s a Clarendon tradition. Register for the Parade, or buy Mardi Gras Beads here.
Thanks to our friends at the Clarendon Ballroom, we’ll be holding the Second Annual Mardi Gras Ball. There will be live music, great food in the Fat Tuesday tradition, and beer, wine and punch. The Mardi Gras Ball is a ticketed event, which along with parade entry fees helps us defray our substantial parade expenses. A portion of the proceeds from the Ball will be donated to our nonprofit partners, Arlington Independent Media, and WERA-FM 96.7 . Purchase Mardi Gras Ball Tickets here.
Just for fun (since we’ve got the streets closed anyway) we’re adding the Jester Jaunt fun run immediately prior to the race start–a one-mile race starting near the Clarendon Ballroom, heading down Wilson Boulevard to the Parade start on N. Barton Street, with a U-turn at Cardinal Bank, then back up Wilson to the Ballroom. (Oddly, that loop works out to exactly one mile)! Participants get beads, admission to the Ball, and a drink token. This is not an “officially-timed” race, but we will have a big clock, and race-bibs–but we actually want you to dress up for Mardi Gras! (Think DC Drag Race for inspiration). The top-two runner outfits wins a cash prize at the Ball! Register for the Jester Jaunt here.
*It’s a proven fact that sometimes weather prevents the parade from occurring. We coordinate with Arlington Police to determine if it is safe to hold the parade, and if it’s not safe, we will cancel the Parade, and we won’t reschedule it. Nor can we refund Parade entrance fees. Instead, Parade registrants will have free admission to the Mardi Gras Ball on Parade day, if the Parade is cancelled due to weather. The Ball will go on….and we want you to attend!