Smithsonian Folklife Festival This Weekend

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival returns to the National Mall this weekend, but don’t expect this cultural tradition to achieve the same epic proportions this year that it has in the past.

The festival has brought a lot to D.C. in its 52 years, from live demonstrations of Catalan human towers to authentic Hungarian goulash served in Styrofoam containers to artisans demonstrating how to weave rugs, make pottery and construct fish traps.

The festival is traditionally held the 10 hottest days of the year in D.C. — usually around 4th of July — when the heat coming off the pavement on Pennsylvania Avenue is powerful enough to create a mirage of Democrats controlling the Senate.

In 2015, the festival was relegated to a corner of the Mall near the American Indian Museum and featured a single country — Peru — because the rest of the Mall was undergoing restoration.

This year, the festival has shrunk to two days — Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30.

The official word from the Smithsonian is that putting on the festival is expensive, money trickles down slowly from the government and it was impossible to overcome the blow dealt by the shutdown in time to put on a festival of typical scale this year.

But the Smithsonian says they will be back in full swing next year, featuring Brazil, Benin and the Baltics — three B’s on different continents!

But let’s hand it to festival organizers for pulling this one out of (ahem) the air by throwing together a show about the social power of music. According to festival director Sabrina Lynn Motley, “Performances and activities will explore music’s capacity to promote understanding, transcend differences and encourage social cohesion.”

The festival starts at noon Saturday on Freer Plaza in front of the Freer Gallery of Art with demonstrations by the D.C. Public Library Punk and Go-Go Archives, the Anacostia Community Museum, the Mayor’s Office on African-American Affairs, the National Park Service, #DontMuteDC, the DC Bluegrass Union Jam and more. A concert follows from 5 to 10 p.m. on the main stage on 12th Street between Jefferson and Madison drives, featuring:

  • Go-Go Performance: The Royal Pocket Tour
  • The Fierce Urgency of Now: Modern Troubadours, Poets, and Wordsmiths
  • Ruby Ibarra
  • Quetzal ft. Alice Bag and La Marisoul
  • Kokayi ft. Jenna Camille

The festival picks back up Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with performances by local artists honoring the late Pete Seeger. Following will be workshops on drum circles, zine making, musical innovations and maracas making. The festival wraps up at 6:30.

Food trucks will be on hand; all activities a short walk from the Smithsonian Metro station, access to the Orange, Blue and Silver lines.




Tee Up at New Rosslyn Putt-Putt

Summer just isn’t summer without ice cream on a stick and minigolf. If you live in NoVa, you have been deprived of an outlet for this important tradition — until now.

This Friday marks the grand opening of Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR, a pop-up minigolf course in Arlington just a couple of blocks west of the Rosslyn Metro station.

The nine-hole course, developed by CannonDesign and built by Capitol Drywall, features landmarks from the local area.

Par for the course is a treats bar, offering beverages, ice cream and candy. The indoor space is also equipped with carnival and video games.

Stop by with your significant other, your buddies or your whole family and enjoy a throwback to a simpler time at this nexus of wholesome fun.

Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR, 1401 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 5-9 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 31; $3, buy tickets for timed entry in person or online.

No Excuses — Free Workouts for Summer 2019

Want to hit the gym without taking a hit to your wallet? Check out our list of free, convenient weekly workouts to shape up without paying a cent.

Washington, DC

Georgetown waterfront businesses rotate to provide a free fitness class at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays through Aug. 28; participants include Down Dog Yoga, Lululemon, CorePower Yoga and more. Space is capped at 100, so registration in encouraged.

November Project is a worldwide free fitness phenomenon professing “no sign-up forms, no BS.” Meet Mondays at 6:30 a.m. at Meridian Park, Wednesdays at 5:25 and 6:20 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial steps, and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. at rotating locations listed on their blog.

Navy Yard
Work out on the riverfront with a rotating calendar of HIIT, yoga and more. Check out the ever-evolving calendar for a workout that suits you.


Crystal City
Mind Your Body Oasis holds glow yoga at the fountain every Sunday at 7 p.m. through August. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Fairfax County
What better place to foster a quiet, meditative mood than a library? Maybe you can even get a book on your way out! Check out a class at Herndon Fortnightly Library 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, or at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library 7:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays. Bring your own mat. See a full calendar of library events here.

