Cherry Floats

The blossoms may not be in sync with the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, but what's new? Washington's largest annual parade must go on, and it will -- this Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30. Participants include 52 marching bands and drill teams, Japanese Sakura dancers, kids from the "Cosby Show," mini-cars, breakdancers, princesses from every state in the union, 300 rollerskaters and 300 clowns. Actor Beau Bridges serves as grand marshal, and you can expect other celebrities on the Hands Across America float, which leads the parade down Constitution Avenue from Seventh to 17th streets NW. Though grandstand seats are going quickly at $9.75 a ticket, you still might be able to get yours by calling 296-8675 or by visiting the parade ticket booth at 15th and Constitution Avenue NW. You can always line up for free along the route (best between Seventh and 12th streets). If you'd rather line up in your living room, Channel 5 begins live coverage at 12:30. By Metrorail, exit from the Smithsonian or McPherson Square stations on the Orange/Blue lines. 789-7070.

After the parade, Bridges will lead an awards ceremony for the parade's best floats and bands from 4:30 to 5:30 at the Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue. Free. Leapin' Lippizaners

Nineteen Lippizaner and Andalusian stallions -- some from the renowned Vienna school, and others trained here in the States -- canter into the Patriot Center for two performances of equine ballet. The horses perform Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3. Tickets, $9.50 and $10.50, are available by calling 432-0200. The center is on the George Mason University campus at 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 323-2672. Light Classics

Lasers are being used in more than just Star Trek and medical research these days. They fuse with music this Saturday and Sunday at 8 at the French Embassy, which hosts the Dereggi Interart Ensemble production of Lasers and Music, a concert of contemporary British composers' work performed by clarinetist Ian Mitchell from London and local soprano Marilyn Boyd DeReggi. On the light side, local artists augment the music with a performance of laser art. A laser lecture at 7:30 precedes each performance. Tickets are $10; $8 for students and seniors. The embassy is at 4101 Reservoir Road NW. To reserve a ticket, call 428-3174. The Older Set

Guys like Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall come to town this weekend to prove that they can still whistle a backhand or two. The action is at the 4th Annual E.F. Hutton Champions Tennis Series, a four-day seniors' tournament at the Smith Center on the George Washington University campus. The top seed in the women's division is former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade. The action is Friday at 7; Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 7 both days; Monday at 7. Tickets, $5 to $20, are available from the Smith Center box office at 676-5900.

Others raising a racquet this weekend are politicians and members of the media, who'll be slamming it around at the 1986 Congressional/Celebrity Smash-In Sunday at 1 at Rock Creek Tennis Stadium, 16th and Kennedy streets NW. The participants include Sen. John Warner, Reps. John Conyers and Norman Dicks, CBS' Charlie Rose and ABC's Tom Jarriel. Free. 429-0661. Rest of the Best

IN TOWN There'll be a Rock 'n' Roll Reunion in a concert with Little Anthony, Del Shannon, The Marcels and the Belmonts this Friday at 8 at the Warner Theater, 513 13th NW. Tickets are $15.50 and available by calling 385-0044. For more information, it's 626-1050 . . . Browse through more than 60,000 books at the Brandeis Used Book Sale at International Square, 1850 K Street NW. It begins Sunday from 10 to 6 and continues through next week. Admission from 10 to noon on Sunday is $3; otherwise it's free. 229-9143 . . . The first 12,000 fans through the doors of the Capital Centre to see the Washington Bullets take on the Philadelphia '76ers will receive a free (and very large) Manute Bol jersey this Sunday at 12:30. It's part of fan appreciation day, which coincides with the final regular-season home game. Tickets, $5 to $16, are available by calling 432-0200. IN MARYLAND

Classical guitarists Julian Gray and Ronald Pearl perform the 19th-century music of Fernando Sor and Ferdinando Carulli and 20th-century Spanish and Latin American works Friday at 8 at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, 6601 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda. Tickets at the door are $6; $4 for students and seniors. 565-0458 . . . The Castle Arts Center, 5340 Baltimore Avenue in Hyattsville hosts Artsfest '86, a week-long celebration put on by local visual artists, dancers, musicians and actors. The program, which continues from Friday through next weekend, includes ballet scenes and chamber and Victorian parlor music quartets. Tickets are $8 per performance; $6 for students and seniors. For a complete schedule, call 277-6122. IN VIRGINIA

Veteran folk and bluesman Taj Mahal plays Friday at The Barns of Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road in Vienna. Showtime is 8; tickets are $12 and available by calling 432-0200 . . . Twenty-eight dealers exhibit five centuries of maps and prints at the 4th Annual Washington Print and Map Show Saturday from 10 to 6; Sunday, 11 to 5 at the Rossyln Westpark Hotel, 1900 Fort Myer Drive, Rosslyn. Admission is $2. 527-4814 . . . The Chamber Orchestra of East Berlin plays music by Mozart, Haydn, Britten and Dvorak Saturday at 8 in the Harris Theater, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $14; $12 for students and seniors. 362-2940.