Mardi Gras event at Workhouse Arts Center logo

The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton is kicking off its first Mardi Gras celebration, featuring two weeks of family-friendly in-person and virtual events.

The activities are planned in response to an unprecedented community engagement with arts offerings at the Workhouse during the pandemic.

The mini-festival began Feb. 1 with free online mixology sessions, classes on festive mask-making, workshops on decorating cars and floats and more.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, Let the Good Times Roll: Workhouse Mardi Gras will feature safe in-person activities, including socially distant glass bead demonstrations, Taste of Mardi Gras culinary art classes, a Mardi Gras drive-through parade and contest, and two live drive-in comedy shows by Rahmein and Friends!

During this COVID-safe and family friendly extravaganza, visitors to the Workhouse are invited to explore art galleries and current exhibitions, as well as visit the Lucy Burns museum.

“In the last 10 months, the Workhouse board and staff renewed their commitment to the organization’s mission by adapting and creating opportunities to engage with art," said Elena Romanova, chief development officer. "The art makes life more bearable, and we are offering this new event so we can while away the winter blues together. We have designed family-friendly activities that will provide learning opportunities, bring joy and comfort, and allow for a safe space to interact with art.”

The Mardi Gras at the Workhouse parade and decoration contest begins at 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. A celebrity jury will judge public entries. The best in each category will win $50 and a car pass to the comedy show.  Contest categories are: Best Float, Best Decorated Car, Best Costume, Best Wagon and Best Stroller.  The parade entry fee is $10.

The double feature comedy Rahmein and Friends is a drive-in event, much like the drive-in movies the Workhouse featured all summer long. This event is live.

Tickets are $10-$50 (pricing per car, not per person). Class space is limited, register early.

The Workhouse Arts Center is at 9518 Workhouse Way in Lorton. For more information, visit: For tickets, visit InsideNoVaTix

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