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What to Do This Weekend: December 29 to January 1

The Roots at the Fillmore, “Holiday Vaudeville” at the Kennedy Center, and New Year’s Eve parties galore.

The Roots are performing at the Fillmore Thursday and Friday. Photograph courtesy of the group’s Facebook page.

Thursday, December 29

Bid farewell to 2011 with Metromix’s Late-Night Happy Hour at Policy. Partygoers can enjoy music by DJ Jerome Baker, an open bar from 8 to 9 PM, and drink specials until midnight—including select $3 beers, $5 shots, and $5 sweet tea vodka cocktails. Admission is free, but guests must RSVP through the event’s Web site. 8 PM to midnight.

MUSIC: The Roots
are bringing their Undun tour to the Fillmore for two nights. Rolling Stone called the Grammy Award winners “arguably the greatest live hip-hop act on the planet.” You can sample some of their songs here. Tickets ($45) can be purchased through Live Nation. 8 PM.

Little ones won’t want to miss the Kennedy Center’s “Holiday Vaudeville.” The free show features performances by Cajun cellist Sean Grissom, Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop, and the Alexandria Kleztet quartet. 6 PM.

The National Gallery of Art is screening Notes on Marie Menken this afternoon. The documentary provides a rare glimpse into the filmmaker’s friendship with Andy Warhol. The screening is part of a three-day film series honoring the Factory regular. Free. 12:30 PM.

Friday, December 30

The Birchmere’s 15th annual Hank Williams Tribute returns with performances by Grammy Award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, guitarist Bill Kirchen, and A Prairie Home Companion regulars Robin and Linda Williams. Tickets ($29.50) can be purchased through the Birchmere’s Web site. 7:30 PM.

If you’re in the mood for a ’90s-alt-rock throwback, Soundtrack for Silent Films and Matthew Stewart are dropping by the U Street Music Hall tonight. Tickets ($12) can be purchased through the venue’s Web site. 7 PM.

THEATER: If you haven’t already, head to Keegan Theatre for An Irish Carol, a comedic adaptation of the Dickens classic. The show runs through December 31. Tickets ($30 to $35) can be purchased through the theater’s Web site. 8 PM.

Saturday, December 31

To help you say goodbye to the year in style, we compiled a roundup of the best parties in Washington. Read our 2011 New Year’s Eve events roundup here. And if you’re still looking for dinner reservations, we’ve got you covered: Check out our procrastinator’s guide to New Year’s Eve dining. Then grab a glass of bubbly, pucker up, and get ready for the greatest New Year’s Eve yet.

WINTER LIGHTS: It’s your last chance to take a stroll through Gaithersburg’s 16th annual Winter Lights Festival. The illuminated trail includes 65 animated displays and 380 vignettes—including Winter Woods, Teddy Bear Land, Victorian Village, the North Pole, Toyland, and Penguin Cove. Tickets (starting at $12) can be purchased at the gate. Proceeds will benefit local charities. 6 PM.

ART: Waverly Street Gallery’s multimedia art show also ends tonight. Shoppers can peruse jewelry, pottery, paintings, prints, photography, sculptures, and more. Free. Noon to 6 PM.

Sunday, January 1

Firefly is hosting a New Year’s Day à-la-carte brunch. Crafted by chef Daniel Bortnick, the new menu includes lemon-ricotta spoonbread, a seared yellowfin tuna BLT, grapefruit mimosas, and more. Reservations can be made by calling 202-861-1310. 9 AM to 2 PM.

The National Zoo’s light show, a favorite among Washingtonians, is ending tonight. Little critters can enjoy thousands of environmentally friendly light displays, after-hours access to several animal houses, live entertainment, a train ride around the Great Cats Circle, and ice-skating ($5). Free; 5 to 9 PM.

Rapper Wale is performing at the Fillmore tonight. The DC-born musician has collaborated with Kid Cudi, Ne-Yo, and Lloyd. You can listen to some of his songs here. Tickets ($35) can be purchased through Live Nation. 8 PM.

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