Washington Mardi Gras

What began as a “demonstration of the spirit of Mardi Gras” has grown into a celebration of Louisiana, its politics and its people each year at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. For more than 60 years, the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans has brought the pageantry, revelry and mystery of Mardi Gras to our nation’s capital through Washington Mardi Gras, a three-day celebration with more than 2,500 people in attendance. Like similar celebrations in the Crescent City, the krewe hosts a dinner-dance in which all of the Louisiana festival queens and krewe maids are introduced, pageantry style. Additionally, the black-tie carnival ball is traditional to those hosted by local krewes, just with smaller framed and non-motorized floats.

For two decades, the Jefferson Chamber has participated in the official krewe events mentioned above. The Chamber also participates in events that occur simultaneously, such as the huge Louisiana food and entertainment expo, known as Louisiana Alive, and the annual Economic Development Luncheon. In order to best promote and connect leaders in Jefferson Parish, the Chamber is very proud to host two Washington Mardi Gras signature events: the Cocktail Party before the Dinner-Dance and the Breakfast After the Ball.

As the Voice of Business for Jefferson Parish, we often profess that “if you are not at the table, you are on the menu,” and this Mardi Gras event in Washington, D.C. is truly an immense table.

“If you do business in Louisiana, this is an event that you simply should not miss. One cannot schedule as many face-to-face discussions with business and political leaders in one year as can be done in just three days at Washington Mardi Gras,” said Todd Murphy, President of the Jefferson Chamber.

The 2019 Washington Mardi Gras, held January 31-February 2, was attended by top business leaders and Louisiana Senatorial and Congressional delegations. The ball is completely self-sustaining, with costs covered by the sale of tickets, corporate sponsorships and krewe memberships. Washington Mardi Gras is one of the Chamber’s signature events.

The Chamber’s 100+ participants and sponsors consider Washington Mardi Gras a “must do” for Louisiana businesses. Special thanks to the Jefferson Chamber members who sponsored the 2019 Washington Mardi Gras: Peoples Health, AARP, AT&T, Select Properties, Adams and Reese, LLP, Rault Resources Group, Triton Stone Group, Hollis Companies, T Parker Host, CRC Global Solutions, IBERIABANK, Ochsner Health System, Plaquemines Port, Zito Companies, Gambel Communications, HUB International Gulf South, Urban Systems Associates, In., LD Holdings, LLC, Stacey & Michele Shane, JEDCO, Stokes & Associates, Inc., United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Virtual Business Solutions and Westbank Business & Industry Association.

Recent past kings of the Washington Mardi Gras, as well as Jefferson Chamber supporters, include Bill Oliver, formerly of AT&T Louisiana, Tommy Cvitanovich of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, Warner Thomas, CEO of Ochsner Health System, Todd Graves, CEO of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, and Ray Brandt, CEO of Ray Brandt Automotive.