2. The Capitol Skyline Hotel is starting a weekly standup comedy show in its new District Lounge every Thursday night. This week’s inaugural event features Jeff Maurer, a local resident who recently preformed at the DC Improv. We hear that Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef and Good Stuff Eatery will be in attendance. Tickets are $5 with no food or drink minimum, and the show starts at 8.
3. The Kurdistan Regional Government Office is sponsoring the free opening reception for the Foundry Gallery’s latest exhibit, “My Kurdistan,” Friday from 6 to 8. The show features paintings from seven Kurdish artists, including the much-celebrated Falah Shwan, and will remain on display until March 28.
4. The 29th annual Alexandria Saint Patrick’s Day Parade marches through Old Town Saturday. Hot-rod enthusiasts can roll out of bed early to check out the Classic Car Show Competition starting at 10, while animal lovers should head to the Fun Dog Show at 10:30. The parade, featuring a collection of bands, pipers, step dancers, and Irish organizations, begins at King and West streets at 12:30 and marches to King and Fairfax streets until 2:30. All events are free. For detailed schedule and location information, click on the parade’s Web site.
5. Follow your sweet tooth to the Chocolate Lovers Festival Saturday and Sunday in Old Town Fairfax. The free, family-friendly event features a variety of chocolate vendors selling cakes, candies, and other delectable goodies (along with many free samples), as well as a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast ($6 for adults, $4 for ages four to ten) and children’s fingerpainting. A full list of activities and location information are available on the festival’s Web site.
6. The sixth-annual DCist Exposed Photography Show kicks off this weekend at Long View Gallery and runs until March 21. This year, emerging local photographers submitted more than a thousand images through Flickr.com to create the 47-picture exhibit. The opening reception is Saturday from 6 to 10, with Dino mixologist Scott Palmer running the bar, the Leopold Brothers hosting a liquor tasting, and Downey Selections providing wine. $5 cover.
7. Brush up on your knowledge of Nordic culture as the Embassy of Sweden sponsors Vasa Ride, a bike ride on Sunday in honor of the country’s famed ski race and festival Vasaloppet. Starting from the Swedish Embassy, cyclists will recreate the 56-mile race in a noncompetitive pedal through Northwest DC and Montgomery County. There are two shorter routes as well: Halv Vasa (28 miles) and Kort Vasa (14 miles). The Vasa starts at 8, the Halv Vasa at 8:30, and the Kort Vasa at 9. Registration starts at 7:30 and ends at 9:15. Bike helmets are mandatory, and the event takes place rain or shine.
8. Sunday is your last chance to marvel at artist Yinka Shonibare’s exhibit “MBE”, as the National Museum of African Art displays a collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and films produced by the British-Nigerian artist during the past 14 years. To see a sample of the artist’s work and to hear Shonibare’s current playlist, visit the museum’s Web site. The museum is open from 10 to 5:30 and is free.
9. The first Sunday of each month, the National Museum of Women in the Arts opens its doors to the public free of charge. The NMWA is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to female artists, and it houses the city’s only piece of work by Frida Kahlo as well as an impressive collection of artwork by Georgia O’Keeffe and Alice Bailly. The museum is open from noon to 5.
10. The weekend may be over, but the fun is just getting started at Phase 1, as DC’s oldest lesbian club presents the Got a Date With the Night party from 7 until 1. Join DJ Boom Boom LaRue and a soundtrack of indie jams (from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Le Tigre), as the bar offers $2 PBRs and $5 beers with shots of Jack Daniel’s. There’s no cover to enter, and revelers must be 21 and over.