where dc meets for mardi gras

Mardi Gras at The Wharf

Let the good times roll at Mardi Gras at The Wharf on Saturday, February 10 from 3pm-7pm.

Watch the parade on Wharf Street, dance to live music, grab a hurricane from the District Pier Bar, and party on!


2024 Parade & Party Timeline

3:00pm — Mardi Gras Activities Begin

District Pier Bar opens and begins serving Hurricanes made from Thrasher's Rum on District Pier. Mardi Gras activity stations on Recreation pier will also open for kids.

3:30pm — Parade Begins

Enjoy a spirited parade featuring stilt walkers, jugglers, the Mardi Gras king and queen, and fantastic floats from your favorite Wharf neighborhood partners including Bartaco, Boardwalk Bar & Arcade, Cantina Bambina, Capital Yacht Club, Gangplank Slipholders Assocation, Wharf MarinaDel Mar de Fabio Trabocchi, Maker's UnionPort of Washington Yacht Club, Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream, Philippe Chow, Wharf Financial, Praline Bakery, Bella Moda Salon, Pendry Hotel, Jessie Taylor Seafood and more to be announced.

The parade will also feature special performances and appearances by the Eastern High School Marching Band, Batalá Washington, The Experience Band & Show, Crush Funk Brass BandToo Much Talent Band, The Racing Presidents of the Washington Nationals, Slapshot of the Washington Capitals, G-Wiz of the Washington Wizards, Cheer DC, Command Force of the Washington Commanders and more.

4:30pm-7:00pm — Live Music

Following the parade, the celebration continues on with a dance party and live music by the Naptown Brass Band on District Pier Stage, The Experience Band & Show on the Transit Pier Floating Stage, Too Much Talent Band on The Grove Stage and Crush Funk Brass Band on the Boathouse Stage. 

~6:30pm — Fireworks Salute

When the sun sets, look to the sky for our big Mardi Gras fireworks finale! After the fireworks, the band will perform one final set.

2024 Frequently Asked Questions

What time does the parade start?
The parade begins at Blair Alley at 3:30pm. The final participants will complete the parade around 4:30pm.

What is the parade route?
The parade begins at Blair Alley (near Shake Shack), goes along Wharf Street next to the water, and ends at Parker Row (near Hell's Kitchen). View the parade route on the Event Map.

Where is the best place to watch the parade?
The parade stretches nearly a half mile along Wharf Street, so there are lots of opportunities to spread out and watch the parade.

For a view from above, check out balcony and rooftop viewing areas at Brighton SW1, Cantina Bambina, Mi Vida, 12 Stories, Del Mar (reservations recommended), Hyatt H-Bar, and Canopy Central (reservations recommended). As a bonus, all rooftop viewing areas are serving drinks!

Do I need a ticket?
Mardi Gras at The Wharf is free to attend; no tickets are needed. Drinks are available for purchase on District Pier and at all Wharf bars and restaurants.

What activities are there at the event?
Following the parade, the party continues on District Pier and Transit Pier. Enjoy live music, get your photo taken at the photo booth, and visit the District Pier Bar to try Hurricanes made with the Wharf’s own Thrasher’s Rum. Don’t miss the fireworks show at 6:30pm!

What activities will you have for kids and families?
Mardi Gras Activity Stations on Recreation Pier will feature face painting, Mardi Gras mask making and crafts beginning at 3:00pm.

Are there any Mardi Gras food and drink specials?
There will be plenty of New Orleans inspired food and drink specials from restaurants at The Wharf! View our full list menus and make a reservation here.

Will there be music?
In true New Orleans fashion, the Mardi Gras parade and party will feature many live performances from local groups including Batalá Washington, The Eastern High School Marching Band, The Experience Band & Show, Too Much Talent Band, Crush Funk Brass Band and Naptown Brass Band.

Will there be fireworks? What time?
Fireworks will be shot off from a barge in the Washington Channel around 6:30pm.

What is the best way to get to The Wharf?
Plan for lots of vehicular traffic and limited parking on Saturday. Instead of driving, ride the Metro to Waterfront Station and walk 5 minutes to The Wharf, or ride to L’Enfant Plaza and connect to The Wharf on the free Southwest Shuttle. Or consider taking Bikeshare.

If you can’t avoid driving, The Wharf has three underground parking garages that are open around the clock. Check our garages' capacity before you arrive. Or plan to utilize one of the nearby off-site parking garages (view PDF map), including Ace Parking at L’Enfant Plaza (420 10th St SW), L'Enfant East Parking Garage (840 D St SW), or the 1100 4th St SW Garage.

Is this event pet-friendly?
We expect very large crowds along Wharf Street and on our piers on February 10 due to the Mardi Gras parade and party. We highly recommend that you leave your pets at home this day for their safety and comfort.

What happens if it rains?
A few sprinkles can’t keep us down. Unless the weather is dangerous, the event will happen rain or shine.

Where are the public bathrooms at The Wharf?
Public restrooms are located throughout The Wharf at the Fish Market, Transit Pier, 800 Water Street, and in the Oculus. View the public restrooms on the Event Map.

Can I drink alcohol outdoors?
As a reminder: The Wharf is not Bourbon Street; open alcohol containers are not allowed outdoors, except on restaurant patios or at The Wharf bar on District Pier. No outside alcohol is permitted.

What should I wear?
Mardi Gras is the perfect time to wear your most extravagant ensemble. Get festive and fantastical—feathers and sparkles are encouraged. At least the traditional purple, green, and gold.


Get Social with @TheWharfDC

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Stay at The Wharf

Turn your visit into a vacation! The Wharf has four hotels at a range of price points. Book a room so you can party on the pier all night long.

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Directions to The Wharf

Centrally located, The Wharf is the District’s waterfront destination that is easy to get to—and to get around.

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