Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Every Thursday, we bring you the best things to do during the weekend. This time, we’ve got a local musician who may just be the next big thing, a convention devoted to horror, a county fair, the Hold Steady, and lots more.

Thursday, August 14: Another summer series comes to an end this week. Thursday marks the final night of the popular indie-rock concert series Fort Reno. Who’s playing tonight? Three great bands: the Jet Age, Yell County, and Title Tracks (the recently formed band from John Davis of Georgie James). Bring your blanket and your bug spray to the field by 7 PM; free.

Thao Nguyen has been making waves with her folksy rock. See what the hype is all about when she plays the main stage at the Black Cat tonight. Bonus: She’s a local, hailing from Northern Virginia, who’s made the big time. Well, big time for the indie world. Regardless, you’ll enjoy her fuzzy, folksy guitar playing and lovely lyrics. $12; 8 PM.

New York magazine recently dubbed the Hold Steady NYC’s “most insightful party band.” Now, we’re not really sure how “insightful” the band’s lyrics are—the Hold Steady always plays on our iPod when we’re too drunk to make out the words—but we’ll take their word for it. Plus, the band’s throwback rock sound has clearly struck a chord: The show at the 9:30 Club is sold out. But prices on Craigslist aren’t looking too bad. 7 PM.

Ever heard of Good magazine? It’s a rag that does, well, good—it promotes social activism from its pages (and its subscription fees go to charity!). Tonight Good is hosting a happy hour at Lotus Lounge. The event is free, but a donation of $20 will get you a goodie bag and a year’s subscription. 6 PM.

Friday, August 15: It might only be August, but you can start prepping for Halloween with the arrival of Horrorfind Weekend, a convention devoted solely to—you guessed it—Halloween and HORROR!!! Sorry, we mean horror. We like spooky things. We couldn’t help ourselves. There will be seminars on Halloween (gotta wonder what a Halloween seminar involves), horror-movie screenwriters and stars, a costume contest, and more. The event runs today through Sunday; a weekend pass is $45, Friday and Sunday passes $20, a Saturday pass $25. It all goes down at the UMUC Marriott Inn & Conference Center in Adelphi, near the University of Maryland.

El Vez? “Who?” you might be asking yourself. El Vez is only Mexican’s first and foremost Elvis impersonator—and the stage name of Robert Lopez, who covers classic rock and performs his own material while dressed in outrageous outfits. He’s a hoot you won’t want to miss. Tonight at the Black Cat. $15; 9 PM.

Get yourself to Civilian Art Projects to see a fun local art exhibit that closes this weekend. “Quart Bag: A Community Art Show” is meant pretty literally: Artists were asked to create work that could fit inside a quart-sized Ziploc bag. The results are rather ingenious. Noon to 6.

Saturday, August 16: The 60th Montgomery County Agricultural Fair wraps up this weekend. Complete with all the adorable farm animals, funnel cake, and fun activities you could want, it’s well worth the trip out to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children ages two to seven, free under age two.

Can you believe that Mousetrap, the popular Britpop dance night at the Black Cat, has been around for nine years? It’s true, and it’s celebrating tonight with a big bash. A $10 admission will get you into one of the best local dance parties going. 9:30 PM; $10.

Sustainable living is a big buzzword in this time of more and more folks trying to be “green.” Learn more about sustainability today at the at United States Botanic Garden’s event “Family Day: One Planet—Ours.” 10 AM to 4:30 PM.

Sunday, August 17: Today is the last day of Legg Mason Tennis Classic, the local tennis tournament that brings out big names. Head to Rock Creek Park Tennis Center if you haven’t yet gotten your dose of tennis—the final match will be played at noon; $45.

Bummed that you missed out on Restaurant Week this past week? Don’t worry—several great restaurants are extending their Restaurant Week specials, and we know who they are. Check out our guide to Restaurant Week extensions to plan your dining for the upcoming week.

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