We’ve got Juneteenth, Father’s Day, and live go-go.
Here’s what you should check out this weekend:
The (not) new holiday: Juneteenth will soon be officially named a federal holiday, thanks to legislation that passed this week. The celebration, historically memorialized in Texas and other southern states, marks the end of slavery. Washingtonian assistant editor Damare Baker put together this great collection of Juneteenth events happening in and around DC this weekend that you can explore here.
Look globally: Recognizing World Refugee Day, the Kennedy Center’s REACH will host a three-day celebration of refugees in collaboration with the UN. Hear live music from Ethiopian R&B singer Mélat and Cuban band leader Cesar Orozco with Kamarata Jazz; shop at an international market; take dance and yoga classes; see film screenings, and more. Thursday 6/17 through Saturday 6/19; Free, learn more here.
Doors swing open: This Friday the National Museum of Natural History and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art will reopen. What are you most excited to see again? My personal favorite from the NMNH is the fossil hall because back in 2019 I reported on the impressive behind-the-scenes process of its complete renovation. Of course at the NGA, you’ll get to ‘gram the famous blue rooster “Hahn/Cock” by Katharina Fritsch that sits on the roof, but they have new shows as well, including an exhibit of sculptures and paintings by feminist artist Lynda Benglis.
Classy act: Head to Wolf Trap’s outdoor amphitheater to see the French classical opera The Anonymous Lover accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. The 1870 work was written by legendary composer Joseph Bologne, also known as le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, whom some have called the Black Mozart. In this performance, follow the rom com story of a widowed woman who discovers she has a secret admirer. The NSO will be conducted by Geoffrey McDonald. Friday 6/18 at 8 PM; Tickets start at $32, learn more here.
Brunch with dad: Find delicious meals and deals for Father’s Day, like free beer, tasting menus, outdoor jazz, barbecue, and more in our roundup of restaurant specials here.
Old school: Mount Vernon is hosting a craft beer festival this weekend featuring new brews from local beer makers and a special look at how beer was made during George Washington’s era. There will be beer samples, a food truck, a demonstration of how ice cream was made in the 18th century, and more. Friday 6/19 and Saturday 6/20 at 6 PM; $40-$48, buy tickets here.
DC History: James Fisher descends from eight generations of Washingtonians, with a link to Captain George Pointer, an enslaved man who bought his freedom from George Washington’s Potomac Company in 1793. Pointer and his descendants are the focus of a new book by historians Barbara Boyle Torrey and Clara Myrick Green, Between Freedom and Equality: The History of an African American Family in Washington, D.C. In a virtual book talk from Politics and Prose, hear from the authors, Fisher, and Georgetown professor Maurice Jackson as they discuss the experiences of free African Americans in DC. Friday 6/18 at 6 PM; Free, register here.
More cowbell: Long Live Go-Go, a local organization that was formed after the Moechella protest in 2019, is throwing two days of go-go filled celebrations this weekend. On Saturday, they organized the Million Moe March for Equity and Justice, in which folks will walk from Black Lives Matter Plaza to end at 14th & U Streets. Hear live music from TOB, Ambition Band, and N2L. On Sunday, head to Gateway Pavilion for the day-long Moechella Unity Fest featuring crafty vendors, a kids zone, food trucks, and two stages with performances from EU, Junkyard, ABM, Ambition, MTM, and TOB. Million Moe March: Saturday 6/19 from 2 PM to 8 PM; Free. Moechella Unity Fest: Sunday 6/20 from 12 PM to 8 PM; Free.
Dance party: Vindata, a two-person group of electronic R&B DJs, is playing a live show on the rooftop of the Shaw bar Flash to celebrate Juneteenth. Saturday 6/19 at 4 PM; $25-$35, buy tickets at the door.
Brandon Wetherbee has been covering the DC arts scene for years with his own podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody and more recently as managing editor of the publication/events organization, Brightest Young Things, which folded earlier this year. Now, he’s kicking off his own online magazine focused on the DC arts scene called Recommend If You Like.
The hope is to have something for everybody to find and enjoy around town, but there’s a particular area that Wetherbee is focusing on, too: finding kid-friendly events that are actually fun for adults. As a millennial parent, Wetherbee, who is married to NPR Congressional reporter Kelsey Snell, felt like there was a lack of programming for parents like him. “I’m making something for people that happen to have kids but still like all the things that they liked before they had kids,” he says. “I don’t say we’re like a parenting site or anything like that—we acknowledge the existence of children and try not to pretend that the world exists without them.”
Wetherbee’s also planning to create a newsletter to help connect readers with stories about artists and creatives in the area and recommendations, of course, for ways to have fun. The Recommend If You Like site went live today with ten stories, including an interview with Beyoncé impersonator Riley Knoxx and a list of tips for the parents of skater kids. Tonight Wetherbee and his team will host a launch party at the Looking Glass Lounge in Park View with various DJs.
Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at email@example.com.