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What to Do This Weekend: October 4 to 7

Eat chili competitively at Taste of DC, celebrate 50 years of James Bond, and watch Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly argue on TV.

Taste of DC’s chili-eating competition features DC institution Ben’s Chili Bowl. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Steve Snodgrass.

Thursday, October 4

SHALLOWNESS: What Not to Wear star Stacy London makes a living judging others—but in her new book, The Truth About Style, she talks about some of her own struggles with anorexia, psoriasis, and more. She’s got a theory that slick clothes can help people tackle emotional issues. Hear what she has to say at Sixth & I Synagogue and judge for yourself. For more on London, read our earlier interview with her. Tickets ($18, or $35 for a ticket plus a book) are available through Ticketfly. 7 PM.

STYLE: Montserrat House is hosting Thirst’s Style x Swag night—a chance for you to get tanked on Tanqueray gin and Bulleit bourbon, buy a lot of clothes you probably don’t need, and still feel all right about it in the morning. The reason? Stylists from DC Flea will be on hand to make sure you’re making all the right moves. Ten bucks gets you admission, two drinks, a talk about style, and personal attention from the experts. Tickets are available through Ticketleap. 7 PM.

NERD STUFF: Nate Silver has proven there’s more to baseball stats geeks than WAR, PECOTA, and other various acronyms that I know and you probably don’t. Silver has helped make stats sexy—starting in 2007 he added some political calculus to his repertoire and correctly predicted nearly every election in 2008. He’ll be at the Connecticut Avenue Politics and Prose discussing his new book about why so many predictions fail—until they don’t. Free. 7 PM.

Friday, October 5

BOND: It’s been half a century since Dr. No, the first James Bond movie, graced the silver screen. Celebrate with cocktails (shaken, duh) at Bar Dupont, whose party will feature music from the movies and a photo wall of classic Bond moments. Bring your secret agent swag or your Bond-girl sultriness for a little extra authenticity. Free.

FREE BEER: Concord 51, a young conservative PAC, is here to teach you about fiscal responsibility with handouts at Union Pub. Come for an hour-and-a-half open bar. Free. 5:30 to 7 PM.

STORYTELLING: Black Cat’s story league tournament is back, and this time you’re getting the best of the best: Winners of previous contests will try to out-awkward and/or awesome each other. The Biography Channel’s Sharon Spell hosts. Tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door. 8 PM.

Saturday, October 6

FESTIVALS: The last of the summer’s big neighborhood parties is this weekend: Columbia Heights Day is a little more artsy and a little less boisterous than the Adams Morgan and H Street festivals. Expect more families, more yoga, and more nonprofits. You’ll still get eating contests, a ton of food trucks, live music, and crazy specials at neighborhood bars. Free. 10 to 6.

MUSIC: Merriweather is shutting down for the winter with a bang—the always awesome Virgin Mobile Freefest is this weekend. Free tickets are all gone, but there’s a limited number of “freemium” tickets, which include a T-shirt and free sodas all day. This year’s lineup is pretty good—Skrillex and his absurd haircut headline for some reason, but you’ll also get Jack White, M83, Santigold, and local favorites the Dismemberment Plan. Noon to 11. Tickets ($49.50) are available through the website. Noon to 11.

FOOD: Restaurants in one of our foodiest suburbs are going all out with Taste of Bethesda, which usually attracts around 40,000 people. Sample food from 60 restaurants, listen to live music on five stages, and ditch your kids at the arts and crafts area so they can get an early start on clown training (don’t do that one). Most of the participating restaurants have already posted their menus online, so you can devise a plan of attack before you face the crowds. Free admission, or four tasting tickets for $5. 11 to 4.

DEBATES (THE FUN KIND): Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly are facing off tonight in a debate at GW that for some reason people are willing to pay upward of $350 on Stubhub to attend. (Check out five things we hope come up during the discussion.) Whenever the two meet, sparks fly and someone (usually O’Reilly) gets served, but we’re not sure it’s worth blowin’ Benjamins on. Head over to Local 16 for a watch party followed by bad decisions on the basically pitch-black dance floor. Free. 7:30 PM.

Sunday, October 7

PAGEANTS: Protecting our country? That’s hot. (That’s what Paris Hilton said, and our military will defend her right to say it.) Armed forces veterans will compete in the first ever Ms. Veteran America competition at the Pentagon’s Ritz-Carlton. Tickets ($75 to $125) are available online. 5 to 9.

MORE FOOD: Pennsylvania Avenue will be shut down between Ninth and 14th streets for Taste of DC, featuring 30 specialty beers, more than 50 of the District’s best restaurants and food trucks, and the world chili eating championship featuring Ben’s Chili Bowl. Last year, the winner ate two gallons of chili. TWO GALLONS. You can still sign up. I’ll provide the Pepto. Tickets ($8.99) are available through Eventbrite and include one drink. Noon to 7. The event runs Saturday through Monday.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.

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