Bust out of the Beltway this weekend with a jaunt to the "The Fifth Annual Lotus Blossom Festival" in Lilypons, Maryland. The two-day fest takes place at the Lilypons Water Gardens where you can view and sniff pools of colorful and fragrant lotus blossoms; on dry land you can browse through 50 or so arts and crafts booths and see cabaret-type entertainment on an outdoor stage.
Another weekend-long celebration takes place outdoors across from Howard University. Reggae and African music, and a citywide breakdance competition highlight "Nguzo Saba '85," which also features crafts and exotic food booths.
The following events are free unless otherwise noted.
ART AND CRAFT SHOW -- Friday, 10 to 7; Saturday, 10 to 6, University Mall Shopping Center, Ox Road (Rte. 123) and Braddock Road (Rte. 620), Fairfax, "George Mason Art and Craft Show." Fly-tying demonstrations, needlepoint, woven rugs, ceramics, quilts and more for sale. 425-9270.
OLD TOWN TOUR -- Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m., 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2, Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King St., Alexandria. Take a special summer tour retracing the steps of George Washington and Robert E. Lee with a colonial-attired guide thorough the cobblestone streets of Old Town Alexandria; lasts about one hour. Adults $2; ages seven to 15, $1. 548-0100.
GIGANTIC FLEA MARKET -- Saturday, 9 to 2, Parking Lot across from City Hall, 31 South Summit Ave., Gaithersburg (take I-270 north, exit at Shady Grove Road, make right at fifth light onto Frederick Avenue; at third light turn right onto Summit). More than 80 vendors exhibit their goods, including antiques, clothes, toys, books, jewelry and more. 840-1862.
RASPBERRY WINE FESTIVAL -- Saturday, 10 to 6; Sunday, noon to 6, Berrywine Plantations, Gilsans Mill Road, north of New Market, Md. (55 miles north of Washington; take I-270 north exiting left on Rte. 109, make another left onto Rte. 355 en route to Rte. 75 north toward New Market; go 13 miles before making a right on Gilsans Mill Road just before concrete bridge; 3.7 miles to winery on right), "Razz Jazz Rasberry Wine Festival." Live entertainment and Cajun food; tours of winery $2. Admission to festival free, but parking is $2 per car. 301/662-8687.
LOTUS BLOSSOM FESTIVAL -- Saturday and Sunday, 11 to 6, Lilypons Water Garden, 6800 Lilypons Rd., between Buckeystown Pike and Park Mills Road, eight miles south of Frederick (take I-270 north exiting at Urbana- Buckeystown, turn right on Rte. 80 west to left on Park Mill Road; travel south three miles, making a right onto Lilypons Road), "Annual Lotus Festival." More than 50 craftsmen display their wares and there'll be plenty of food booths and entertainment, including music, dance and staged scenes from "The King and I," "Sweeney Todd" and "Godspell." $2 charge for parking. For more information, call 428-0686.
NGUZO SABA FESTIVAL -- Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m., Banneker Field, intersection of Georgia Avenue and Euclid Street NW (across from Howard University), "Fourth Annual Nguzo Festival." Continuous reggae, African rhythm and blues, arts and crafts, exotic foods, pony rides, Ferris wheel. Saturday, 10, a parade kicks off the festival at Eighth and Q Street NW; also on Saturday, 3:30, breakdance competition. 232-2997.
BUDDHIST STREET DANCING -- Saturday, 7:30 p.m., in front of the Ekoji Temple, 8134 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, "Fourth Annual Bon Dance." 50 dancers perform traditional Japanese folkdances. 569-2311.
HIGH ROLLERS -- Sunday, 1 to 5, Clara Barton National Historic Site adjacent to Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo. "The Wheelmen" dress in traditional Gay Nineties garb to exhibit bicycles popular during that era, including the highwhel. 492-6245.
TEA DANCE -- Sunday, 2:30 to 4:30, Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston, "An Old-Fashioned Tea Dance." Put on your dancing shoes for an afternoon of international and American dance styles and rhythms; brief introductory instruction for all ages and levels. $2 admission. 467-4500.
VEGETARIAN PICNIC -- Sunday, 4, Grove 10, Rock Creek Park, "Potluck." Sponsored by the Vegetarian Society of D.C.; bring a vegetarian dish. 949-VEGY.
STORYTELLING FESTIVAL -- Sunday, 7, Courthouse, corner of Market and King streets, Leesburg (take Rte. 7 west into Leesburg downtown area where it turns into Market Street, courthouse is on the right, 2 miles from city limits), "An Evening of Master Storytellers." Hear two expert storytellers, Michael Parent and Doug Elliot, spin a few yarns. $2 per person. 703/777-0574.