Thursday, May 16
GO-GO: It’s only been a year since Chuck Brown died (feels like longer, doesn’t it?). Celebrate the go-go legend’s life and career at the Howard Theatre, where a tribute band will play all his hits. Tickets ($30) are available online. 10 PM.COWBOY UP: You’re not gonna find a rodeo anywhere around DC, so we have to be creative about finding events to wear our cowboy gear. Clarendon’s Wilson Tavern hosts a Daisy Dukes and Cowboy Boots party tonight, so pull out your short shorts, plaid shirts, and lassos and gallop on over there. PBR tallboys are on special, and the best-dressed cowgirl and cowboy will win a pair of sunglasses. Free. 8 PM.
ZOO: Like a mini Best of Washington, but with animals, ZooFari features food from 100 of DC’s best restaurants and chefs, including Mike Isabella, Citronelle, and Todd Gray. There’ll be a silent auction, animal demonstrations, and all-you-can-drink wine. Tickets ($200) are available online. 6:30 PM.
Friday, May 17
FOOD TRUCKS: Skip Farragut Friday and get to the Fairgrounds by Nationals Park if you can swing it—Truckeroo is back. As always, there’ll be a couple dozen of your favorite food trucks, beer and margs at the bar, cornhole, and live music. Free. 11 to 11.
COMEDY: You like laughing, right? Good: In advance of the big thing in September, the DC Shorts film festival is screening the best comedic shorts that have ever been submitted at the US Navy Memorial Heritage Center. To sweeten the deal, some of DC’s best standup comics will perform quick sets between films. Tickets ($15) are available online. 9 and 11:30 PM (also Saturday).
FILM: Fairfax’s Strawberry Park is sick of outdoor film nights that screen movies from decades ago. At least I think they are, because the movies they’ve scored are all recent hits. If you missed the kind of heartbreaking but very funny Perks of Being a Wallflower, now’s your chance to see it, if only to see Emma Watson prove you can forget about her being Hermione. Free. 7 PM.
LUAU: Chief Ike is throwing a “burlesque luau and tropical shindig”—let me know if you can figure out what a mambo room is while you’re at it. Real-life hula dancers will be in the house, and there’ll be special island cocktails available. $10. 9 PM.
Saturday, May 18
DANCE: Lady Gaga, Madonna, and 98 Degrees/N’Sync/Backstreet Boys play nice in a way that only deejay lil’e can make them at her trademark 9:30 Club dance night of unabashed pop ridiculousness. Expect to get covered in glitter and confetti and to leave having burned a couple hundred calories, easily. Tickets ($15) are available online. 8 PM.
OPERA: Time to trick your opera-hating but baseball-loving (but not enough to know the Nats aren’t home this weekend) friends—Opera in the Outfield is back for the fifth straight year. The Washington National Opera will play music from Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Show Boat, there’ll be face painting and candy for the kids, and a screening of a Looney Toons short will explain opera in case you need a refresher. Free. 7 PM.
ARM-WRESTLING: Wanna watch super-strong women arm-wrestle each other? Wanna bet on the winners of each match? Then D/Claw XI is for you. Get to Penn Social and start cheering. Just hope no one’s arm snaps—that would be gross. $5. 7 PM.
STRAWBERRIES: Find a way to make it out to Burtonsville for the Silver Spring Strawberry Festival (we’re on to you, Silver Spring—you guys aren’t even that close to each other). As you might expect, there will be lots of strawberries-related things, various wines to sample, and more. For the kids, there’ll be hayrides, ponies, and an antique car show. Tickets ($18 for two) are available online. 10 to 5.
HORSES: Everyone’s favorite disaster, the Preakness, is today. If you can’t make it up to Baltimore to get sloshed and not watch a horse race, you can stay here in DC and do pretty much the same thing. The Brixton’s party will feature cheap Miller Lite buckets, derby sangria, and big screens so you can catch the race if you want to. Free. 2 PM.
Sunday, May 19
FOOD AND MUSIC: Soundbites, a benefit for DC Central Kitchen, is happening at the 9:30 Club, featuring food trucks, mixologist competitions, and a half dozen bands and deejays to keep things 9:30 Clubby. Tickets ($40) are available online. 1 PM.
POOL: Capitol Skyline’s Adult Swim pool party is back for another year of debauchery. As always, a deejay blasts club music while you wear a bathing suit and hit one of several bars set up by the pool. Free with RSVP. 11 to 6.
WINE: Columbia’s Symphony Woods (near Merriweather) is hosting a wine festival—for $30, you’ll get unlimited tastes of wine from more than 30 local vineyards. There’ll also be two stages of live music, arts and crafts for sale, and artisanal food for you to chomp on. Tickets ($30) are available online. 11 to 5.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter.