Posted at 09:45 AM ET, 12/03/2012

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting, latkes in Bethesda and other free events this week


Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro performs as a special guest of Bette Midler at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace January 31, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for AEG Live) (Ethan Miller)
Free next week: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, holiday art markets and world music from Hawaii, Japan, Bali and Mexico. Here’s what’s on tap:

Monday

Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings

With only four strings and a limited range, the ukulele may be a relatively limited instrument. But Hawaiian musician Jake Shimabukuro has stretched those boundaries to by mixing jazz and rock. This hour-long documentary follows the uke virtuoso on tour from Los Angeles to New York and Japan.

Tuesday

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree lighting

For those left unsatisfied after seeing last year’s misshapen National Christmas Tree (which was a replacement for the longtime tree that was felled in a storm), check out the lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree instead. The 70-foot Engelmann spruce from Colorado’s White River National Forest is trimmed with thousands of ornaments made by schoolchildren near the tree’s home.

Wednesday

MICA Art Market

Take a break from the mall and do some holiday shopping in Baltimore, where the Maryland Institute College of Art sells one-of-a-kind works by students and faculty. Items include hand-crafted jewelry, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, T-shirts and even artsy wrapping paper.

Thursday

Mexican Christmas showcase

In much of the English-speaking world, “The Nutcracker” is the quintessential holiday dance performance. For a change of pace, take in a performance of traditional dances by Ballet Folklorico Mexicano accompanied by local Latin band Ritmo y Sabor.

Friday

Gamelan

Hear music from yet another part of the world at this performance of traditional Japanese and Balinese music by the UMD Koto Ensemble and the UMD Gamelan Saraswati.

Saturday

CHAW Holiday Fete

To celebrate the holiday season, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop opens for a day of arts activities. Peruse exhibits, an art sale and a reception.

Sunday

Hanukkah Celebration

Who doesn’t love a latke? The savory fried potato pancake will be served en masse, its smell wafting through the streets of downtown Bethesda, at this family-friendly event. Expect live music and other entertainment, as well as a giant balloon menorah.

By  |  09:45 AM ET, 12/03/2012

Categories:  Events

 
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