1. Tired of tweeting @THE_REAL_SHAQ and want to meet up in person? Thursday night’s the time to do it at the B.A.R.F. (Be a Real Friend) party at Black Cat’s Red Room. The no-cover party’s designed for you to get to know your poking buddies IRL. 8 PM.
2. The Capital Fringe Festival kicks off this weekend, and shows are $15. But if you check out the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar for opening night, there are some free preview performances Thursday at 8 PM at Fort Fringe (607 New York Ave., NW).
3. BLT Steak’s rooftop bar on I Street, Northwest, usually isn’t open to the public, so take advantage of the Washington Post Going Out Guru’s monthly happy hour there Thursday from 6 to 8. In addition to drink specials and free food samples (peppered steak! miniature grilled cheese!), Date Lab will be on hand to match you up and possibly write about your blind date and budding romance in the Washington Post Magazine.
4. Thursday, the Fort Reno concert venue has a strong lineup with Fugazi-ish Imperial China, the ’70s-garage-rocky FFFever, and the Key Blanks, a band that mixes acoustic guitar with folk, ska, and punk. The show, as usual, is free and starts at 7:15.
5. House shows are somewhat common, but how about a mansion show? At Toutorsky Mansion, U.S. Royalty headlines and DJs Stereofaith and Soul Call Paul spin. Cover is $10, and RSVPs are recommended—the mansion isn’t that big. The party starts at 8:30 Thursday, but it’s a mansion—act like you belong and get there fashionably late.
6. We’d like to think that this goes for every day, but Friday is officially Don’t Step on a Bee Day, and Buzz Bakery is celebrating. The Alexandria bakery/cafe is selling cheap bee-themed cupcakes and giving away free miniature cupcakes for children. Apparently the day is meant to discourage people from walking around barefoot during the summer, but maybe you should just be more careful.
7. Break-dance crews from all over the world will congregate at St. Stephen’s Church Friday night at around 6. And when break-dance crews meet, they inevitably spin on their heads in flashy displays of one-upmanship. Which sounds like fun to watch, especially for free.
8. More free sweets this weekend! Various bakeries around town will be giving out samples of Divine Chocolate on Saturday, a fair-trade brand made with cocoa beans from Ghana. For a list of stores participating, look here.
9. The Hip Hop Theater Festival is coming to a close, but catch one last performance of Don’t Hit Mama at 7 on Saturday. It’s a performance incorporating hip-hop and traditional African dances. Afterward, party with DJ RBI at Warehouse. Not Biggie? No money? No problems—the performance is free.
10. Couldn’t get enough exploding gunpowder last weekend? Alexandria’s got your pyro fix this Saturday. Celebrate the one-week anniversary of July 4 and the 260th anniversary of Alexandria with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, a cannon, and fireworks at Oronoco Bay Park. Fireworks start at 9:30 PM, but the music concert starts an hour earlier.