Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (October 24-26): Drag Racing, Pumpkin Carving, And a Classical Rave

Turn your Monday night into a dance party courtesy of Kennedy Center composer-in-residence Mason Bates and his performance, Mercury Soul.


FOOD & DRINK Jose Andres and the crew at Oyamel are getting into the spirit of the season with a week long Dia de los Muertos Festival. Monday’s kickoff party features traditional face painting, live music, plus tasty appetizers and cocktails. In addition, be sure to check out one of the restaurant’s tequila and mezcal experience dinners, as well as an appearance on Thursday by famed chef-turned-writer-turned-tv-host Anthony Bourdain, who’s on tour promoting his latest cookbook, Appetites. $49, 6 PM

MUSIC As part of the new season of the Kennedy Center’s KC Jukebox series, reconsider everything you thought about classical music. KenCen’s composer-in-residence Mason Bates has teamed up with conductor Benjamin Shwartz for “high-energy classical rave” Mercury Soul, in which classical violin music is mixed with DJing, electronica and drum ‘n’ bass–inspired beats. Dancing, as well as sipping on the evening’s signature cocktail–a Belvedere Grapefruit Greyhound–are encouraged. $20, 7:30 PM

BOOKS Phoebe Robinson, stand-up comedian, one-time consultant for Broad City and creator/co-host of the hilarious WNYC podcasts Sooo Many White Guys and 2 Dope Queens, comes to Busboys and Poets in support of her recently-released essay collection “You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain.” YQY! Free, 6:30 PM


DRAG RACE As it has every Tuesday before Halloween for the last 30 years, 17th Street NW by Dupont Circle will be transformed into a track for nearly 100 drag queens donning sequins, bright colors, taffeta, and, of course, heels, for the 17th Street High Heel Race. Though race time is 9 PM, be sure to head over early to ensure a good spot as well as participate in one of the city’s longest-running block parties. Free

FILM Catch a showing of the Oscar-winning psychological thriller The Silence of the Lambs at Italian eatery Via Umbria, just the way Dr. Lecter would appreciate it being watched: with some fava beans and a nice Chianti in addition to a buffet dinner. $25, 7:30 PM

MUSIC Singer/songwriter, actor and producer Sean Tillmann brings his hilarious alterego Har Mar Superstar (a name inspired by a mall in the suburbs of Minneapolis) to the Black Cat for what promises to be an evening full of breakdancing, catchy R&B-pop crooning, and possibly some nudity: Tillmann/Har Mar enjoys stripping down to his underwear by the end of his sets.  $15, 7:30 PM


HALLOWEEN If you’re still scrambling to find a pumpkin to carve before Halloween, look no further than Pumpkinpalooza in the Storey Park pumpkin patch. Enjoy live music as you carve a free pumpkin or try your hand a making a terrarium, ogle the adorable animals in the petting zoo, and grab some food for purchase by local vendors. Free, 5 PM

BOOKS Though she works in fiction, best-selling novelist Jodi Picoult spends a lot of her time researching the heavy subjects she tackles, ranging from stem-cell research to the death penalty. Picoult discusses her creative process as well as her latest work, Small Great Things, with NPR arts correspondent Lynn Neary in the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium. Your ticket comes with a copy of Picoult’s novel, which “follows an African American nurse who clashes with the white supremacist parents of a critically ill newborn.” $50, 6:45 PM