Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

The H Street Festival returns, Mary J. Blige kicks off the Fillmore’s grand opening, and cooking lessons with some of Washington’s hottest chefs

By: Samantha Miller

The H Street NE Festival is back with some of last year's favorites—including a tattoo competition, costume karaoke, and food trucks galore. Photographs by Matt Antkowiak, courtesy of the H Street Festival

Thursday, September 15

DRINKS:
Join the Pink Agenda at Rivers for a pink-filled evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and prizes. Proceeds will support the Pink Agenda, a nonprofit committed to raising money for breast cancer research and awareness. Tickets ($50) include access to the open bar and can be purchased through PayPal. 7 to 10 PM.

MUSIC: Mary J. Blige is bringing her powerhouse vocals to the newly opened Fillmore. The R&B singer has won six Grammy Awards and produced seven multi-platinum records. You can listen to some of her tracks here. Tickets ($89.50) can be purchased through LiveNation. 7 PM.

FOOD: Celebrate the grand opening of Ping Pong Dim Sum’s Dupont location (1 Dupont Circle, NW) with an endless supply of dim sum and cocktails. DJ Phlipz will be spinning tunes throughout the night. Tickets ($35) can be purchased through EventBrite. 7 to 11 PM.

TV PARTY: Calling all Arrested Development fans! Catch up on some of the best episodes from season three at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse’s TV party. Live music will be provided by Nevernudes, an Arrested Development tribute band. Plus, attendees can compete in show trivia for free prizes. Tickets ($10) can be purchased at the Drafthouse’s Web site. 9:30 PM.


Friday, September 16

GREEK FESTIVAL: You may want to skip breakfast before heading to the area’s longest-running Greek festival. Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church (4115 Sixteenth St., NW) will be bursting with authentic Greek fare—including spanakopita, baklava, gyros, roast lamb, mousaka, beers, and more. Plus, there will be live music, traditional Greek dancing, and jewelry galore. The festival runs through Sunday, September 18. Free.

FASHION: Don’t miss the opening reception for Alex Gallery’s “Swiss Style: Fashion & Jewelry Design” exhibit. The collection will feature award-winning apparel and accessories by some of Switzerland’s top design students. Wines from Geneva will be served. 6 to 8:30 PM.

COOKING: Celebrate the National Garden’s fifth anniversary at tonight’s Harvest Party. Enjoy cooking demonstrations from local chefs, a buffet of garden-fresh dishes, cocktails, and microbrews. Guests include Executive Chef Dennis Marron from Jackson 20, Beer Master Greg Engert from Churchkey, and Pastry Chef Susan Wallace from The Black Group, to name a few. Tickets ($100 for members, $125 for non-members) can be purchased through the event’s Web site. 6:30 to 8:30 PM.


Saturday, September 17

H STREET FESTIVAL: H Street, Northeast, is known for its bustling art district and after hours scene—but now’s your chance to experience the corridor’s nightlife in the light of day. This year’s festival will feature a pie-eating contest, fashion shows, costume karaoke, dragon dancers, face painting, and more. And like any respectable Washington festival, there will be plenty of food tucks. Free; Noon to 7 PM.

KID-FRIENDLY:
Pint-sized architects will have a blast at the National Building Museum’s Big Build Festival. Amateur builders, young and old alike, can hone their skills as they work side-by-side with architects, designers, artisans, and trades people. Learn about bricklaying, woodworking, stone carving, and more. Plus, Bob the Builder will be making an appearance at 11 AM and 1:30 PM. Free, though a $5 donation is suggested; 10 AM to 4:30 PM.

BAR HOP: Grab some friends and head to Shaw for the neighborhood’s Main Streets Bar Crawl. More than nine bars and restaurants will be offering drink specials for $5 and less. Participating venues include Nellie’s, Little Ethiopia, Old Dominion Brewhouse, and Beau Thai, to name a few. Proceeds will benefit Shaw Main Streets, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the Seventh and Ninth Street corridors. Tickets ($35) can be purchased through EventBrite. 1 to 6 PM.

MUSIC: The Fillmore’s grand opening weekend continues with a concert by John Legend. The soulful crooner has won nine Grammy Awards and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. You can listen to some of his tracks here. Tickets ($69.50) can be purchased through LiveNation. 7 PM.

HONEY FESTIVAL: Discover the busy world of bees at the National Wildlife Center’s Honey Harvest Festival. Kids can make their own beeswax candles, hop on a wildlife tram tour, and of course, taste tons of honey. And grown-up gardeners can enjoy a lecture on the value of native bees at 11 AM. Free; 9 AM to 3 PM. Editors note: We orginally said this festival was on Friday, we apologize for any confusion.


Sunday, September 18

WINE: Crystal City’s A Taste of Wine and Jazz event is back with more than 30 Spanish and South American wines. Attendees can munch on tapas from 20 local restaurants—including Kora, Lebanese Taverna, and Portofino—sip on wine from Jaleo’s cellar, and move to Latin jazz music from Trio Caliente. Tickets ($20) include a commemorative glass and can be purchased at the event (220 20th St.). 2 to 6 PM.

SHOP: Stop by Tranquil Space’s “ChariTea” clothing swap for an afternoon of fashion, tea, and cookies. Bring a minimum of ten pre-loved pieces to trade for something new-to-you. Remaining clothes will be donated to N Street Village, a community for homeless and low-income women in DC; Proceeds will benefit My Sister’s Place, a nonprofit dedicated to serving battered women and children. Tickets ($10) can be reserved through Tranquil Space’s Web site. 11 AM to 2 PM.

FILM:
It’s your last chance to catch a movie at the National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival. This year’s festival features 40 films from 24 countries, and today’s selections include Mana I Ka Leo (The Power of the Voice), Papa Mau: The Wayfinder, and Visions of Aztlán. Tickets ($8 members, $10 non-members) can be purchased through the National Geographic’s Web site. And if you’re looking to bring the kids along, stop by at noon for the festival’s free family program.

PARTY: Drop by the Yards Park DC for the Wet Party Water Festival, which includes an afternoon filled with water games, beer pong, a bikini fashion show, music from six DJs, and more. The event is co-sponsored by Rock the Vote and Metromix DC. Tickets ($35) can be purchased through WantTickets. Noon to 10 PM.

EMBASSY TOUR: Catch a glimpse inside the homes along Embassy Row during today's Woodrow Wilson House and Embassy Tour. New additions to this year's tour include the Ambassador of the European Union's home, the temporary residence of the Ambassador of Cyprus, and the Slovenian Embassy. Tickets ($40) can be purchased through the Wilson House's Web site. A pre-tour Brunch Package is available for $75 and includes a seated brunch at 11 AM at the Whittemore House. Noon to 4 PM.

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