Mosaic District
Spark Yoga hosts Yoga in the Park every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Sundays 9-10 a.m. Bring your own mat. On Tuesdays, change it up with Barre and Circuit Training in the Park, also hosted by Spark. All cancellations due to weather will be announced via Spark’s Facebook page 60 minutes before class begins. Arrive about 15 minutes early to sign a waiver. Outdoor classes end Sept. 1.

Fairfax Corner
Come to Yoga on the Plaza 8:30-9:30 a.m. Saturdays. Ends Aug. 31.

Check out the classes at Athleta Fit Club at Reston Town Center. Courses rotate, including Plyoga, Tabata, Latin Dancing and more. View the full calendar here. If you’d rather be meditating with a peaceful lake as a backdrop, drop in for free yoga on Sunday mornings at 9:30 at Lake Anne Plaza. Finally, Restonians can head over to Reston Station, where Beloved Yoga hosts free yoga at Metro Station Plaza from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through September.


Silver Spring
In Silver Spring, yogis can meet at the fountain downtown for a free class led by Grace Yoga 7-7:45 p.m. Wednesdays. Ends Sept. 25. If you work in Silver Spring and you want a relaxing way to wait for traffic to die down, try attending free community yoga at Potomac Massage Training Institute from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

National Harbor

Try free Yoga on the Plaza presented by Gold’s Gym Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Various Locations

Planet Fitness
If you’re lucky enough to be between the ages of 15 and 18, you can work out for free at Planet Fitness this summer. See the details here.





Thanks, Mr. President!

Would you be surprised if I told you that Father’s Day has only been an official holiday since 1972, when it was signed into law by President Nixon, of all people?

The cynical point of view is that he was heading into an election that fall with a less-than-stellar approval rating, and the Father’s Day proclamation (which previous presidents had declined to issue) was a low-effort way to get a little publicity and appeal to male voters. If this is indeed what he had in mind, it worked; he won the election a few months later, taking 49 out of 50 states.

Of course, he never finished that term.

Father’s Day may be on its way out, too. It’s like when you watch live sports and they cut to the cheerleaders. “Society can’t possibly let this go on much longer,” you think. All the cultural currents are against it.

This isn’t a bad thing. I’ll miss cheerleaders more than Father’s Day, if only because I don’t have to drop $100 on them every year for bad cologne and a tie that’ll never be worn. (Half that money is overnight shipping, because who remembers Father’s Day until the last minute?)

Father’s Day was actually established as a response to Mother’s Day, which is, you know, not a great look.

After Mother’s Day celebrations became widespread, various people piped up and said, “Hey, what about DADS?” which must have provoked plenty of eye rolling, because back in the 1910s, fathers did basically zero parenting. They planted the seed, paid for the food and they were done.

But the cologne and tie industries stepped up their lobbying, and soon we had a new money pit.

There are actually religious traditions celebrating fathers that go back to the 14th century. These generally took place around the feast day of St. Joseph, which is kind of weird, because as I understand the story, Joseph didn’t, you know, actually father his son. We’ve been celebrating Stepdad’s Day all this time and we didn’t even know it!

I kid, I kid.

While mothers have always done way more of the work of parenting, and still do, dads are obviously impactful too. Not to get too neo-Freudian on you, but your relationship with your father basically establishes your relationship with the world. If you uncritically accept your dad, you’ll probably grow up to be the type of person who tears up at commercials and unironically says things like, “Heck, I dress like this for comfort!”

And if you generally disapprove of and roll your eyes at your dad, you’ll probably grow up to be the type of person who gets face tattoos and listens to podcasts about government conspiracies. Thanks, dads!

But as much as I joke about Father’s Day, I’m just like you. I couldn’t imagine not celebrating it and risking my dad thinking that I’ve forgotten about him.

So next Sunday, my dad will wake up to an overnighted Amazon package, read the accompanying note that says, “Why would you tell an 11yo that kissing girls gives you fatal diseases???” smile as he looks at the enclosed tie and cologne, and then put that tie and cologne in a dusty cupboard that already contains dozens of other unworn ties and unopened bottles of cologne.

