By Jan Mercker
Is it just us or was January like 100 days long this year?
Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in fabulous February. With a midweek Mardi Gras/Valentine’s mash-up Feb. 13 and 14 and some fun warm-up options this weekend, we can just pretend last month never happened!
Fat Tuesday Fun LoCo Style
Celebrate New Orleans Style with Samedi Gras at Breaux
In New Orleans, Mardi Gras isn’t just a day, it’s the culmination of weeks-long carnival season, and things really heat up the weekend before. The Saturday before Mardi Gras, known as Samedi Gras, is always a festive feast in the Big Easy, with the famed the Endymion parade as the evening’s highlight. And thanks to the owners’ Louisiana roots, Breaux Vineyards celebrates Samedi Gras in style every year. This year’s party features live music by the Voodoo Blues (of course), Cajun cuisine from Sweet NOLA’s and traditional king cake, along with Breaux’s award-winning wines.
Samedi Gras is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Breaux Vineyards, 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Hillsboro. Tickets are $20 per person. Go to breauxvineyards.com for tickets and more information.
Party with a Cause at Ashburn’s Mardi Bras
On Fat Tuesday, the best way to party for a great cause is Rotary Club of Ashburn’s annual Mardi Bras party. The event, supported by
Nanette Parsons of Leesburg’s Best Rack Around, invites guests to bring new or gently used bras to benefit the Free The Girls nonprofit, which uses bras to provide a source of income to women rescued from human trafficking. New bras are also donated to the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter.
If you can’t make the event, you can drop off bras in Ashburn or Leesburg. But who’d want to miss an evening of fun, free appetizers, prizes for best dressed and drink specials at Loudoun Station’s Blackfinn Ameripub?
The sixth annual Mardi Bras celebration takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Blackfinn Ameripub, 43781 Central Station Drive, Ashburn. Requested donation is $10 at the door. Go to rotaryclubofashburnva.org for details and drop-off locations.
Valentine’s Day: From Terrifying to Traditional
Scare Tactics at Paxton Campus
If quiet and romantic isn’t for you and you’re looking for a little more excitement in your life, Paxton Campus’ one-weekend-only My Bloody
Valentine event is just the thing. The expert scaring crew responsible for the campus’ regionally famous Shocktober every fall gets into Fear-bruary with a two-night Valentine’s Day dance massacre featuring zombie prom queens, a super creepy voodoo priestess and other terrifying scenes. Guests 21 and over can also reserve a special bottle of Bloody Red, developed by Paxton partner Tarara Winery, just for the event.
My Bloody Valentine takes place 7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, at Paxton Campus, 601 Catoctin Circle NE, Leesburg. Tickets are $40 per person or $60 per couple. Advance registration is recommended. For tickets and information, go to shocktober.org.
Wining and Dining
Loudoun wineries are going above and beyond for Valentine’s Day this year, and there’s no shortage of romantic wining and dining options for the big day—right in our backyards. This year, wineries are teaming up with top local restaurants for over-the-top romantic dinners. PS: Sign-up in advance or you’ll be disappointed.
Romance French Style at Petite Loulou
Hillsboro’s North Gate Vineyard teams up with Purcellville’s Petite Loulou Creperie for a French-themed Diner De La Saint Valentin (that’s French for Valentine’s Day Dinner y’all) at Loulou’s charming downtown location. Loulou’s owner Stefano Frigerio has cooked up a five course French-themed dinner that goes way beyond crepes (think grilled ribeye and chocolate mousse), and North Gate Winemakers Vicki and Mark Fedor will lead a tasting of five wines specially chosen to go with the menu.
Le Diner De La Saint Valentin is 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at Petite Loulou Creperie, 713 E. Main St., Purcellville. Tickets are $65 per person, plus tax and tip. Go to lapetiteloulou.com for tickets and information.
Romantic Tunes and Fab Food at Creek’s Edge
The gorgeous Creek’s Edge Winery, in the adorable western Loudoun village of Taylorstown, lets couples get cozy at an on-site dinner prepared by noted local caterer Giuseppe Merone paired with handpicked Creek’s Edge wines—think classic Valentine’s fare like seared scallops, strawberry salad and filet mignon. Local virtuoso Peter “Piano Man” Roebuck sets the mood with romantic tunes.
Creek’s Edge Valentine’s Dinner is 7-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at Creek’s Edge Winery, 41255 Annas Lane, Lovettsville. Tickets are $99 per person. Go creeksedgewinery.com for tickets and information.
Channeling Sinatra at Breaux’s Sweetheart’s Soiree
Breaux follows up the weekend’s party with its Sweetheart’s Soiree
on the 14th, featuring hors d’oeuvres and a three-course meal by Grandale Farm’s Author Clark and romantic favorites from one-of-a-kind local crooner Frank Lombardi, whose American songbook repertoire features love songs from Sinatra to Harry Connick Jr.
The Sweetheart’s Soiree is 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at Breaux Vineyards, 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville. Tickets are $140 per person. Go to breauxvineyards.com for tickets and information.
Beer and Chocolate? Oh Yes!
If wine isn’t your cup of tea, check out Beer My Valentine at Old Ox Brewery. Partnering with The Conche, the chocolate-centric restaurant in Leesburg, for a beer and chocolate pairing, the event features housemade bonbons from The Conche with special Old Ox brews—including a few (like the Hazelnut Brown and Raspberry Milkshake) that are only available as part of this party.
Beer My Valentine is noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Old Ox Brewery, 44652 Guilford Drive, Ashburn. Tickets are $30 per couple. Go to oldoxbrewery.com for tickets and information.
Valentines: Not Just a Day at Leesburg Pop-Up Bar
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been Valentine’s Day at Fa La La Pop-Up Bar in Leesburg since early January. And the romantic offerings
are ramped up for February. Couples Game Night on Friday, Feb. 9, is a Newlywed Game-style quiz contest that lets couples find out how well they really know each other. On V-Day itself, celebrate with happy hour drink specials and $2 off desserts from 4 to 9 p.m. or enjoy a wine and chocolate tasting on the 15th. If mid-week doesn’t work, try the Cupid’s Challenge clothespin game on Friday, Feb. 16.
Fa La La Pop-Up Bar is located at 14 Loudoun St. SE, Leesburg. Check out the jam-packed calendar at facebook.com/falalaleesburg
Father-Daughter Fun at Leesburg Junction
After all the romantic hoopla is over, dads and daughters can have a little bonding time the following Saturday at Leesburg Junction’s ’80s Father-Daughter Valentine’s Dance. No wallflowers allowed at this GenX-style party with ’80s music, snacks, a fun photo booth and lots of dancing.
The father-daughter dance takes place 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Leesburg Junction, 215 Depot Court, Leesburg. Tickets are $15 per father/daughter couple. Go to leesburgjunction.com for details.