Festivals Fill the Weekend
This is a weekend for festivals in the DMV – colonial, arts, comics and cartoons, air, blues and more. No matter what your interests, there is something for everyone and many are free. One you won’t want to miss is the semi-annual Joint Base Andrews Air Show, which will include a performance by the Blue Angels.
This weekend, Orange, Silver and Green line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals. Red, Blue and Yellow line trains will operate every 24 minutes. Yellow Line trains will run between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square only.Metro will open at 6 a.m. Sunday for the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon.
Joint Base Andrews Air Show
In addition to the spectacle in the sky at the Joint Base Andrews Air Show, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-22 Raptor demonstration team and the Para-Commandos jump team, visitors to this every-other-year event can see the new F-35A, the Air Force’s fifth-generation fighter jet. Shuttles will provide free transportation to the event from parking lots at FedEx Field and the Branch Avenue Metro station from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Return shuttles will run until after the last performance.
Sept. 19 from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Joint Base Andrews in Camp Spring, Prince George’s County, Md. Admission is FREE!
Dark Fields of the Republic
The star of the new exhibition Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner Photographs 1859-1872 is Gardner’s “cracked plate” portrait of Abraham Lincoln, which was taken just a few weeks before the 16th president was assassinated in 1865. But Gardner also created dramatic and vivid photographs of battlefields, which included images of the recently dead. The shocking Civil War-era images continue to haunt the national imagination. After the war, Gardner went west, creating unforgettable pictures of western landscape and portraits of U.S. settlers and the Native Americans they encountered.
Friday-Mar. 13 from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s After Hours event returns with Tycho, the music project conceived and led by San Francisco artist Scott Hansen. This is also one of the last times to see “Shirin Neshat: Facing History,” an exhibition of photography and film by the Iranian artist, before it closes on Sunday.
Sept. 18 from 8 p.m.-midnight at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue SW. General admission tickets are $35 and VIP tickets, which include a 7 p.m. admission with curator guided tourse and VIP lounge with open bar and food, are $100 online.
Colonial Market and Fair
The annual Colonial Market and Fair features dozens of American’s finest craftspeople and plenty of family fun. Fifty colonial-attired artisans will demonstrate 18th century crafts and sell traditional wares such as baskets, woodcarvings, tin and iron work, leather-workings, weavings, furniture and much more. “General Washington” will be on hand overseeing the lively Revolutionary War military drills and 18th century entertainment including music, fire-eating, sword-swallowing, puppet and magic shows, and there will be plenty hearty specialty food for sale. Costumed interpreters will demonstrate the 18th century chocolate-making process using an authentic colonial recipe. There are also free 40-minute sightseeing cruises on the Potomac River, courtesy of Spring Cruises and Potomac Riverboat Co.
Sept. 19 and 20 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Va. Admission to the marketplace is included with admission to Mount Vernon. Tickets are $17 for adults, $9 for children ages 6-11, $16 for seniors ages 62 and older.
The Big Build
At National Building Museum’s The Big Build, families can get hands-on with tools, trucks and other construction materials and machinery. Visitors can climb aboard trucks and tractors, construct a log cabin, imagine the view from the beams of a skyscraper and create a hardware wind chime. Plumbers, woodworkers, landscape architects and other professionals will be on hand to answer questions and offer instruction on how to build log cabins and drive nails. Visitors can also build a brick wall, carve stone and more as they work side-by-side with ironworkers, landscape architects and other artisans.
Sept. 19 from 10 a.m-4 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Admission is FREE!
King Street Art Festival
More than 200 artists for the U.S. and abroad will have their works on display and available for purchase at the King Street Art Festival in Old Town Alexandria. Works include paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and more. There will be activities for aspiring artists of all ages, as well as live music and, at the end of the night on Saturday, a disco with the Mobile Art Lab at Market Square. The Art League’s popular Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser returns, featuring 1,000 hand-made ceramic bowls and local artisanal ice cream, all of only $15 per bowl.
Sept. 19 from 10 am.-7 p.m. and Sept. 20 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. along King Street from Washington to Union Streets in Old Town Alexandria. Admission is FREE!
Small Press Expo
The Small Press Expo, the festival that celebrates independent comics and cartoons, is embracing the kids this year. For its 21st anniversary, the theme is artists who have only worked in the 21st century. More established artists will also be present at the expo, attending signings and discussions, including Bill Griffith, creator of “Zippy the Pinhead,” who has a graphic novel coming out.
Sept. 19 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sept. 20 from noon-6 p.m. at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Md. Admission is $10 per day or $20 for a weekend pass at the door.
Bluebird Blues Festival
The 27th annual Bluebird Blues Festival features two stages with national and local acts, as well as food and craft vendors and activities for children. Barry Lee Pearson will host a blues workshop. Performers include Darryl Davis, Phil Wiggins and the Chesapeake Sheiks, Tom Larson, Full Power Blues, The Spaniels, Clarence “The Bluesman” Turner and Hardway Connection. The Jewels, a longtime D.C. group, will perform at 5 p.m. to close the show.
Sept. 19 from noon-6 p.m. at Prince George’s Community College, 301 Largo Road, Largo, Md. Admission is FREE!
H Street Festival
The H Street Festival, Washington’s biggest neighborhood festival stretches 10 blocks of H Street NE. There will be thousands of visitors, street performers, live music and other entertainment, beer gardens and booths from local restaurants and businesses. The festival, celebrating its 10th year, will even have eating competitions for pie, burritos and chili. More than 175 local restaurants, vendors and food truck will be selling international cuisine and regional fare. Entertainment includes Cheick Hamala Diabate, Black Masala, Jogo Project, Father’s Children, The Pocket, Lil Red and the Renegades, Rodney Henry and more. Other entertainment includes visual and cultural performances such as a burlesque show, traditional dance performances from all over the world and martial arts demonstrations. A kids zone at 9th and H Streets NE will offer kid-friendly entertainment and interactive events.
Sept. 19 from noon-7 p.m. from the 400 block to the 1400 block of H Street NE. Admission is FREE!
Bike-In Birthday Movie
Capital Bikeshare is celebrating its fifth birthday with a Bike-in Birthday Movie. There will be plenty of freebies — anniversary Capital Bikeshare blankets, tote bags and buttons — as well as awards like bike with the most distance traveled or most trips taken and members wo have traveled the farthest or visited the most stations. Ice Cream Jubilee will offer $1 off a regular cone; Bluejacket will offer $1 off pints of Forbidden Planet; Osteria Morini will offer 10 percent off food orders and 20 percent off drink orders at the bar; Agua 301 will offer 10 percent off all food and happy hour pricing on drinks; Kruba Thai will offer 10 percent off all orders; and Nando’s Peri-Peri Navy Yard will offer buy one, get one free entrees with your Capital Bikeshare key fob. But the main event is the screening of Breaking Away, a cycling movie from 1979 that won an Academy Award for best original screenplay and was nominated for four other Oscars. There will be free popcorn and water at the movie.
Sept. 19 at 7-10:30 p.m. at The Yards Park, 355 Water St. SE. Admission is FREE!
The family-friendly Maker Faire comes to Silver Spring, offering a chance to get hands-on with robots, flying machines and other crafts and electronics. There also will be two stages with live music and entertainment, as well as exhibitions of giant rideable sculptures, duct-tape canoes, steampunk instruments and more.
Sept. 20 from noon-5 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza, corner of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive. 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.