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What to Do This Weekend: May 3 to 6

Wear fancy clothes and watch horses race, listen to free outdoor music, and tour some embassies.

See (and bet on) some pretty horsies at the Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday. Photograph by Flickr user Aaron Webb.

Thursday, May 3

CA$H MONEY: Can a board game teach you how to be a good entrepreneur? Constantly ripping off your younger brother who has a fascination with Baltic Avenue in Monopoly doesn’t count. Tonight, learn how to play Leverage at RedRocks Firebrick Pizzeria. Experts say the game will help you learn more about business. We’re skeptical, but any free board game at a bar usually turns out well. Free. 6:30 PM.

Friday, May 4

MUSIC: May means free things to do outdoors. Woohoo! Rockville Town Square is hosting its first free outdoor concert of the year. Swing band Joker’s Wild plays while you sip on beers and eat food. Free. 6:30 PM.

MORE MUSIC: Yards Park is also starting its concert series with Monster Band, who will play covers of modern hits. Not sure if that means “Call Me Maybe” or “Livin’ On a Prayer,” but you can’t go wrong either way. Stix food truck and Buzz Bakery will be on hand, as will ChurchKey. Free. 6:30 PM.

SHOPPING: Perhaps jealous of all the cool shopping events that have been going on in Georgetown lately, the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery will be selling designer pieces from U Street’s Caramel and accessories from Stem on its rooftop terrace. Local 16 provides the wine, you provide the cash and take home some sweet clothes. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. 6 to 8:30 PM.

Saturday, May 5

STEEPLECHASING: Don your most ridiculous hat and practice your Southern belle accent—we’re goin’ to the races. Head out to the Plains (there are a few bus services from DC) for the Virginia Gold Cup, the most famous steeplechase (which means horse race obstacle course) I can think of. Things start up at 10 AM and run through 7, so bring your sunscreen. Visit the website for ticket information; bus ticket info is available here.

SPOTLIGHT STEALING: It’s Cinco de Mayo, but instead of letting Mexico have its day in the spotlight, all the other countries got jealous and decided to open the doors to their embassies. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the doors of the Sri Lankan embassy or if Borat hangs out at the Kazakh embassy, now’s your chance. All the embassies will feature art, performances, food, and music from their homelands. Free. 10 AM.

FOOD TRUCKS: RFK Stadium is throwing “Trucko de Mayo,” which is a horrifically lazy name—but with 40 food trucks, live music, beer, and games, it’s worth a trip. Free. 11:30 AM to 9 PM.

VARIETY: When not Christmas-themed or hosted by Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, variety shows can be great fun. Tilted Torch celebrates Cinco de Mayo and three years in existence with all sorts of weird stuff for you to gawk at, including sideshow nonsense, burlesque, belly dancing, and interactive games at Red Palace. Tickets ($12) are available online. 9 PM.

Sunday, May 6

WINE FEST: Like a LivingSocial booze party for grownups, the National Harbor Food and Wine Festival serves up samples of more than 150 international wines, liquors, and beers, dishes both local and exotic, and cooking demonstrations (it’s like a live concert of the Food Network! Bring your recipe books to get signed). Live smooth jazz will make sure you don’t get too riled up from the booze, and give you the feeling you’re trapped in an elevator somewhere. Tickets ($30 and up) are available online. 1 PM.

YOUR MOMMA’S SO …: Mother’s Day is in a week, so learn how much crap they put up with raising you at “Listen to Your Mother” at Synetic Theater, which features readings on motherhood by local women. Listen to the stories, reflect on your life, then give your mom a big hug or a therapy appointment, whichever seems more appropriate. Tickets ($18) are available online or at the door. 2 PM.

DIPLOMACY: Speaking of mothers, if you or someone you are married to/have a child with is one, you might want to take your offspring to the International Children’s Festival at the Ronald Reagan Building, where they can learn about other cultures and begin forming frosty relations with the children at the booths of some of our uneasy allies. The event features games, hands-on activities, music, culture, food, and simulated wartime negotiations (okay, maybe not the last one) The website says the event features cultural displays from embassies on every continent—we hear Antarctica’s emperor penguins will be performing some sort of elaborate march. Free. Noon.

DRESS 2 IMPRESS: I think we’ve learned this week that DC doesn’t consider it summer until the calendar flips. Throw on your best, worst, or really any sundress and get to Wonderland Ballroom for the eighth annual Sundress Fest. Anyone in a dress gets happy hour specials all night. Free. 2 PM.

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