Staying in Town? There’s Plenty to Do!
It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Many residents of the DMV will being their weekly summer treks to the Delaware and Maryland beaches. That means miles-long backups at the Bay Bridge in Annapolis as you try to get out of town. Others will hit the pools and fire up the grills. But for those of us stuck in town and without a pool, there’s still plenty to do in town this weekend.
However if you plan on getting around on Metrorail, there will be construction. Trains on the Orange and Yellow lines will operate at regular weekend intervals of every 12-15 minutes. Green line trains will operate at regular intervals of every 12 minutes except between College Park and Greenbelt, where trains will run every 24 minutes. Blue line trains will operate at regular intervals except that the Franconia-Springfield station will be closed and buses will replace trains between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield. Riders should allow an additional 10 minutes. Red Line trains will run every 20 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont, with additional trains between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet during daytime hours. On Memorial Day, Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight. Trains will operate on a Sunday schedule. Off-peak fares will be in effect all day, and parking will be free at all Metrorail parking facilities.
The Capital Wheel at National Harbor
The $15 million, 16-foot tall Capital Wheel at National Harbor debuts Friday. Riders will feel like they’re sitting on the top of the world as they soar 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront with incomparable views. From the top you can see the White House and Capitol, the National Mall, Arlington Cemetery, the City of Alexandria, Prince George’s County and the lush parklands throughout the DMV. The giant wheel has 42 closed, climate-controlled gondolas that seat eight for year round rides. Oh, and don’t call it a Ferris wheel. Ferris wheels have open seats.
Beginning May 23 from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily at 165 Waterfront St., Oxen Hill. The cost of a 15 minute ride is $15 for adults, $11.25 for children 3-11 and free for children 2 and under. Cost of the VIP gondola with leather bucket seats, wine chillers and a DVD player is $50. It seats up to four.
More than 80 metal bands – with names like My Dying Bride, Cripple Bastards, Graves at Sea and Shitstorm – descend on Baltimore for a head-banging weekend. This year, Maryland Deathfest is spread across three venues: Rams Head Live in Power Plant Live, Soundstage (across the street from Rams Head Live) and an outdoor parking lot at 545 N. High St. The concept is simple: bring the best and most extreme bands the underground has to offer to the U.S. Never conforming to trends, or being limited by genre restrictions, MDF is a showcase of what extreme music, both new and old, is capable of. With an emphasis on diversity, the festival brings together the very best death metal, grindcore, doom, thrash, hardcore, black metal and experimental bands from all around the world.
May 22-25 at three venues near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor starting at 2 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday. Tickets are $55-$160 and available at the Edison parking lot at 545 N. High Street.
Jazz in the Garden
Pack a picnic and enjoy music from Elikeh, an Afro-funk band from Togo, at Jazz in the Garden in the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Art. A different jazz artist will be featured each Friday during the summer. You can bring your own food and nonalcoholic beverages, but beer, wine, sangria and mixed drinks must be purchased from the Pavilion Café. A special menu of appetizers, entrees and salads is also available at the café, while an outdoor grill will serve barbecue pork sandwiches, beef and chicken kabobs and chicken sausages. A gelato cart will also be available.
May 23 and every Friday through Aug. 29 from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Art, Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
Sample more than 125 kinds of beer (including two gluten free) and 20 kinds of wines and seven ciders at Summerfest DC. Food trucks will be on hand dishing out grub.
May 24 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. or 4-7 p.m. at the Half Street Fairgrounds, 1199 Half St. SE. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $65 for VIP admission, which includes an additional half hour of drinking, access to the VIP party deck, full pours of five exclusive beers, snacks and a full-size glass tasting mug and are available online.
Singer Art Garfunkel has made an indelible mark on the music world as both a solo artist and half of the unrivaled folk duo Simon & Garfunkel. In 2003, he accepted the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award with Paul Simon. He has also enjoyed a successful film career, published a book of poetry and released 12 solo albums. Despite parting ways with Simon in 1970, they are still famous for their songs including Mrs. Robinson, Scarborough Fair, The Sound Of Silence and Bridge Over Troubled Water.
May 24 at 7 p.m. at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. General admission tickets are $65 and available online.
Policy’s 4th Annual Crab Festival
Policy Restaurant & Lounge’s annual crab festival returns for a fourth year with an all-you-can eat feast of crabs and fixings, along with beer specials courtesy of D.C.’s Atlas Beer Works. There will also be music and fun. It’s a perfect escape for a Sunday fun day – especially if you are off work Monday.
May 25 from noon-5 p.m. at Policy Restaurant & Lounge, 1904 14th St. NW. Tickets are $45 and available online.
National Memorial Day Observance
The annual National Memorial Day Observance to honor America’s fallen military members is include a prelude concert by the U.S. Navy Band in the Arlington National Cemetery amphitheater at 10:30 a.m. There will be a Presidential Armed Forces full honor wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11 a.m. followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. Seating in the amphitheater is first come, first served and space is limited to standing room only at the wreath laying ceremony. Gates will open at 8 a.m. Attendees will be required to pass through a security checkpoint to gain access to the amphitheater for the official program. Large bags and backpacks, firearms and weapons of any type, laser pointers, aerosol containers, soda cans, umbrellas, coolers, picnic baskets, tripods, lighters, personal protection sprays, insulated beverage containers and anything that could potentially be used as a weapon are all prohibited.
May 26 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington. Admission is FREE! Free parking is available all day in the Welcome Center parking lot. A free shuttle service will provide transportation from the Welcome Center to the Memorial Amphitheater. The last shuttle will leave the Welcome Center at 10:15 a.m., or when the Memorial Amphitheater is full.
National Memorial Day Parade
The National Memorial Day Parade was launched in 2005 by the American Veterans Center in Washington, D.C. It is the largest Memorial Day event in the nation. It steps off at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street NW and proceeds west down Constitution past the White House ending at 17th Street NW. Participants will pass by the nation’s monuments, museums and hundreds of thousands of spectators waving flags and cheering. The parade will include floats, high school marching bands, veterans, service members, local and national celebrities, service organizations and clubs, and much more!
May 26 at 2 p.m. beginning at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street NW. 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.