Mardi Gras at Hi-Lawn: Fat Tuesday is just days away, but some people can’t wait for brass bands, hurricanes and colorful masks. (Or, more likely, they have to work on Wednesday.) Hi-Lawn, the rooftop bar and event space atop Union Market, is trading its après-ski menu for muffulettas and shrimp po’ boys through the weekend, though you’ll still be able to gather with Hurricane and Sazarac cocktails around fire pits if needed. The celebration includes bands and DJs on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Free; Reservations suggested.
Beyoncé vs Rihanna Mega Dance Party at Union Stage: Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo dance parties have been selling out at Union Stage, and now the venue at the Wharf is branching out with a new event: the Beyoncé vs. Rihanna Mega Dance Party. It should be fairly obvious what DJ Just Because will be spinning for the audience’s dancing (and singalong) pleasure. 7 p.m. $10-$35.
‘Celebrating Hazel Scott: The Darling of Cafe Society’ virtual screening: Hazel Scott was a triple threat. As a pianist, she performed alongside Count Basie’s Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall in the 1930s and 40s. She appeared on screen in “Rhapsody in Blue” and other musicals in the 1940s. In 1950, she became the first Black woman to host a TV program, “The Hazel Scott Show.” Shortly afterward, she was accused of being a communist, blacklisted, and moved to Paris. Learn more about Scott’s legacy and activism during a special virtual screening of “Celebrating Hazel Scott: The Darling of Cafe Society,” sponsored by the March on Washington Film Festival. 7 p.m. Free.
An evening at the Embassy of the Czech Republic: Get transported to the Czech Republic for a night filled with food, drinks and culture. Sample a Czech buffet while trying out popular Czech beers and wines. The embassy also has an opera performance featuring music from the classical and romantic periods, as well as an art gallery, graphic exhibition and a short film showcasing Prague and the Czech countryside. 6:30 p.m. $68.
Trivia for the Culture at Saint-Ex: The Wave, a platform for Black communities, celebrates Black history through trivia at various Black-owned restaurants and bars in Chicago and the District. They’ve returned to D.C. for a music trivia night, with the winners receiving two tickets to this year’s Broccoli City Festival. Think up a clever team name, then register in advance. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Free.
Last chance: National Gallery of Art East Building: A warning for art lovers: This weekend is your last chance to visit the National Gallery of Art’s East Building until June. Home to the museum’s modern and contemporary art collection, the East Building is temporarily closing to finish years-long renovations, including the restoration of the skylight. If you want to snap a selfie with “Hahn/Cock” on the rooftop or spend a few moments contemplating the Rothko Room in the Tower, do so ASAP. Through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Free.
Oscar nominated short films at various theaters: The Academy Award-nominated short films are sometimes dismissed as the Raisinets of the Oscars: bite-sized portions of cinematic sweetness, with only nominal nutritional value. The reality is quite different. Despite films that do, sometimes, hew to the gently inspirational and uplifting, particularly in the category of animation, which Pixar has historically dominated, Oscar shorts are more often than not deeply serious and powerfully moving works of storytelling. That’s never been more obvious than this year, when even the animated program — now being showcased in area theaters, along with live action and documentaries — is sprinkled with seriously grown-up content: sex, nudity and even bestiality; police-state violence; loneliness, suicide and the aching alienation of modern life. The nominees hit area theaters this weekend, including AFI Silver, E Street Cinema and the Angelika Film Center at the Mosaic District, divided into separate Live Action, Animation and Documentary programs. Screening times and ticket prices vary.
Mardi Gras celebrations: A parade with floats, bands and stilt walkers is the centerpiece of Saturday’s Mardi Gras party at the Wharf. It kicks off at 3 p.m., and is followed by dancing on the District Pier with the Naptown Brass Band and a pop-up bar selling Hurricane cocktails made with Thrashers Rum. Fireworks cap the party, beginning at 6:30 p.m. While many places draw inspiration from New Orleans, there are other parties happening in the D.C. area. The Caribbean-themed Islands Lounge in Wheaton is celebrating Carnival on Saturday at the Pop-Up Carnival Fete, with veteran DJs Sprang International, Super Slice and Fyah Oats spinning soca from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., with a $20 cover in advance.
Atlas Intersections Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center: The annual Atlas Intersections Festival thrives on moving art out of neat, comfortable boxes. Audiences might hear a symphony orchestra perform with saxophone and bansuri, a bamboo flute from India; be spellbound by a poet while watching a painter create works inspired by the spoken word; or see young choreographers merge hip-hop dance moves with ballet. Over three weekends, the Atlas Performing Arts Center features almost two dozen dance companies, musical groups and storytellers, sharing art from around the globe. Some performances feature post-show talk-backs and meet-and-greets. Through March 15. Prices vary by performance; opening weekend $20-$35.