Then he’ll go back to posting Minions memes in the comments section of Walmart’s Facebook page.



Ways to Say, “Thank You, Dad!”

Father’s Day can be a challenge. With Mother’s Day, you can usually get away with some flowers or candy, but there are fewer one-size-fits-all solution for Dad. Sometimes it’s hard just to buy a card. What if your Dad doesn’t golf and is a klutz with tools? Sucks to be you, because that’s all you’ll find on Father’s Day cards.

But it’s OK, because here’s a news flash — your dad doesn’t even want a card. So save yourself $5 and take him out instead to one of these fun happenings in and around D.C.:

Father’s Day Brunch Cruise: Combine two of your dad’s favorites — food and the open water — by taking him on a two-hour cruise of the Potomac. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the city from the deck of the Spirit of Washington. Those on the brunch cruise (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) get fresh fruit, pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage and potatoes, and families who opt for the dinner cruise (4 to 6 p.m.) get a buffet with salads, pasta, flounder, mashed potatoes, chicken and prime rib, plus mousse, brownies and a variety of cakes. Each cruise features games and music with a DJ. Sunday, June 16, the Wharf Marina, 600 Water St. SW; tickets: $74.90 per adult, $59.90 per child for brunch; $79.90 per adult $64.90 per child for dinner. Dads get a complimentary drink at dinner!

Father’s Day Jazz Brunch: If your dad gets seasick, take him to the Kellogg Conference Hotel to enjoy brunch and some music — the only thing moving will be feet tapping to the live jazz band. This brunch is sponsored by Beta Omega Social Services, a nonprofit devoted to youth and family development, which will award scholarships at the event to students transitioning to college. Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Kellogg Conference Hotel, 800 Florida Avenue Northeast; tickets, $30-$65.

Nats vs. Diamondbacks: Take your dad out to the ball game for Father’s Day. Anibel Sanchez is scheduled to throw the first pitch at this 1:35 p.m. game Sunday. Tickets start at $16. If your dad’s the flashy type, you can sit behind the plate for $380 a seat. The Nats are 31-36 and the Diamondbacks are 35-33 so far this season, so we’re the underdogs, but we could still win.

Chinatown Community Festival — Come down to Chinatown and take part in this fun celebration of Asian and Pacific Island cultures from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15 in Chinatown Park (5th and I Street NW). The festival will feature fitness and Wushu demonstrations, Japanese drummers, dog tricks, and dance performances from Indonesia, Hawaii and Turkmenistan. Get your hands hennaed or your face painted, try your hand at 3-D paper crafts or test some K-Beauty skincare products.

DC Truck Touch — Kids, take your dad to this fun event where everyone gets to touch, climb on and pretend to steer more than 40 city vehicles, including fire trucks, trash trucks, snowplows, repair vehicles and more. Free; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Robert F. Kennedy Stadium Lot 7, Benning Road and Oklahoma Avenue NE.

The DC JazzFest continues throughout the weekend at the Wharf and other locations.

The Best Winery in Northern VA to …

Bring your pooch

Barrel Oak Winery, abbreviated to BOW, is the perfect place to bring your Lil’ Bow Wow. Way out in Delaplane, it’s the kind of huge, expansive farm that your furry friend probably dreams about when he naps on the couch. People can even bring their canine pals inside to designated rooms, so if it’s raining, no problem. Plus, if members of your entourage can’t decide if they should have beer or wine (it’s a debate as old as dogs vs. cats!) you can make everyone happy, because somehow this place also manages to brew beer, too.

Drive time from DC: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Bring your kid

Kids in tow? No problemo! At Potomac Point Winery in Stafford, there’s a child-oriented playroom in clear view from the tasting bar called the Lil Buds room. While you’re sipping on wine, the kids can play with age-appropriate toys. With older kids, you can enjoy a rousing outdoor game of cornhole.

Drive time from DC: 51 minutes

Avoid kids

Sometimes you just want to sip your 2011 Petit Verdot without someone’s hyper 2-year-old crashing into your ankles. In that case, Linden Vineyards in Linden might be the right winery for you. It’s for people with old-school notions of a winery. Their policy is no children, pets or even groups larger than four to annoy you, so it’s the perfect winery for anyone looking for a refined, sophisticated time.

