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What to Do This Weekend: September 13 to 16

Check out the H Street Festival, see live political cartooning, and say au revoir to DC Shorts.

See Thievery Corporation in concert this Saturday. Photograph courtesy of IMP.

Thursday, September 13

FANCY POOL PARTY: I know I promised no more pool parties, but this one’s kinda-sorta different. Wear cocktail attire to the Washington Plaza Hotel’s party tonight, their last of the season. It’s more of a “hang out by the pool and look like you’re in a Miami drug cartel” kind of night than a swimming affair. Prizes go to the person with the best cocktail dress and the person with the best suit. Free. 6 PM.

FILM: If you’re a history buff or you like Locked Up Abroad and other tales of imprisonment (why do you love other people’s pain so much?), the Czech Embassy is screening Timeless Stories, which tells the tale of Karla Charvatova, an anti-Communist who was a political prisoner in Czechoslovakia in the ’40s. Historians Jana Svehlova and Tomas Bouska will be on hand to discuss the film after the screening. Free. 6:30 PM.

Friday, September 14

CARTOONS: Did you hear? It’s an election year, which means political cartoonists have been sharpening their pencils and their wit, ready to jump on any gaffe or ridiculousness (of which there’s been plenty). Four of the best at their craft—Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Fiore, Mike Peters, Jen Sorensen, and Keith Knight—will duke it out with live cartooning. The Post’s Gene Weingarten and some other familiar faces will judge. Tickets are $10 online. 6 PM.

TALK SHOW: The Charlie Visconage Show, a live talk show featuring under-the-radar podcasters, comedians, authors, and musicians from around the city, got its start with a Kickstarter campaign, proving not all of those projects are big scams that never end up getting done. This month’s show features storyteller and comedian Vijai Nathan, political activist Dutty Bookman, who recently wrote a book about returning to Jamaica after spending four years at college, and radio talk show host Mariya Alexander. And what’s a talk show without a musical guest? Black Masala, a gypsy horn band from DC (with, like, eight members and all sorts of fun instruments), will close things down. Tickets are $15 online. 10 PM.

DANCE (BUT WITH YOUR ARMS CROSSED): DJ Josiah, who has been making sure hip music gets on Sirius XM radio for the past five years, will spin “blog-able music that doesn’t physically exist yet” and some indie favorites such as Animal Collective, Dan Deacon, M83, and more at Black Cat. Sounds like a way to get a jump on bragging rights. Free. 10 PM.

Saturday, September 15

DAY DRINKING: This week’s big event is the H Street Festival. Over the past few years, you’ve watched the corridor turn into DC’s experimental hub, hosting a bar arcade, a burlesque bar, a mini golf bar, a Jewish-Irish bar, and a pie shop. If you’ll notice, that’s a lot of bars. The street shuts down all day, and most businesses set up booths outside so you can get your day-drink/eat on. This year, there’ll be five stages, lots of contests, and tons of vendors, and Sticky Rice is giving away their famous cop car. What more could you want? Free. Noon to 6 PM.

BARTENDING: If you’re throwing a cocktail party anytime soon or are just sick of mixing Champagne with orange juice and calling it a day, it might be time to brush up on your drink-making skills. Arlington’s Green Pig Bistro is hosting a home bartending class where you’ll learn how to stock your home bar; shake, stir, and otherwise mix up some tasty drinks; and toss out unruly patrons (maybe not that one). Participants get a home bartending kit, which includes everything you’ll need to get started. Tickets are $85 online. 3:30 PM.

FILM PARTY: DC Shorts, we hardly knew ye, but we’re going to send you out in style. You’re already on H Street for the festival, right? So head over to Atlas Performing Arts Center afterward for dancing, movie clips, and an open bar. Tickets are $25 online. 9 PM.

MUSIC: The other fest-type thing going on is at the Fairgrounds, which is finally hosting its first relevant concert ever (love you, cover and/or local bands, but just sayin’). LivingSocial got Thievery Corporation, who seem to make their living in DC playing seemingly random places these days, to put on a show. They also got ridiculous New York gypsy punks Gogol Bordello (an absolute must-see live) and Michael Franti & Spearhead to open. Things kick off at 1 PM, when you can presumably play various outdoorsy games and drink beer. Tickets are $59 online. 1 PM.

Sunday, September 16

MORE STREET FESTIVALS: I can guarantee the Celebrate Gaithersburg street festival will have a different vibe than the H Street Festival, but there’ll still be plenty going on that makes it worth a trip to the ’burbs. Local artists, dance troupes, exercise leaders, and cultural institutes perform on various stages around city hall, food trucks you’re not used to (because they spend their time slinging food up there) serve tasty things, and a microbrew beer garden features freshly brewed suds from Gaithersburg’s own Growler’s Brew Pub. Free. Noon to 5 PM.

WINE: Is September wine season in Virginia? Is that a thing? Either way, there have been plenty of wine festivals to go around lately, but the more, the merrier. Crystal City hosts a wine-drinking and food-eating extravaganza, if you’re into that kind of thing. A dozen area restaurants, including Jaleo, Lebanese Taverna, King Street Blues, and Cafe Pizzaiolo, serve up bites, various bands serve up salsa and jazz music, and lots of wine serves up the confidence to get your dance on. $20. 2 PM.

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

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