How to Spend Your MLK Weekend
The first three-day weekend of 2016 is here! Napping and a couple of cocktails are on the menu, but there is a lot going on in the DMV for those looking to spend their time off a little more productively. A mix of family fun and events to inspire the creative person in all of us lie ahead for this MLK weekend. Head to Rockville for a gallery opening of three new exhibits. Contemplate finally going through with that belly button piercing you’ve wanted since 2002 at the sixth Annual D.C. Tattoo Expo. Or maybe give baby Bei Bei — the National Zoo’s newest addition to its panda clan — a visit at his first public event! Don’t forget to honor the man behind this weekend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at a variety events on Monday. Whatever you do, enjoy this long weekend!
Track work will be light this weekend, with no track work scheduled on Monday. The Green Line will run on a regular weekend schedule as will Yellow Line trains between Huntington and Fort Totten. The Red Line will run every 18 minutes between Shady Grove and Silver Spring and every 9-10 minutes from Farragut North to Silver Spring. A special shuttle train will operate every 20 minutes between Silver Spring and Glenmont. Silver Line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston only. Riders will need to transfer to an Orange Line train at Ballston if traveling farther. On the Blue and Orane Lines, buses will replace trains from Stadium-Armory to Cheverly and Benning Road. On the Orange Line, the Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations will be closed. Trains will run every 15 minutes between Vienna and Stadium-Armory, and every 16 minutes between Cheverly and New Carrollton. On the Blue Line, trains will leave every 15 mintues between Franconia-Springfield and Stadium-Armory and between Benning Road and Largo Town Center.
D.C. Tattoo Expo
Whether you’re thinking about new ink or are ready to learn more about the craft of body art the sixth annual D.C. Tattoo Expo is packed with events dedicated to tattoo art and body piercing. Live tattoos and body piercings will be taking place on the 16,000-square foot exhibition floor, which will be filled with more than 50 vendors, clothing and hundreds of tattoo artists. Notable events include the Miss D.C. Pin-Up contest at 9 p.m. Saturday and performances from street performer The Human Knot at 5:15 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday. There will be daily contests to pick the best color, black and gay and hybrid tattoos done from start to finish on the convention floor that day.
Jan. 15 and 16 from noon-11 p.m. and Jan. from noon-8 p.m. at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington. Tickets are available at the door for $25 for the day or $60 for a 3-day pass, children younger than 12 are FREE with a paying adult.
Mid Atlantic Leather
Calling all fans of 50 Shades of Grey. It is time for the 45th Mid Atlantic Leather weekend, better known as MAL, sponsored by the Centaur Motorcycle Club. Thousands of (mostly gay) people descend on the District for a long weekend of harnesses, chaps, whips and parties. You don’t have to be into leather to attend. It’s more than fine to go-and-look and dip your toe into the leather world. But be warned: this is not for kids. According to the website, the dress code in the hotel is “Nudity is not allowed in the public areas of the hotel. Men are able to walk around the hotel shirtless, in a jock or in chaps with a jock. Women are not permitted to be shirtless or have their nipples exposed. When dining, your buttocks must be covered and at least have a vest on. When leaving the hotel, you must have at least a 1 inch strap covering your ass-crack.”
Jan. 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW. Other events take place at the 9:30 Club, D.C. Eagle, Green Lantern, Cobalt and Glorious Health Club. Events start at 3 p.m. Friday and run through 4 a.m. Monday. The exhibit hall (admission is $15 at the door) is open from 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday in case you are looking for some early Valentines Day gifts or to recreate 50 Shade of Grey at home. Click here for the entire schedule.
Three Galleries Opening
Celebrate the opening of three different exhibitions at Three Galleries Opening. Join the artists of each exhibit as you explore Eikona/Image, Wash: New Paintings and Against Weather. From sculpture to a responsive installation these exhibits delve into themes such as self-projection and the human capacity to adapt. Hear from each of the artists as they give a talk about their work.
Jan. 15 from 7-9 p.m. at VisArts at Rockville, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville. Admission is FREE!
Meet the Panda Cub
It’s finally here! Five-month old giant panda cub Bei Bei makes his debut this weekend at the National Zoo! The cub, who was born in August, is now a 25-pound toddler. Although a sighting is not guaranteed, here is tip for your visit: depending on the weather, the pandas are only given outside access between 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. so plan accordingly. If you have other plans, don’t fret, there’s always the panda cams!
Jan. 16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Smithsonian National Zoo, Asian Entrance, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW. Admission is FREE!
Tea Tasting: Teas for Winter Health
Tea is a winter staple. Maximize your tea time at Tea Tasting: Teas for Winter Health by learning the health benefits of different teas and herbal concoctions. From boosting immunity to brightening your day, a cup o’ tea can do you good! After the lesson take a stroll around the grounds of the Green Spring Gardens, which feature a large variety of greenery and art exhibits at the historic house built on the land in 1784.
Jan. 16 from 10-11:30 a.m. at Green Spring Gardens, 4601 Green Spring Road, Alexandria. Tickets are $22 for county residents and $24 for others and includes a free sample.
