Things to Do

Where & When Weekend: Epic Inauguration Edition

This weekend’s going to be unlike anything DC’s ever seen—trust us. For an epic few days of events, parties, concerts, open bars, and more, read on for your (extended through Tuesday!) weekend picks.

You might also like . . . The InaugurAle Beer | Inaugural Cocktails | Inauguration Parties for Everyone | Inaugural Balls | Dirt Cheap Eats | Washingtonian Inauguration Guide

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | INAUGURATION TUESDAY, WOO!

Thursday, January 15: Cupcakealooza! The first 500 customers at new the Penn Quarter sweet spot Red Velvet score a free cupcake today. You might need that sugar rush to get through the next few days.

As Washington gets ready to welcome our country’s 44th president, local bars and restaurants are toasting the occasion with a slew of special inauguration-themed cocktails. Why not kick off inauguration weekend by sipping on one of these creations?

Friday, January 16: Daily Show cocreator Lizz Winstead and a troupe of comedians put on a live morning-show satire at the Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse today and Saturday. Click here for tickets.

Something about a new president just makes people want to celebrate with alcohol. Who are we to complain? All this week, Rustico is celebrating the approaching inauguration with American Beer Week. From Tuesday, January 13, through Tuesday, January 20, you can choose an American craft beer from Rustico’s lineup, which has been switched to all American beers. Beers are between $5 and $9.

Saturday, January 17: Get into the inaugural spirit before the big day with the Songs for Presidents show at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue tonight. The show will benefit Bands for Lands, a nonprofit that encourages conservation and sustainability. Artists will perform songs from Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies, a compilation album released last September; acts include These United States, Denison Witmer, and Jukebox the Ghost. $16; get tickets here.

It’s a French organization toasting an American president at the . . . Russia House? Well, whatever! Soirée Obama is a night of French organizations and Parisian DJs celebrating the inauguration. Admission is $20, and you must RSVP to

If you want to get a bit wacky this weekend, head to the Fez and Moustache Party at Looking Glass Lounge tonight at 10 PM. DJs will be spinning klezmer and Romanian rock, people will be handing out free mustaches and vodka, and there’s no cover. Bonus points for those who show up wearing fezes or mustaches—real or fake.

The National Archives is screening the biopic Abraham Lincoln in honor of the President’s 200th birthday. The movie, starring Walter Huston, includes vignettes of Lincoln’s early life, his courtship of Mary Todd, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and his time as president. It plays at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater.

Sunday, January 18: Start your inauguration celebration with a free concert by Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, and tons more on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at 2 PM. Just make sure you line up early, because we hear there’ll be a few people in town. If you can’t brave the cold, HBO will air the concert live and again at 7.

The Warehouse is hosting Obama Wonderama, a side-show-style event with burlesque performers plus DJs, drink specials, and art. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. 8 PM; get tickets here.

Monday, January 19: The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, is holding a free concert in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Kennedy Center. Tickets will be passed out at 4 PM.

If you’re utterly sick of inauguration events and want something a bit different, head to the Rock & Roll Hotel for a concert by Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit. The band put out one of our favorite albums of 2008, and its melodic, urgent, and sweeping pop rock is even more intense live.

DC9 will hold a special Monday night inauguration/Martin Luther King Jr. version of its dance night, Taint, this evening. Get footloose with the crowd at 9 PM; $5.

Tuesday, January 20: A little thing called “the swearing in of the President” is happening today at noon. Perhaps you’ve heard some news about it? Hmm? If you’re not willing/able to stand out in the cold or to catch the inauguration and/or the parade, here are some other events going on this January 20.

The People’s Inauguration Ball at the Rock & Roll Hotel: A collective of DJs, including Nacey of Nouveau Riche and Meistro of Dirty Bombs, will play on both floors throughout the night. $10.

BYT Inauguration Classic 2k9 Spectacular: The hipster Web site hosts an all-day (literally—9:30 AM to 4 AM) extravaganza at Bohemian Caverns. What can you expect? Loads and loads of live music and DJs, drinking games, food, and, um, balloon animals. $20 presale, $25 at the door; get advance tickets here.

Wonder Ball at Wonderland Ballroom: The $69 admission to this party at the Columbia Heights bar gets you all you can drink, plenty of DJs and dancing, and a limited edition T-shirt and poster celebrating Obama. 9 PM; buy your tickets on PayPal here.

Chef Spike’s Inaugural Ball:
For $99, you can party with the chef while you nosh miniature food including eight handcrafted burgers, hand-cut French fries, milkshakes, and salads. Beer and wine are included, and vegetarian options will be available. Blue jeans are “highly recommended.” To purchase tickets, call Micheline at 202-543-8222 or e-mail

Comet Ping Pong Inauguration Party: Free admission, delicious pizza, and great music by some of our favorite local acts (Brandon Butler, Vandaveer, Revival, and Federico Aubele)? Yes, we can. 9 PM.

Related: The InaugurAle Beer | Inaugural Cocktails | Inauguration Parties for Everyone | Inaugural Balls | Dirt Cheap Eats | Washingtonian Inauguration Guide

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