Are they cars? Are they floats? Neither. Or perhaps both. The vessels that cruise the streets of Baltimore in the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race are “amphibious, human-powered works of art,” and teams of artist-engineers spend months perfecting these twisted, honking cruisers. The action centers around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and American Visionary Art Museum from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but the 15-mile race course includes water, sand and mud portions, too. Spectators are strongly encouraged to wear absurd costumes. Free.
International travel means having the opportunity to experience another culture’s traditions up close. It also means standing in lines for museums and other attractions. You’ll do plenty of both at the opening weekend of Passport DC, when 40 non-European embassies, from Argentina to Venezuela, open their doors for tours, food, drink and music from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The European Union Embassies’ Open House is May 12. Free.
The National Cathedral annually hosts one of Northwest Washington’s biggest garden parties, and this weekend’s Flower Mart promises to be no different. The festivities, which include carousel rides, moon bounces, food vendors and plants for sale begin Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and continue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Go behind the scenes at some of Georgetown’s toniest private green spaces. Eight gardens are on the tour, showcasing escapes that are equally vibrant and serene. Tours run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $35.
If the nearly 600-mile drive from D.C. to Churchill Downs in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby isn’t in the cards on Saturday, the 87th running of the Virginia Gold Cup is a wonderful alternative for lovers of horse racing — or guys and gals just looking for an excuse to wear seersucker suits and extravagant hats. Gates open at 10 a.m. with the sixth and final race of the day at 4:30 p.m. General admission car passes are $85 (allows entry of car and up to six occupants).
Three stages of music and entertainment make this day-long celebration of African American heritage a community staple. Scheduled performers include comedian Dick Gregory, funk stewards Mother’s Finest and a stable of step teams and jazz bands from Prince George’s County high schools. Festivities run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free admission.
The most family-friendly of the area’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations takes place on the Mall. The Maru Montero Dance Company hosts an afternoon of music and dancing, a Mexican market, hair braiding, Latin American food stalls and indigenous craft artisans from noon to 6 p.m. Free.
Keegan Theatre presents a musical revue of its current and upcoming productions in the middle of Dupont Circle, not far from its regular home at the Church Street Theater. Hear songs from “Rent,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Cabaret,” “National Pastime” and “Spring Awakening” starting at 3 p.m. Free.
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