Ice Yards at Yards Park: Below freezing one night, near 70 degrees a few days later. We’ve had a roller coaster of a winter in D.C. — wait, that was just this week. It looks like things will chill down again for Ice Yards, the annual winter celebration in Yards Park. Spend the afternoon looking at ice sculptures, trying curling or ax throwing, jumping on a snowboard simulator, or drinking hot beverages around a firepit. The high point is the Polar Plunge, in which hardy souls will jump into aboveground swimming pools to raise money for the Special Olympics. Tickets include a drink voucher and a $5 donation to the Special Olympics. 1 to 4 p.m. $15.
Jazz and Freedom Festival at the Eaton: Music and activism intertwine at the seventh iteration of this festival, co-produced with the nonprofit jazz foundation CapitalBop. The afternoon starts with a panel discussion about racial justice, moderated by Aja Taylor, the co-founder of mutual aid group Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, before the music begins. The five sets include Jupiter Blue, featuring members of the Sun Ra Arkestra; steel pan performer Victor Provost and his band; and a jam session led by the Collect!v Crew. Beyond music, the day includes live painting and a photo exhibition by Kyna Uwaeme. 3 to 11 p.m. $20 suggested donation.
D.C. in Bloom: The History and Science of the Capitol’s Cherry Blossoms: With the opening of the National Cherry Blossom Festival less than a month away, this is the perfect time to learn about D.C.’s favorite spring flowers. National Park Service rangers Jen Rudnick and Bethany Bagent share the history and stories of the cherry blossoms, as well as other flowering trees on the Mall, during this virtual talk organized by the U.S. Botanic Garden. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free; registration required.
Makers Mile in Old Town Alexandria: Over the last two years, many of us have discovered new interests — maintaining a sourdough starter, growing succulents, learning to cross stitch. If you’re looking to diversify your talents and hobbies, the two-day Makers Mile in Old Town is a one-stop shop. Over the course of two afternoons, 22 different businesses lead a wide spectrum of workshops and demonstrations: Learn to make earrings or fabric pompoms, try printmaking or painting on canvas, refresh with a barre class, or watch a tea ceremony. (There’s even a chance to make a mimosa with a syrup you can recreate at home.) Feel free to wander from shop to shop, but some events require advance registrations. Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $30.
Black Love Pop-Up at Bammy’s: On the final weekend of Black History Month, Bammy’s hosts a day with a pop-up market of Black-owned businesses, trivia and board games; themed cocktails; a DJ set; and a screening of the 1999 Omar Epps comedy “The Wood.” Attendees are asked to bring Black history-themed children’s books, which will be donated to local elementary schools. Anyone gifting a book receives a free cocktail. 3 to 8 p.m. Free.
Dodie at the Fillmore: Singer-songwriter Dodie, short for Dorothy Clark, started documenting her life over a decade ago on YouTube through music and bubbly, honest vlogs. Now, she’s traded acoustic covers for well-produced, sparse songs of her own, that feel like a string of secrets sung in a low whisper, a best friend in your ear. In an age in which bedroom pop artists such as Clairo are coaxing us to embrace the most vulnerable parts of ourselves, Dodie has been doing so for years on her channel, never shy about sharing her internal struggles or expectations. On her 2021 debut album “Build a Problem,” she continues to do what she’s best at: singing about the big feelings found in life’s tiny, memorable moments. Her lyricism is biting, despite the light vocal harmonies. “So this is it now … 24 … I still count everyone I kiss,” she points out in “Special Girl.” Then, she casually remarks, “The bitter ones still taste the best.” 7:30 p.m. $28.
John Roseboro at Union Stage: Be wary of falling in love while listening to John Roseboro’s newest single “It’s You I Like.” Originally written and recorded by Fred Rogers, Roseboro’s version of the song is accompanied by his signature crisp guitar chords. In 1 minute 24 seconds, Roseboro transforms the song’s original innocence into something deeply romantic. He has the kind of voice that’s capable of singing anything, but there’s a modernity to his approach. Roseboro has sought much of his inspiration in bossa nova, and combined with an ineffable, effortless west coast energy and a spiritual-focused approach to his music, Roseboro has certainly earned his nickname of “Angel of LA.” Roseboro’s debut album “Human Nature” touches upon faith, humanity, social justice and love, a tribute to the life he’s had and what’s still to come. It’s not until his song “Mere Mortal” that you’re reminded of his age: “I’m only 25, I’ve got the rest of my life,” he sings, as if shrugging off any future fears, fully content with every version of himself. 7:30 p.m. $15.
