11 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of June 21-23

The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.

Courtesy  Credit: IMAGE COURTESY OF SAFEWAY BARBECUE BATTLE  Source: Image courtesy of Safeway Barbecue Battle  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This year is the 20th annual Safeway Barbecue Battle.

Meat lovers rejoice: The annual National Capital Barbecue Battle returns to Pennsylvania Avenue for two days of smoky glory.  (National Capital Barbecue Battle photo)

Friday:  Nevermind the boots and ever-present 10-gallon hat. Country music gem Dwight Yoakam has a rock-and-roll soul, making the 9:30 Club an ideal place to relive his 25 years of music-making. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Friday: Nerd superstar Neil Gaiman — he wrote “Good Omens,” “American Gods,” some episodes of “Doctor Who” and the “Sandman” comic book series — has released a new book, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” His first adult novel in years (he’s been busy writing children’s books), it’s about childhood, friendship and supernatural secrets. The dark magic of which we assume he will reveal when he signs your book at the Lisner Auditorium. (Washington Post Express)

Saturday-Sunday:  Washington is a town built upon titles and honorifics, but nobody at the National Capital Barbecue Battle gives a hoot about being the next Mr. Speaker or Madame Secretary when the title of National Pork Barbecue Champion is up for grabs. Yes, that's a real award, as the winner of the annual contest advances to the World Barbecue Championship. Go, and you can sample more than 20 kinds of barbecue, hear music from 30 bands on three stages Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday:  There's nothing like a cold beer on a hot summer day, and the Northern Virginia Summer Brewfest offers the chance to sample something you've never had. At least 60 breweries from around the country will set up shop at Morven Park, including first-timers Three Brothers Brewing (Harrisonburg, Va.) and Somerville (Mass.) Brewing. Music, vendors and food stands run by local restaurants accompany the beers Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you can't find a designated driver, a limited number of tickets including round-trip travel from the Vienna Metro station are available.

(David Y. Lee/Lumen8 Anacostia)

(David Y. Lee/Lumen8 Anacostia)

Saturday: The second annual Lumen8Anacostia festival brings six weeks of creative performances and installations to galleries and arts spaces in the east-of-the-river neighborhood. Stop by the kick-off party Saturday from 1 p.m. until midnight for live music, dance performances, food, drink and brilliant illuminations of sites and buildings around the neighborhood. Programming runs through Aug. 3 (followed by the finale on Aug. 10) with blocks of events focused on food, film, technology and fashion.

Saturday: The Smithsonian's Museum of American History is ramping up, literally, for Innoskate, a day-long event dedicating skateboarding, with panels, screenings, and most important, talks and real skating demos by halfpipe legends such as Tony Hawk. The event  marks Tony Hawk's donation of his first skateboard to the museum's collection.

Saturday:  In France, the Fete de la Musique is a national celebration of the arts, with free concerts in parks and public spaces. The Alliance Francaise brings that freewheeling spirit to Washington, taking over the new Malmaison restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. Blues, Latin, folk, reggae and jazz performers will take the stage throughout the day while DJs keep the party going into the wee hours. The best part? The event is free before 11 p.m., and just $10 at the door after that.

Saturday:  Alexandria Food and Wine Festival's pickings aren't as compelling as say, a diverse fleet of food trucks, but for fans of old standbys La Tasca, Clyde's and Theismann's, it's an excuse to spend an afternoon in the great outdoors. Food samples are $15 for eight taste tickets, and admission to the wine garden (with local wineries, including Notaviva) is $10.

Saturday: We won't condone the pervasive princess-ization of the average pre-teen girl, but we will admit there's something adorable about Heritage Farm Museum of Loudoun County's Princess for a Day Ice Cream Social, a family-centric ice-cream social where your little one can score a tiara and participate in a princess parade.

Sunday: It has to be tough to be a member of the band Arrested Development right now. The Internet has been abuzz for months about the return of “Arrested Development” — the cult TV show, not the thoughtful ’90s hip-hop group that made the crossover-hit call-and-response song “Tennessee.” Actually, the band too is back — it put out a new album, “Standing at the Crossroads,” last year — and is bringing more music with a message to the Kennedy Center at 6 p.m. (Washington Post Express)

Sunday: A few years ago, we wondered whether Wale would be emerge as D.C.'s biggest rap star. It's taken a little longer than expected, but as emo rap has its moment in the sun, there are signs, among them the success of the slow jam "Lotus Flower Bomb," that the hometown rapper may indeed make good; signed to Rick Ross's label, Wale is just days away from the release of his latest album, "The Gifted." Get a listen of some of the new material at his Howard Theatre show on Sunday, and read up on Wale in this Billboard feature story.

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