Things to Do

Things To Do in DC This Weekend March 31-April 3: Kites, Philly Cheesesteaks, and Sumo Wrestling

Make use of the windy weather at the Blossom Kite Festival on the National Mall. Photo by Nick Eckert.

THURSDAY, MARCH 31

FILM SCREENING: The DC premiere for The Same Heart at The Howard Theatre is a three-part event. First there’s the documentary, which is centered around the plight to eradicate global poverty. Afterwards, Dean Baker, founder of The Center for Economic and Policy Research, will lead a discussion with the film’s directors Len and Georgia Morris. Be sure to stick around after that, though, so you can dance to the lively, afro pop sounds of Awa Sangho, also known as the “Golden Voice of Mali.” Sangho is featured The Same Heart’s soundtrack. $45, 7 PM.

DISCUSSION: Diane Rehm is best known as the host of the national radio program The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU, on which she’s peeled back the layers of everyone from presidents and local politicians to artists and celebrities. But her memoir On My Own is more centered on the details of her personal life, specifically her husband John’s battle with (and eventual death from) Parkinson’s disease. Rehm has since become an advocate for the death with dignity movement, expressing remorse that her spouse was not able to “go in a more peaceful manner, on his own timeline, with his loved ones at his side.” She will be in conversation with Washington Post reporter Mike Rosenwald at Sixth & I. $20-$50, 7 PM.

LAUGH: Last year, comedian Clayton English took home the trophy on “Last Comic Standing.” More impressively, though, he managed to make notorious curmudgeon Norm Macdonald laugh. He’ll be at DC Improv on Thursday until Sunday. $20, 7:30 PM. 

FRIDAY, APRIL 1

ART: On Friday, you can meet the talented artists behind the Hillyer Art Space’s latest exhibits during a reception for Dupont Circle’s First Friday Gallery Walk. Heloisa Escudero will show her 50/50 Interactive Drawing Installation Project, which invites participants to draw in the installation and have their creative process posted to social media. Sascha Hughes-Caley will talk all about miscommunication in her video and sculpture work “No Joke,” and Christina Shmigel will give participants the chance to encounter daily life in Shanghai with “Foreigner’s Cabinet of Chinese Curiosities.” Free, 6 PM.

PERFORMANCE: Looking for something fun to do on April Fools’ Day that isn’t saran rapping the toilet? On Friday head to the Black Cat for All Fools Night, which will features performances from a slew of local artists—Aztec Sun, Margot MacDonald, and Jonny Grave & the Tombstones—and jokes from standup comedian and host Chelsea Shorte. $10, 9 PM. 

SATURDAY, APRIL 2

FESTIVAL: If elbowing your way past tourists at the Tidal Basin to sneak a peek of what’s left of the cherry blossoms sounds a little intense, then there’s an equally entertaining but slightly more laid-back festival a little further north on the National Mall. Join kite enthusiasts for the colorful spectacle that is the Blossom Kite Festival, now in its 50th year. Come for the demonstrations, competitions (like the Hot Tricks Showdown and Rokkaku Battle), and the chance to make a kite. All attendees are allowed fly their own kites on the public field area. Free, 10 AM.

EAT: Top Chef Contestant and soon-to-be local restaurateur Kwame Onwuachi will be hosting a “Philly Wing Fry” pop-up at Union Market until Sunday. Chow down on Wagyu beef Philly cheesesteaks, tamarind glazed chicken wings, and waffle fries, while feeling good knowing that all of the proceeds will benefit the local non-profit No Kid Hungry. Stay tuned for the opening of Onwuachi’s restaurant The Shaw Bijou. 11 AM. (Note: This event was supposed to take place Friday as well but was canceled that day due to weather.)

PILLOW FIGHT: If kite fighting isn’t your thing, head over to another part of the National Mall for a pillow fight. It’s International Pillow Fight Day, and Capitol Improv is once again hosting the good-natured battle for anyone to attend. The event is BYOP (bring your own pillow). Free, 3 PM. 

MUSIC: This past January, strangers were randomly chosen out of a hat and assigned to be in bands together. On Saturday, these makeshift troupes are performing 10 minute sets in a fundraiser for Girls Rock DC at St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Mount Pleasant. The event, cheekily called the Hat Band Showcase, will be a lot of fun for a good cause. $8, 4 PM.

SUNDAY, APRIL 3

SUMO: It’s not often that DC puts on a sumo wrestling show featuring Japan’s heaviest man, but on “Sumo-Sized Sunday,” Yama (the one who holds the weight title), Bayamba, and Takeshi—three world champion sumo wrestlers from Japan—will get together for an amiable match in the lot behind Shaw’s Atlantic Plumbing. Attendees have the option to participate, too (don’t worry, they promise not hurt you). While you’re watching, nosh on Japanese food from Chef Katsuya Fukushima of Daikaya’s latest venture, Haikan, which will be opening nearby. Free, 11 AM.

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