13 things to do this week: Feb. 12-18

Mardis Gras celebrations, a discussion on the struggle black pilots faced in WWII and a wedding showcase with a $50,000 giveaway.

Photo courtesy of the Greater Reston Arts Center

UMW Jazz Ensemble
Monday, 7:30 p.m.
The University of Mary Washington’s Jazz Ensemble, directed by Doug Gately, pays tribute to Black History Month during this free performance. // UMW HCC Digital Auditorium, Fredericksburg

Clarendon Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade
Tuesday, 7 p.m.
In the past, the Clarendon Alliance has held a parade, ball and Jester Jaunt, but due to a parade at The Wharf and a competing Union Market event, the Clarendon Alliance board has decided to only offer the parade this year. Those interested can register here to participate in the parade or simply buy Mardi Gras beads. // Along Wilson Boulevard from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street

The Tuskegee Airmen
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Professor J. Todd Moye leads a discussion on the struggle black pilots faced in WWII to receive proper training and equal opportunities, as well as the path to desegregating the Air Force after the war. Pulling from more than 800 oral-history interviews recorded through a project he directed with the National Park Service, Moye brings the anecdotal struggles faced by these men, the Tuskegee Airmen, into a format that evinces the significance of their own words. // UMW Dodd Auditorium: 1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg

Three-Course Dinner and Cocktail Pairing at Captain Gregory’s
This multi-course Valentine’s Day menu features oysters, caviar, scallops, squash risotto, chocolate truffles for dessert and more. Complement the feast with cocktails for an additional $35. // 804 N. Henry St., Alexandria

Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend
Thursday, 2-3 p.m.
Take a lunch break at the library and catch a documentary on African-American quiltmakers in Alabama who achieved notoriety and respect when their work was lauded by the larger art world, part of Arlington Public Library’s Black History Month events. // Glencarlyn Branch Library: 300 South Kensington Street, Arlington

Creative Response: Rahne Alexander
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Multimedia artist Rahne Alexander discusses the work of Paulina Peavy, now on display at the Greater Reston Arts Center. The talented artist, who also doubles as a musician, producer and writer, has had work featured throughout the country. // Greater Reston Arts Center: 12001 Market St., Suite 103, Reston

Taste of Greece
Celebrate Greek culture with food, desserts and dancing sponsored by The Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church. // Ashburn Firehouse: 20688 Ashburn Road, Ashburn

International Gem and Jewelry Show
Friday-Sunday, Times Vary
Shop the lowest prices directly from hundreds of manufacturers, wholesalers and designers at the International Gem and Jewelry Show. With more than 60 shows in 35 U.S. cities, the International Gem and Jewelry Show purports to be the largest in the world. // Dulles Expo Center: 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center Drive, Chantilly

Saturday, 2 & 7:30 p.m.
Performed by the renowned Virginia National Ballet, Aida is a heart-wrenching love story between residents of two warring countries. The ballet is set to the music of Giuseppe Verdi. // Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas

Singleton Enterprises’ Mardi Gras Soiree
Saturday, 7-11 p.m.
Dance along to a DJ, eat, drink and compete in the best-dressed costume and King and Queen contests. Parties of eight that reserve a table in advance ($400) will get a complimentary bottle of champagne. A pair of tickets is $80, with single general admission at $50. // Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center Ballroom: 2801 Plank Road, Fredericksburg

Arlo Guthrie
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Son of folk legend Woody Guthrie, Arlo has been a well-respected musician for 50 years, best-loved for his 18-minute speak-sing classic, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” As part of his Re:Generation Tour, Guthrie is performing with his son and daughter. // The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Happy Birthday, George!
Sunday, Noon-4 p.m.
Honor the birth of our first president by taking a tour of the Mary Washington House and learn about the woman who helped make him the man he became: his mother. Then, as at any birthday celebration, partake in some refreshments and cupcakes. // Mary Washington House: 1200 Charles St., Fredericksburg

Alexandria Wedding Showcase
Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Featuring more than 60 vendors, live entertainment and a $50,000 giveaway, the Alexandria Wedding Showcase should be on the list of any recently engaged NoVA couple. // Westin Alexandria: 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria