Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Every Thursday, we give you the weekend picks. We've got an art walk, power pop on a summer night, a sangria-filled happy hour, the start of a tennis tournament and lots more are all taking place this weekend.

Thursday, August 7: The Smithsonian Young Benefactors is hosting a happy hour tonight at the Australian Embassy to celebrate the opening of an exhibition of silk batiks by indigenous Australians. For a donation of $10, you’ll get the chance to view the exhibit, sip beer and wine, and mingle. 6 PM. RSVP to

If you’re a fan of power pop and summer nights (and who isn’t?), then you’ll want to catch Julie Ocean at Fort Reno tonight. The local band (made up of former Velocity Girl members) will be playing with another local pop outfit, the Aquarium. 7 PM.

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of funniess” is the tagline for the DC Comedy Fest, which kicks off tonight. Catch tons of local comedy acts, audition for The Tonight Show and Best Week Ever, and just have yourself a weekend full of belly laughs. For schedules and details, head to the Comedy Fest’s Web site.

Friday, August 8
: Looking for a good end-of-the-week happy hour? Try Taberna del Alabardero from 3 to 7. This opulent Spanish dining room woos younger customers with half-price tapas before the expense-account set arrives. The happy-hour crowd sometimes spills out of the cozy bar into the dining room, where you might find yourself snacking atop a plush crimson banquette. Recent winners are sweet piquillo peppers stuffed with Catalonian sausage ($4.25) and a crock of shrimp sizzling in olive oil and garlic ($6.75 for a large portion). Pitchers of sangría are $16 for one of the best renditions in town. Want more? We just put up a guide to the best deals on food for happy hours.

Get an end-of-the-work-week art fix with the Bethesda Art Walk, when area galleries stay open late from 6 to 9 PM. There will be wine, mingling, and of course lots of art. Check the Web site for participating galleries.

You know how we feel about local band These United States. It plays lovely, folky country rock that’ll have you wishing you were cruising down a Tennessee highway instead of sitting on the Metro. Catch a little of that feeling when the band, alongside Kentucky band the Apparitions, stops by Iota for a two-night gig celebrating the second anniversary of the music blog Instrumental Analysis. Also playing Friday night is the Cotton Jones Basket Ride. Bellman Barker opens the Saturday-night show.

Saturday, August 9
: Want to hit one of the many county fairs taking place this weekend and through August? Try the Arlington County Fair at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, which’ll give you the flavor of a country fair within driving distance. Plus—free admission! There are pig races, lots of food and music, pony rides, a petting zoo, and more. 10 AM to 10 PM.

It’s the third year of the huge and hugely popular Virgin Mobile Festival, taking place today and Sunday up at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Playing this year are tons of indie and rock bands like Bloc Party, Andrew Bird, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, and many more, including a folk singer you may have heard of named Bob Dylan. Two-day passes are $175; a single day is $97.50.

The Legg Mason Tennis Classic, the popular area tennis tourney that draws in big names (this year it’s Andy Roddick and John Isner) kicks off today and goes through August 17. Matches are played at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Stadium and cost $10 to $45. Get tickets here.

Sunday, August 10
: Tennis and Asian festivals may not seem to go hand in hand, but they do at today’s Thai Tennis Asian Festival in Reston’s Lake Newport Tennis Facility. The Thai Tennis Organization in America will host stage performers, clinics, music, Asian food vendors, and more. Free. 11 AM to 7 PM.

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