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Where & When: What to Do This Weekend
Free walking tours of the city, a street festival, foot-stomping folk and wine in the countryside are just a few of this weekend's nightlife picks. By Catherine Andrews, Alejandro Salinas, Matt Carr
Comments () | Published September 18, 2008

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Thursday, September 18: Check out the world premiere of Drift, a piece by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange that explores changes in times and tradition by combining dance, video, and multimedia elements. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 6 PM; free.

Fall is calling, and, if you haven’t gone already, some serious shopping is in need! Shecky’s Girl’s Night Out, the three-night annual shopping party at DAR Constitution Hall, wraps up tonight. The event hosts nearly 50 fashion and beauty vendors. Plus, there’s a goodie bag and complimentary Champagne while you shop. Tickets are $10. For more information, click here.

Missed out on the DC Shorts Film Festival? No worries—two special screenings, one at 7 and the other at 9:30, will highlight some of this year’s best shorts, including the audience-winner Tortilla. The films will be shown at E Street Cinema. Tickets are $12.

Local musician Olivia Mancini and her band, the Housemates, bring their hand claps-and-trumpets brand of pop to U Street’s Velvet Lounge for a show at 9:30 PM. Tickets are $7; doors open at 9 PM.

Sticky Rice, the latest bar to open on the H Street corridor, hosts its weekly blingo night. What on earth is blingo, you ask? Just a fast-paced version of bingo, with fun prizes like a Nintendo Wii handed out after every round. The game starts at 10. Don’t forget: An order of tater tots and sushi rolls is a must while you’re there! Also, check out our guide to the Atlas District for other great bars and restaurants in the area.

Friday, September 19: Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church is hosting the area’s largest and oldest Greek festival. In anticipation of up to 5,000 guests, the three-acre festival will serve classic renditions of Greek dishes such as spanakopita, baklava, and diples (deep-fried pastries with honey). Dishes range from $2 to $10. The festival also offers Greek coffee, beer, wine, and live music. Friday and Saturday noon to 9:30, Sunday noon to 8. Call 202-829-2910 for additional information.

More than 20 European embassies in the city are hosting Euro Night, dedicated to showcasing the countries’ respective culinary specialties and traditions, at the French embassy. The event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 PM and will feature a live musical act. Tickets ($25) can be purchased here.

The DC Shorts Film Festival may have just wrapped up, but cinephiles need not worry: The Asian Pacific American Film Festival starts September 25, and to celebrate, the organizers are hosting a kickoff party tonight at Temple Lounge in Fairfax. The party starts at 9.

Does an alternative dance party at the Black Cat’s backstage sound like the best thing to do on a Friday night? Then you might want to check out Homo/Sonic, Thenewgay.net’s coed dance party, which welcomes both gay and straight fans of indie pop/rock jams. The party starts at 9:30; tickets are $5. If you’re curious about the music, check out the last party’s playlist here.

If listening to music is more of your thing, the Black Cat still might be your best option—Canadian pop band Sunset Rubdown, fronted by Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug, goes onstage tonight. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, check out our weekly Listen Up! playlist to hear a song. Tickets are $13.

Saturday, September 20: WalkingTown DC is always a treat, especially on a weekend that promises to be as gorgeous as this one. The concept is simple: Cultural Tourism DC puts on 80 free walking tours—and a few bike tours—in 18 neighborhoods across the city. There’s everything from a tour of Mount Pleasant and its history to the art at Metro stations. Click here for the full schedule.

In the mood for a free Saturday matinee? The Freer and Sackler Galleries will screen Children Playing Gods at 2 in the Meyer Auditorium. The film explores the lives of Ramila child actors in Banaras who act out the epic tale of Rama. A gallery tour on the arts of the Indian subcontinent and the Himalayas will precede the film at 1:15.

Been looking for a chance to check out the emerging H Street area? Then the H Street Festival and Bazaar is a perfect opportunity. From noon to 6, there’ll be everything from live music to burlesque belly dancing to a basketball shoot-out to face painting. Free.

Sunday, September 21: A Hispanic fiesta at the zoo? Sure, why not? It’s time for the National Zoo’s annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. There will be live music, dancing, crafts, Latin American food, and animal demonstrations. Free, 11 to 5.

Don’t miss Benjy Ferree’s performance this evening at Iota in Arlington. His catchy, foot-stomping, and slightly old-fashioned honky-tonk-style music is garnering comparisons to the Shins and the White Stripes. The opener is another local favorite, Le Loup, which plays swelling, experimental indie rock. 8:30; $10.

Looking to escape the city? Consider the 13th annual Great Grape Wine Festival at Tarara Winery. The festivities include winetastings, live music, apple picking, wagon rides, and kite-flying demos. Saturday 11 to 6, Sunday 11 to 5; tickets $15 per day. For reservations, call 703-771-7100.

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Posted at 12:39 PM/ET, 09/18/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs