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Tuesday, Feb. 9 — Fifth annual Carnaval de Canal, 6 p.m., various locations, Harding, Green, Water and Millbury streets Party on Green Street — no way! What better place to stage a night of Mardi Gras debauchery … er, I mean, fun … than the Woo’s own mini-Orleans parish? Businesses from the Compass Tavern to the White Eagle and across Kelley Square will be participating in special deals, tastings, contests, a scavenger hunt and much more.
Performers, prizes — like a VIP trip to Mardi Gras weekend in Burlington, Vermont — local music. And beads! Costumes are encouraged, and a King and Queen of Mardi Gras will be named about 9:30 p.m. at Mai Tai Bar and Sushi, 69 Green St. Remember: Carnaval responsibly.
Monday, Feb. 8 — President’s Lecture Series: “The Past, Present and Future of Religious Freedom in America,” 7-8 p.m., La Maison Francaise, Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St. Religious freedom — now there’s something we can all agree on! Oh, wait. No, no, it’s Adele we can all agree on. Or is it peanut butter cups? Gluten? Never mind, we’re too far apart on this. So we should probably start an uprising or something. Or you could listen to a national expert on church and state, and gain some much-needed perspective on this perpetually divisive topic. The event is free.
Wednesday, Feb. 10 — WPI women’s basketball vs. Babson, 7 p.m., Harrington Auditorium, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 151 Salisbury St. Um, guys … There are a number of school and college teams around the city having excellent winter seasons, but that active 17-game winning streak? Well, that belongs to the record-setting Engineers [whose only loss came in overtime, by 2 points, at UMass Dartmouth in November].
Sophomore guard Ama Biney is the straw that stirs this drink. Through Friday, the Holy Name grad leads 19-1 WPI in points (11 per game), rebounds (5.5), assists (1.9) and steals (2.4). Babson was 15-1 and the No. 2 team in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (11-1 to WPI’s 11-0 league mark).
Thursday, Feb. 11 — Talk and Reading by poet Christian Wiman, 7:30-9 p.m., Rehm Library, College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St. Christian Wiman’s story is certainly poetic, but maybe not how you’re imagining. A national leader in his field, he was the editor of Poetry magazine for a decade before being diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer. He will speak on his spiritual journey that prompted his 2013 memoir, “My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer.” Free and open to the public.
Friday, Feb. 12 — Holy Cross men’s hockey vs. Air Force, 7:05 p.m., Hart Center, College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St. The Crusaders have been a team of streaks this season: a four-game loser to start the winter; a nine-game unbeaten skein; and four straight overtimes (without a win). In comes Air Force, which should provide a solid test for HC, as the teams held identical 13-9-4 (11-5-4 Atlantic Hockey Conference) records heading into this weekend’s double-headers.
Saturday, Feb. 13 — Valentine’s Paint Night, 5-7 p.m., Canal Restaurant & Bar, 65 Water St. Esther Howland, for whom City Hall’s main meeting chamber is named, is considered the Mother of American Valentines. Maybe you knew that, but it seems Harvey Ball’s Smiley face and Robert Goddard’s silly rockets get most of the attention these days. Anyway, point is it’s almost the big day, fellas, and a card from Rite Aid with a leftover bag of Christmas Hershey’s Kisses isn’t gonna cut it.
Earn some brownie points with an off-the-radar night of fun. Cost is $25 per person, $45 for a couple; space is limited and you can register online.
Bonus pick / Shameless plug
Sunday, Feb. 7 — “The Business Beat,” 10 p.m., 90.5 WICN/wicn.org Tune in [or log on and stream anytime after 10] to hear host and local business expert Steve Jones-D’Agostino interview Worcester Sun founders Mark Henderson and Fred Hurlbrink Jr. about the new and constantly evolving journalism and media landscape in the city. Don’t ask me how we got such a cherry time slot — folks must be really starting to dig the Sun! [Editor’s note: They are; the competition, not so much.]