Drive time from DC: 1 hour, 18 minutes

Go on a rainy day

Dry Mill Vineyards is a short drive from Leesburg, but it’s scenic enough to make you feel like you’re out in the country. Owners Dean and Nancy feel like family members as they offer you generous tastings. A magnificent covered porch extends around the exterior, so you can even enjoy the scenery on a rainy day.

Drive time from DC: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Roll deep

The Winery at Bull Run in Centreville is a great place to bring a big group, even the whole office. Long tables are available inside and outside. There’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out. If your crew includes toddlers, sit in the “Parties with Children” area outdoors.

Drive time from DC: 45 minutes

Take a photo

Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg is beautiful inside and out. Rustic farm-style architecture and a tasting room with lined with barrels illuminated by track lighting makes for a gorgeous Instagram backdrop. Step outside to see rolling hills under a vast sky reminiscent of a Windows XP desktop. To really feel the glamour of the scenery, consider attending the Big Fake Wedding in August, where a couple renews their vows so that attendees can check out leading local wedding vendors.

Drive time from DC: 1 hour, 14 minutes

Have a meal

Most wineries aren’t known for their pizza. Quattro Goombas in Aldie is an exception to that rule. Quattro, the Pizza Shop is located inside the winery and boasts extensive gourmet ingredients, including local cheese and “Grandma’s ground pepperoni.” Ask for it “Beaver County Style” to get cold cheese on top!

Drive time from DC: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Bring a date

With its majestic spiral staircase and intimate upstairs room, Creek’s Edge Winery in Lovettsville has a high romance factor. Rustic touches like antler chandeliers and intricately decorated corn silos make this place feel unique and magical. Just don’t bring a first date there. This far out, there’s no easy escape if things aren’t going well.

Drive time from DC: 1 hour, 15 minutes


Jazz, Pride, Cosplay, Sneakers and Wine in the DMV This Weekend

If you don’t have to go to some relative’s graduation this weekend where you will sit uncomfortably in your dress-up clothes in the heat, fanning yourself with a program and listening to some boring academics drone on about people you don’t know, consider attending some of this weekend’s events in and around DC:

  • DC JazzFest: This festival of one of America’s most widely celebrated music genres kicks off on Friday night and continues through Sunday, June 16. Performances by dozens of artists are scheduled throughout the city at nine venues, including The Hamilton, the Kennedy Center, the Anthem, the Wharf and City Winery. Wharf performances will feature four acts on four stages, all free. Other events are ticketed.
  • Show your true colors this Sunday, June 9, at the Capital Pride Festival downtown at Pennsylvania Avenue and 3rd Street. The annual LBGTQ+ celebration, held from noon to 10 p.m., will feature entertainment on three stages, refreshments and 300 local exhibitors. “Engage, learn and celebrate,” the organization lit says. Free, donations accepted; please leave pets and backpacks at home to help facilitate fun. Lots of local bars and restaurants are offering specials in honor of the event — don’t miss out!
  • The number of people signing up to escape reality by delving into cosplay just keeps growing, as evidenced by this weekend’s All-Star Comic Con June 8-9 at the Sheraton in Tyson’s Corner. Billed as a “weekend-long comic, art, gaming and pop culture celebration,” the fest features actors, writers, artists and at least one videogame-playing legend. Cosplay costume contests will be held for both adults and children, so break out the tights and capes! Tickets are $35-$400, plus add-on options for photo ops with your favorite artists.
  • If you’re an unemployed teenage boy, chances are, you’re familiar with SNKRMANIA DMV, an event held this Saturday and Sunday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at which lovers of all things high top and leather can gather and mingle with their own kind. Like Costco and the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, this is an event where you pay to shop. Tickets are $20 ($30 for both days), but you can also bring sneakers to trade or sell. Vendor spaces are $60 for one day, $100 for both days.
  • The Wine, Spirits and Music Festival is back this weekend at the Gateway DC, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. Enjoy wine, spirits, food and live music. Advance tickets, $40; $50 on the day of the event. Doors open at 2, entertainment starts at 4, festival ends at 11 p.m.