8 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of Sept. 27-29

September 26, 2013

Note: This post has been updated to reflect the cancellation of the Rock the Bells festival this weekend.

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

Biergarten Haus
Biergarten Haus's Oktoberfest continues this weekend; it's one of our picks for the area's top Oktoberfests. (Photo by Evy Mages for The Washington Post)

Friday-Saturday: The highlight of Wine Riot, a wine-tasting event aimed at the millennial oenophile, is the opportunity it offers to sip wines from around the world. South Africa's burgeoning wine industry has held court over a table at Wine Riot, as have French, Californian and Italian wineries. This time, expect sparkling wines, wine cocktails, and more for those who like more options than simply "red" or "white."  The two-day event  is at the Sphinx Club; get tickets ($60) here.

Saturday-Sunday: Washington City Paper's long-running indie craft fair Crafty Bastards draws thousands of cool kids on the hunt for locally made T-shirts, knit beanies and strange stuffed animals -- not to mention toys and baby gear. This year, it won't feel like such a mad dash for the size-small tees: In its new perch at Union Market, Crafty Bastards is growing into a two-day affair. Expect the same level of whimsy, with plenty of food-and-drink options from the market's vendors. 

Saturday-Sunday: Hip-hop heads young and old will find something to move to at the Rock the Bells festival when it returns to D.C. after a four-year hiatus. Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Pusha T, A$AP Rocky, Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, the Creator are among the rising stars sharing the bill with luminaries who paved the way for them, including KRS-One, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane. But the most parsed featured performers of the two-day bill: Virtual projections of late Wu-Tang Clan member  Ol' Dirty Bastard and NWA's Eazy-E, who will appear during sets by Wu-Tang Clan and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, respectively. Tickets remain for the festival, set for the RFK Stadium grounds. Note: Rock the Bells has been canceled. Learn more here.

Saturday: Based on the Parisian Nuit Blanche festival, Art All Night brings together performers, musicians, poets, fashion designers and visual artists for the third year. Artsy night owls can stroll among 12 different venues in Shaw, with most of the action taking place in the Wonder Bread Factory, a revitalized Hostess warehouse that has begun a second life as an occasional space for art and events. Expect street and graffiti artists, DJ sets, burlesque, and fashionistas sipping cocktails amid roaming photographers, not quite all night, but at least till last call.

Saturday-Sunday: Oktoberfest celebrations are in full swing across the area. One of the bigger celebrations is Frederick's Oktoberfest, which brings a festival atmosphere to the Frederick Fairgrounds for two days.  Taps pour beers from Frederick breweries Barley and Hops, Flying Dog and Brewer's Alley, as well as from German brewers. Polka bands and traditional German dance troupes perform both days, indoors and out. Each day features yodeling, polka and "biggest beer belly" contests. Children can decorate pumpkins, hop on a moon bounce, make scarecrows and watch performers. Proceeds benefit Frederick County charities through local Rotary clubs. Read: Our picks for the area's best Oktoberfest celebrations.

Saturday:  If you're not a fan of malty Oktoberfest lagers, you might enjoy Hoppy Oktoberfest, Mad Fox Brewing Company's spin on the celebration: It's offering dozens of hoppy IPAs from regional breweries on tap, plus its new Hitzig Frau Oktoberfest beer at the outdoor event. The event also includes a performance by the Justin Trawick Group and outdoor grilling.

Saturday: The Barracks Row Fall Festival, Capitol Hill's quaint little festival is a highlight of the season: Attractions on Eighth Street SE include a petting zoo featuring llamas, goats and hedgehogs; sidewalk cafes and a beer garden; trapeze school performers swinging overhead; live music from local bands; the annual Top Chef in the US Military competition. It also plays host to the D.C. State Fair, which celebrates the funky District agricultural scene with contests for everything from best pie to funkiest-looking vegetable.

Saturday: Eating vegan is more popular than ever in Washington, where a number of restaurants (and food trucks) are now going out of their way to accommodate the ethical (or healthful) eater. DC VegFest, hosted by the Vegetarian Society of D.C. and Compassion Over Killing, showcases that veg-friendly side of the city's dining scene, and also gives fest-goers a chance to snack on samples from national brands cooking up vegan "meats" and "cheese." Stop at booths from some of our favorite vegan joints, including Loving Hut, the Woodlands Vegan Bistro truck and Pennsylvania's Vegan Treats, who serve up gorgeous dairy-free cakes and tarts.  The festival, at Yards Park, kicks off at 11 a.m.

Saturday-Sept. 28, 2014: James McNeill Whistler had quite the travelogue from the summer of 1858, when he traveled the French countryside on his way to see Rembrandt's "The Night Watch." He didn't make it to Amsterdam, but he ended the trip with a collection of etchings and watercolors inspired by his travels that are showcased in "Off the Beaten Path: Early Works by James McNeill Whistler," opening at the Freer Gallery of Art.

 

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Fritz Hahn · September 26, 2013