Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: May 1 to 4

Kentucky Derby parties, Sundress Fest at Wonderland, and Opera in the Outfield.

The Kentucky Derby happens this weekend, which means lots of mint juleps. Image via Shutterstock.

Thursday, May 1

COMEDY: Rock & Roll Hotel hosts one of its rare comedy shows, featuring six local comics for ten bucks. Check out the roof before or after if the weather stays okay. Tickets ($10) are available online. 7 PM.

BARBECUE: Hill Country’s backyard barbecue starts today, so if the rain holds off, you should check it out on the lawn of the National Building Museum. The Floorboards, a roots-rock band from Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, will play, the Shiner Bock will be plentiful, and the barbecue will be flavorful. Free. 4 PM.

SCIENCE: Clearly, common sense and actual evidence of climate change isn’t quite getting the point across to many people around the country, so maybe some art will. The American Association for the Advancement of Science hosts Cutting Edge: Art & Science of Climate Change,” an art installation and panel discussion about our changing world. Free. 6:30 PM.

Friday, May 2

DANCE: Dunya hosts Tainted Love, an ’80s and ’90s dance party featuring all the classics you’re not afraid to admit you still listen to, and some of the ones you are. The rooftop bar will be open, too. Free. 9 PM.

BURLESQUE: I feel bad even promoting this because All That and Double Dare were not meant to turn into stripteases, but what can you do? Anyway, Black Cat hosts Stripelodeon Burlesque, which is exactly what it sounds like—’90s Nickelodeon-themed burlesque. Yikes. Tickets ($12) are available online. 8:45 and 11 PM.

MUSIC: DC’s Ted Leo has teamed up with Aimee Mann to form the Both, a new project for the lifelong rockers. They’ve only released one song so far, so it’s hard to know what to expect at one of their first shows (at 9:30 Club), but judging from the first single, “Milwaukee,” it’s not going to be too far off from the pop-rocky sound you’ve grown to love from both artists. Tickets ($25) are available online. 8 PM.

Saturday, May 3

DERBY: It’s Kentucky Derby day, so places all around the city are having parties. Acadiana is going to have Bulleit Bourbon’s master of whiskey on hand to stir up drinks with what’s still one of the buzziest whiskeys out there. Take advantage of $5 drink specials and a bunch of derby-themed food. All day. For more options, check out the roundup on Best Bites Blog.

HORSE RACES: If you can’t make it to Kentucky this weekend, you can still see live horse-racing at the Virginia Gold Cup. Outside of the Preakness, it’s the biggest horse race in the region. You’ll either need to drive or find a party bus to take you—there are a lot of them, though, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Tickets are no longer available online, but you can buy them at any Harris Teeter in town.

OPERA: The Nats aren’t in town this weekend, but you can still have a riveting day at the park with the M&M’s Opera in the Outfield. Mozart’s The Magic Flute will be simulcast on the big screen from the Kennedy Center Opera House. There’ll also be a lot of live music and art performances in the stadium, if you need entertainment beyond opera on a Jumbotron. Free. 5 PM.

COMICS: It’s free comic-book day, and Fantom Comics in Union Station is celebrating with more than 50 free comics, costume contests, raffles, and other fun events all day. Free. 10 AM to 9 PM.

Sunday, May 4

DRESSES: You know summer is here (or is about to be) when Wonderland throws its Sundress Fest. Wear a sundress (whether you’re a man or a woman)—to get happy hour prices all night. If you don’t, you’ll be lame, like people who wear no costume but go to Halloween parties anyway. Free. All day.

FILM: Back in the early days of grunge, Seattle’s music scene was dangerous—following the rape and murder of local rocker Mia Zapata, the scene had had enough and formed Home Alive, an anti-violence collective that taught self-defense. Filmmakers Leah Michaels and Rozz Therrien set out to make an oral history of the group, which resulted in Rock, Rage & Self-Defense: An Oral History of Seattle’s Home Alive. It screens at Black Cat tonight, and the filmmakers will be taking questions after the film. Tickets ($8) are available online. 8:30 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter.