Thursday, September 20
HAPPY HOUR: The guys over at Listen Local First have put together a killer lineup for the next couple weeks at ThursdayTrysts at the Phillips Collection: Tonight, singer-songwriter Flo Anito plays her blend of poppy jazz. As usual, craft beers will be on tap, but now you can work on your screenplay when you’re not drinking. (That’s what people do at Tryst, right?) 5 PM.
THIS GUY ONCE RAN FOR PRESIDENT OF HAITI: Wyclef Jean, everyone’s favorite former Haitian presidential candidate who also happens to be a Fugees member, is doing all sorts of things at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue tonight. He’ll be discussing and signing Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story, his new autobiography; he’ll play an acoustic set of music; and Michael Martin of NPR’s Tell Me More will spend some time interviewing the star. Tickets ($35) are available online and include a copy of the book. 6:30 PM.
INDOOR MOVIE: AFI Silver’s Latin-American film festival starts tonight with a screening of Filly Brown, about a young hip-hop artist who has to decide whether to sell out for fame. Filmmakers Youssef Delara and Michael Olmos and actor Lou Diamond Phillips, who plays Filly’s father, will be in the house to discuss the movie afterwards. Tickets ($15) are available online. 7:30 PM.
Friday, September 21
OUTDOOR MOVIE: Jackets are a thing for a reason, and part of that reason is to keep you warm while doing typically indoor activities in the great outdoors. The folks at Mount Pleasant Main Street are sick of outdoor movies being confined to summer, so they’re showing The Princess Bride in Lamont Park. Bring a blanket, MAYBE EVEN TWO. Free. 7:30 PM.
DANCE/CELEBRATE/GO NUTS: Phasefest, an annual GLBT celebration of art and music, happens this weekend at Phase 1 near Eastern Market. Every year, you get a mishmash of queer art, music, performance art, and comedy. Tickets ($20 for Friday’s lineup) are available at the door. 8 PM. The festival runs through Saturday, September 22.
SHINY NEW PLACES: The beautiful new Angelika Film Center Mosaic opens to the public Friday night in Fairfax. The eight-screen theater will screen mainly independent and foreign films, and features stadium seating, fancy fusion cuisine (as well as traditional concessions), and craft beer and wine. For more details and photos of the Angelika, see Sophie Gilbert's writeup.
Saturday, September 22
BOOKS: The Smithsonian’s National Book Festival always has a ridiculous lineup, and this year is no exception: Saturday’s authors range include R.L. Stine, Jewel, Mike Lupica, the Washington Post’s Donna Britt, Walter Isaacson, and dozens more. Sunday you get the big guns, including Mario Vargas Llosa and Bob Woodward. Free. 10 to 6.
TRUCKS + BEER: The new Union Market hasn’t taken long to have an impact. Saturday’s Trucktoberfest is exactly what it sounds like: 49 percent food truck extravaganza (with more than 40 trucks), 49 percent Oktoberfest beer, 2 percent live music you may or may not pay attention to, and the almost-not-worth-mentioning-and-vague “games, demos, sweepstakes, and more.” Free to get in. 11 to 7.
VEG OUT: If you’ve said so long to meat or just really like veggies, check out VegFest at Yards Park, featuring everything you’d expect a vegan/vegetarian festival to: meat substitutes, cooking demos, food samples, and a series of speakers riling up the crowd over you know what. Free. 11 to 6.
OKTOBERFEST: Bethesda Row is also hosting an Oktoberfest celebration, featuring 15 breweries; food from Mon Ami Gabi, Luke’s Lobster, Mussel Bar, Redwood, and more; live music all day; a pie eating contest; and more. Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Wear lederhosen, or don’t, but make sure you wear at least some clothing. Tickets ($22 regular, $88 VIP) are available through LivingSocial. 1 PM.
STAY OUT LATE: If all this daytime nonsense doesn’t appeal to you, get your move on at Black Cat’s Depeche Mode Dance Party, which is apparently the largest (and I’d guess only) Depeche Mode dance party on the East Coast. Tickets ($10) are available online. 9:30 PM.
Sunday, September 23
ROLLER DERBY: Women who do roller derby are badasses and everyone knows it, but in case you’d like some visual evidence, head over to the Temple Hills Skate Palace, where the DC Rollergirls are screening Derby, Baby!, a new documentary from Robin Bond and Dave Wruck that details the sport’s history and popularity worldwide. This ain’t just any film screening, though: You’ll get to watch a short roller derby bout (battle? derby? deathmatch?) afterward, and then get to skate yourself. I encourage as much shoving as humanly possible, but that’s just me. $10. 1 PM.
GIVE YOUR DOG BEER: Finally, someone has listened to our cries and is throwing a beer festival for dogs. Pups and Pilsners, in Crystal City, will feature beer from nine appropriately named breweries, including Laughing Dog, Flying Dog, and Baying Hound Aleworks—sadly, no Dogfish Head. Bring your pooch and he or she can drink Bowser Beer, a nonalcoholic beer for dogs, which apparently is a thing. Tickets ($15 online, $20 at the door) include three tastings and one full beer. 2 PM.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.