Get ready for all of the nostalgia at the Indie Arcade presented by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, MAGFest and American University’s Game Lab. Take a trip back in time with a chance to play classic games such as Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Tron or try out some new games from the Indie Arcade: Coast to Coast competition. For those looking for a little something more, you can attend a workshop on video game audio design or 3D character creation. Game on!
Jan. 16 from 1-7 p.m. in the Kogod Courtyard at the American Art Museum, 800 G Street NW. Admission is FREE! You don’t even need quarters.
Athens Today: New Greek Cinema
Two sisters in love with the same man? This can’t be good! Learn what happens in a screening of Little England presented as a part of the National Gallery of Art’s Athens Today: New Greek Cinema series. Set in the 1930s, Little England is a look at film melodrama set in the dreamy landscape of the Cycladic island of Andros.
Jan. 16 at 2:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE but seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Washington Wedding Experience
If you got engaged over the holidays or will be getting married in 2016, head over to the Washington Wedding Experience this Sunday. Browse the latest wedding trends and treats from more than 170 exhibitors. There will be informative displays, runway fashion shows, special exhibits in the Wedding Inspiration Gallery — its’s like Pinterest, but live with displays of flowers, cakes, photography, bridal gowns and tablescapes — seminars, multi-media presentations and more. During the day, there will be workshops where couples may ask questions and receive practical advice.
Jan. 17 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at EagleBank Arena (formerly Patriot Center), 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax. Admission is $15 for the full day or $10 after 1 p.m., but DC on Heels readers can download FREE tickets HERE.
Washington Balalaika Society in Concert
Founded in the DMV in 1988, The Washington Balalaika Society is dedicated to the music of Russian, Ukrainian and Eastern European origins. Join this unique orchestra — with their even more unique folk instruments — for an afternoon of music.
Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax. Tickets are $24 online or at the front desk.
Reseeing Iran: Twentieth Annual Iranian Film Festival
Delving into the past and present, the 20th annual Iranian Film Festival is a collection of bold films displaying the best of Iranian cinema. This weekend’s film The President is a contemporary film by noted director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Inspired by the events of the Arab Spring, when a rebellion topples the administration of a dictator in an unnamed country, the he goes on the run, in disguise, with his young grandson. Forced to beg for food and shelter, the undercover despot — a clear stand-in for any number of real-life leaders — learns just how loathed he is. This film is political allegory that is sure to get anyone interested in foreign policy or international relations thinking.
Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE but seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Fee-Free Days at National Parks
Visit a new place or an old favorite. The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and they want everyone to join the party. On 16 days in ’16, all 127 National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer fee-free days with free admission for everyone. MLK Jr. Day is the first of those days. Locally, that includes the Antietam and Manassas battlefields, Fort McHenry, Great Falls and Shenandoah National Park. The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.
Jan. 18 during normal business hours at all 127 national parks that normally charge admission including Great Falls, 9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean from 7 a.m.-dark and Fort McHenry, 2400 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is FREE!
10th Annual MLK Peace Walk and Parade
Get up and moving at the 10th Annual MLK Peace Walk and Parade. The parade, which steps off at noon, runs from St. Elizabeth’s East, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, to Leckie Elementary School, 4201 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, and includes the Ballou Marching Band. There is a viewing stand at Living Word Church, 4101 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. For early risers, the Peace Walk will take place first at 11 a.m. between the United Black Fund, 2500 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, and Covenant Baptist UCC, 3845 S. Capitol St.
Jan. 18 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Participants in the Peace Walk should assemble at 9:30 a.m. next to the United Black Fund and parade participants should meet at St. Elizabeth’s East at 10 a.m. admission is FREE!
Jan. 19 with the peace walk starting at 11:30 a.m. at 2500 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE next to the United Black Fund ending at Covenant Baptist UCC, 3845 S. Capitol St. followed by a program at 12:30 p.m. The parade steps off at noon at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE and ends 4201 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SW. Admission is FREE!
Reston MLK Keynote Address and Community Lunch
Join Baltimore native and esteemed artist Anna Deavere Smith for a conversation and discussion of Martin Luther King’s vision in the modern context at the Reston MLK Keynote Address and Community Lunch. After the conversation, celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.’s message of community with a lunch with fellow event goers.
Jan. 18 at noon at the Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Tickets are $10 for non-Reston residents and $5 for Reston residents.
Let Freedom Ring!
The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University team up to present Let Freedom Ring!, a concert tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Taking the stage will be Grammy-nominated gospel singer Yolanda Adams and the Let Freedom Ring Choir. Georgetown alumna Nakeisha Neal Jones will be recognized for her work with Public Allies D.C., a local non-profit that inspires community involvement through their apprenticeship program.
Jan 18. at 6 p.m. at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, 2700 F St NW. Admission is FREE! Tickets will be handed out two per person at the entrance to the Hall of Nations beginning at 4:30 p.m. Dress for the weather, the line will be outside!
Born in D.C., raised in Maryland and currently residing in Northern Virginia — Janessa is a DMV girl through and through. As a film enthusiast and Netflix’s number one fan, she willingly spends the majority of her time in front theater and computer screens. When she isn’t watching her latest binge, Janessa can be seen around town searching for the perfect cup of coffee or instagramming strangers on the metro for her hashtag #metrogramdc.