Cherry Blossoms, Baseball and Fireworks
The first weekend of April has arrived, the daffodils are out, the tulips are sprouting and the cherry blossom buds have finally started opening. The peak blossoms are predicted to occur between next Tuesday and Saturday. Baseball returns to the city on Friday afternoon, when the Nationals take on the Braves and Cher performs at the Verizon Center. Fireworks will fill the sky on Saturday night at the Southwest Waterfront and there’s plenty of other events to fill your weekend. Saturday is supposed to be sunny and breezy around 64 degrees Fahrenheit and Sunday is supposed to be mostly sunny and 65 degrees.
Metrorail’s construction scheduled has been suspended through Apr. 13 so trains will run at regular weekend intervals of every 6 to 12 minutes on all lines during daytime hours. The subway will open two hours early, at 5 a.m., on Sunday for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run, which starts at 7:30 a.m. at 15th Street and Jefferson Drive.
Take me out to the ballgame
It is opening day at Nationals Park as the Washington Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves. Coming of a three game sweep of the Mets, rookie right-hander David Hale is slated to pitch for the Mets. Jordan Zimmerman is expected to pitch for the Nats if he has recovered from flu-like symptoms that sidelined him against the Mets. If not, Taylor Jordan is expected to start. Navy Yard survivors will be honored and a Navy Yard survivor will through the first pitch. Fans are urged to take Metro to the Navy Yard station, Metrobus to the stadium or Circulator bus from Union Station to the Navy Yard metro station. Also, a water taxi will operate between Cameron and Union Streets in Old Town Alexandria and the stadium at 11 and 11:15 a.m.
Apr 4. at 1:05 p.m. at Nationals Park, 1500 S. Capitol St. SE. Tickets are limited and remaining tickets range from $60-$110. The series against the Braves continues Apr. 5 at 7:05 p.m. and Apr. 6 at 1:35 p.m.
Cher comes to Verizon Center
On last year’s Closer to the Truth, Cher, 67, built on the dance-pop sound that revitalized her career. Her 49-city D2K (Dressed to Kill) “final” farewell tour with openers Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, builds things up even more with lavish sets, piles of glitter, no less than 10 costume changes and colorful, plentiful wigs. The lavish costumes are designed by Hugh Durant instead of Bob Mackie, who has designed the diva’s costumes since 1972. During costume changes, fans will be entertained by video clips from her movies and footage of her and former husband the late Sonny Bono.
Apr. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. Tickets range from $29.50-$159.
Sugarloaf Crafts Festival returns to Gaithersburg
Lovers of fine crafts and art will find more than 250 artisans displaying and selling their unique creations in pottery, sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion, home décor, furniture and home accessories, items for the garden, and photography at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. In addition to top national artists, the festival will also introduce new and emerging artists showcasing the latest trends in handmade fashion and accessories, statement jewelry and fine art. There will be live demonstrations, music from the 80s, 90s and today by Stan and LeeAnne, and singer/guitarist Chris Wilson. Children’s entertainment will be provided by Middle Earth. And of course there will be food for sampling and purchasing.
Apr. 4 & 5 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Apr. 6 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Montgomery Co. Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg. Tickets cost $8 online and $10 at the door. Children 12 & under along with parking are free.
Comedian Tim Meadows in Arlington
One of Saturday Night Live’s longest running cast members, Tim Meadows, the former Ladies Man has filled his post SNL years with bit parts in Adam Sandler movies and numerous cartoons – all while performing stand-up across the country. This weekend he brings his comedy show to Arlington.
Apr. 4 & 5 at 7:30 & 10 p.m. at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse, 2003 Columbia Park, Arlington. Tickets cost $26.
Learning Japanese Culture
Learning Japanese Culture introduces children and adults to Japanese culture through origami, trying on kimonos and other activities. The 2014 Cherry Blossom princesses will instruct children in the art of tiara-making. At 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C., will present “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” a program about Japanese life and culture. The Library’s Young Readers Center will provide an opportunity for children to explore the center’s library of current and classic books.
Apr. 5 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Admission is FREE!
DC MEETMarket kicks off 2014 season
The monthly Logan Circle street fair DC MEETMarket kicks off its 2014 season with more than 48 local vendors, live art from No Kings Collective and Kelly Towles, and music from D.C.-based indie bands Rock-N-Romp, American Hearts and Light Arms and DJ vANNIEty Kills. Vendors sell everything from clothing and food to art and crafts.
Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning Apr. 5 through December in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church parking lot, 1514 15th St. NW. Admission is FREE!
Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
The Southwest Waterfront community, home of the cherry blossoms, is the perfect place to enjoy more than eight celebratory hours of free music, family friendly water-related activities, cultural experiences, live entertainment and delicious foods at multiple outdoor venues. The Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival includes Very Cherry Marketplace with fine arts & crafts, a waterfront beer garden by Kirin Brewery, a food truck rally and the Cherry Blossom Beach with games and activities. Make a Japanese fishing flag or model boat. There will also be face painting and balloon art. There will also be dragon boat excursions. The day culminates with fireworks.
Apr. 5 from 1-9 p.m. at the Southwest Waterfront, 600-900 Water St. SW. Fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m. Admission is FREE!
Happy birthday, Will
April marks William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday and the Folger Shakespeare Library is throwing a birthday party with jugglers and jesters, music, song, dance and more. Take your chance to perform your favorite lines of the bard on the Folger stage and enjoy toys and treasure hunts of the Folger’s reading rooms. Try your hand and crafty Elizabethan activities to take home. Plus, birthday cake for all cut by Queen Elizabeth II.
Apr. 6 from noon-4 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. Admission is FREE!
Official Japanese stone lantern lighting ceremony
Jointly sponsored by the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) and the National Park Service National Capital Region, the Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony opens the NCSS Cherry Blossom Princess festivities. The ceremony features traditional Japanese music, the presentation of the United States and Japan Cherry Blossom Queens and the Ambassador of Japan. The Japanese Stone Lantern was carved nearly four centuries ago to honor the Third Shogun of the Tokugawa period. It stands 8 1/2 feet tall and weighs 4,000 pounds. In 1954, the lantern was moved from Japan and presented to Washington, D.C. as a gift commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first treaty between the two countries. Since then, the stone lantern has been lit once each year by the Cherry Blossom Princess representing the Embassy of Japan and only during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Apr. 6 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Tidal Basin at Independence Avenue and 17th Street SW. Admission is FREE!
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.