Mardi Gras celebrations: Finally, the big day arrives. Bayou Bakery in Arlington is always a prime destination on Fat Tuesday, thanks New Orleans-born chef David Guas and his popular food and drink specials — think muffulettas, jambalaya and king cake washed down with $5 New Orleans cocktails and $3 beers, accompanied by live funk and jazz, until 7 p.m. Dauphine’s, the large New Orleans-inspired restaurant downtown, celebrates its first Mardi Gras with a blowout party with an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, multiple food stations, a live band and DJs included in the $150 tickets. At the Navy Yard, Due South is also hosting an all-you-can-eat New Orleans feast with live music, beginning at 4 p.m. The $40 tickets cover food and two drinks. In Chicago, Detroit and other places with large Polish communities, Fat Tuesday is Paczki Day, which involves eating fluffy, sugar-covered jelly-filled doughnuts. Ivy and Coney, D.C.’s quasi-official Detroit-and-Chicago-themed neighborhood bar, offers a free paczki with the first beer purchased, and will also have homemade pierogi for sale.
Cheers to 3 Years at Silver Branch Brewing: Silver Branch celebrates three years of crafting European-style beers — and some IPAs, too — over five days of parties in Silver Spring. Everything kicks off March 1 with the release of a new flagship IPA dubbed Dr. Juicy. Beers, cocktails, wine and tacos are $5. The week continues with trivia on Wednesday, which will test your knowledge of Silver Branch history; the actual anniversary on Thursday; a night of lagers served in one-liter steins on Friday, along with live music by Hays Dowdy; and live music by Miss Moon Rising on Saturday. Times vary; free admission.
New Columbia Swing Returns at the Josephine Butler Parks Center: After two years, the New Columbia Swing crew is back spreading the gospel of Lindy Hop and swing dancing at the historic Josephine Butler Parks Center across from Meridian Hill Park. Jon Tigert and the Corner Pocket Jazz Band perform music to get bodies moving from 9 to 11, and there’s a beginner dance lesson at 8 p.m. Organizers suggest uploading a vaccination card in advance. (More concerts follow on March 8 and 15.) 8 to 11 p.m. $15 in advance, $18 at the door.
‘Chocolate’ at Songbyrd Music House: Can I Kick It? continues its monthly film-and-DJ series at Songbyrd with the 2008 martial arts movie “Chocolate.” The Thai film stars Yanin Vismitananda as a gangster’s daughter who uses her martial arts skills to settle her dying mother’s debts. Vismitanada already had experience in taekwondo before being discovered by director Prachya Pinkaew, lending extra credibility to the action sequences. 6:30 p.m. Free.
Dua Lipa at Capital One Arena: In her 2018 song “No Rules,” Dua Lipa reminded the brokenhearted to never, ever contact their exes, no matter the circumstances. The sleeper hit was sincere and defiant in its messaging, establishing Lipa as a new kind of pop star, someone whose confidence was enviable but not unattainable. And on her second album “Future Nostalgia,” released in 2020 and the recipient of last year’s Grammy Award for best pop vocal album, Lipa proves her pop girl pedigree while shaking up her radio-friendly sound. Influences of disco, funk, R&B and electronic music are the perfect complement to Lipa’s vivacious persona. Lead singles “Don’t Stop” and “Levitating” solidified her place in pop music, but it’s songs like “Pretty Please” that stand out. Lipa admits vulnerability, wanting validation from the object of her affections, a singular feeling encapsulated in one phrase that shamelessly begs — pretty please. 7:30 p.m. $315-$625.
Maxwell Park Navy Yard second anniversary: Maxwell Park’s Navy Yard outpost opened just two weeks before the city shut down in March 2020. But even as the dining and bar scene has reopened in fits and starts, Maxwell Park has become one of the neighborhood’s go-to bars. The monthly themed menus find ways to introduce you to wines and grapes you’ve never heard of (and never knew you needed to try). The service is friendly and helpful, and never talks down to neophyte drinkers. And the soundtrack — upbeat nonstop pop from the ’80s to Lizzo — works for date night or a girls’ night out. The bar marks its second birthday by offering all sparkling wines for half-price, which, given Maxwell Park’s wine list, is not something wine lovers can pass up. 5 p.m. to midnight. Free admission.