THURSDAY, APRIL 30
PARTY: Check out Washingtonian’s party at Mission in Dupont Circle, where guests can cast their votes for the best spots in town for the magazine’s Best of Washington July issue. With a $15 donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, you get two drinks plus light appetizers. 6 to 8 PM.
ART: Travel the US through the work of photojournalist Janire Nájera, who captured the existence of Spanish heritage across the Old Spanish Trail–a 1,200-mile trade route stretching from Santa Fe to Los Angeles. Meet Nájera at a free reception (which will include Spanish wine!) at the Former Residence of the Ambassador of Spain. RSVP required. 7 PM to 8:30 PM.
FRIDAY, MAY 1
BOOKS: Neil Gaiman–author of the famed comic series Sandman and novels such as Stardust and Coraline–comes to DAR Constitution Hall for an evening of fantasy, science fiction, and mythology. $34.50 to $57, 8 PM.
MUSIC: Grammy Award-winning singer Lila Downs performs at the GW Lisner Auditorium. The Oaxaca native, who grew up between Mexico and Minnesota, combines the sounds of ranchera music with American hip-hop and jazz. $40 to $60, 8 PM.
FILM: Fly By Light traces the story of four DC teenagers as they embark on an eight-day journey in West Virginia. The documentary, coming back to town after showing at 12 international film festivals, premieres tonight at National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium. $20, 7 PM.
SATURDAY, MAY 2
HORSES: Score a seat on the Virginia Gold Cup‘s official bus trip for breakfast and bar specials starting at 8:30 AM, followed by a BYOB trek to the Plains for the race ($65). Want to stick around and sip mint juleps in DC? The Brixton, Round Robin Bar, and Jack Rose Dining Saloon are just a few of the places in town celebrating the Kentucky Derby.
CULTURE: More than forty embassies in Washington–including Brazil, Korea, Morocco, and others–celebrate this year’s “Around the World Embassy Tour.” This free fest includes fashion, food, music, and art. 10 AM to 4 PM.
SUNDAY, MAY 3
DRINK: If you’ve always wanted to try the best Bloody Marys in Washington in one place, this event at Blind Whino is for you. Ten bars and restaurants participate in this vodka-soaked party, including Hank’s Oyster Bar, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, the Source, Del Campo, among others. $50 bucks gets you unlimited Bloody Marys, plus barbecue and live music. 1 PM to 4 PM.
THEATER: Local storytellers takeover National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium for “Listen to Your Mother“–an afternoon about motherhood and, well, listening to your mother. $18, 2 PM.