Downhill Delights

Browse through exhibits by more than 100 ski resorts, manufacturers and retailers; see Warren Miller's new ski and snowboarding film "Fifty"; and experience snowboarding and skiing in a "virtual reality ski theater" during the National Ski & Snowboard Expo, Friday from 4 to 9, Saturday from 10 to 9 and Sunday from noon to 6 at Ballston Common Mall, Wilson Boulevard and Glebe Road in Arlington (Metro: Ballston). Admission is free; tickets to the movie are $10 and include a Ski Liberty/Ski Roundtop lift pass (with some restrictions); the ski and snowboard simulators are free. Call 703/644-9899.

Nautical & Nice

The Navy Museum holds its Seafaring Celebration, with storytelling, music, puppet-making and other activities, Saturday from 11 to 4 in the museum at the Washington Navy Yard, 901 M St. SE. Free. Call 202/433-6897.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day will be observed Thursday at 10:30 at Arlington National Cemetery (Metro: Arlington Cemetery) with a musical salute by the U.S. Army Band followed at 11 by the presidential wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and a memorial service at the amphitheater. Free buses will operate between the visitors center and the ceremonies from 8:30 to 1. Call 202/273-5730 or 703/607-8052.

At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, on the Mall near Constitution Avenue and 22nd Street NW, a musical prelude begins Thursday at 12:30 with a concert by Irish tenor John McDermott, followed by speakers, including Miss America 2000, Heather Renee French, a daughter of a disabled veteran. Call 202/393-0090.

Mellon's Legacy

"An Enduring Legacy: Masterpieces From the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon," an exhibition of about 100 works donated by collector Paul Mellon, who died last February, opens Sunday at the National Gallery of Art's East Building and runs through Feb. 27. The collection includes

French, American and British paintings, sculpture, drawings, watercolors and prints, and Edgar Degas's "Little Dancer Fourteen Years Old." The East Building is at Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW (Metro: Archives/Navy Memorial, Judiciary Square). Admission is free. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 5, Sunday from 11 to 6. Call 202/737-4215 (TDD: 202/842-6176).

`Side Man'

Andrew McCarthy stars in the Kennedy Center's presentation of the 1999 Tony award-winning play "Side Man," a story of one man's obsession with jazz and its effects on his family, Friday at 7:30, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 and 7:30 and Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 in the Eisenhower Theater, with more performances through Nov. 28. Tickets are $20 to $65. Call 202/467-4600.

Emancipation Day

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission marks the 135th anniversary of Maryland's abolishment of slavery with cabin tours, gospel choruses, Civil War reenactors and demonstrations of open-hearth cooking, Sunday from 2 to 5 at the Oakley Cabin museum and park, on Brookeville Road in Brookeville, about a mile west of Georgia Avenue. Parking is available at the Longwood Recreation Center, on Georgia Avenue just north of Route 108 in Olney. A shuttle will take visitors to the cabin. Admission is free. Call 301/563-3400.

Race Day at Montpelier

Top horses and riders will compete in six races Saturday at the 65th running of the Montpelier Hunt Races at Montpelier, the home of President James Madison in Orange, Va. Gates open at 9:30, Jack Russell terrier races start at 10:30, and horse races start at 1. Admission is $10 in advance (through Friday), $15 at the gate (children 11 and younger free). Parking is $5 if purchased by Friday, $10 on race day. Montpelier is on Route 20 four miles south of Orange. For tickets or information, call 540/672-0014.

Ho-Hos Alert

Weekend's annual calendar of holiday activities appears Dec. 3. If you would like us to include your holiday concert, parade or other event, send your notice by Nov. 19 to Ho-Hos, Weekend, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071. Please include a description of the event, dates, times, an exact address, a telephone number (with area code) we can print and admission fees. Craft shows and religious services will not be included.

OUR PICKS

Film

Director Michael Mann pulls out all the "Miami Vice"-atmospheric stops in "The Insider," an exciting fictional version of the CBS in-house brouhaha, in which the network's lawyers ordered Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) and his "60 Minutes" producer (Al Pacino) to drop a controversial interview with an anti-tobacco company whistleblower -- played by Russell Crowe. See review on Page 47.

-- Desson Howe

Nightlife

Dave Chappelle has gone from working at the F.A.O. Schwarz in Georgetown to becoming one of the finest stand-up comics in the country. Chappelle will dissect modern pop culture Friday through Sunday at the Improv (202/ 296-7008).

-- Eric Brace

Exhibition

It's the last show of faces at the National Portrait Gallery (202/357-2700) before the museum shuts down in January for three years of renovation: Seventy black-and-white photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson of some of this century's greatest artists, writers, politicians and thinkers.

-- Michael O'Sullivan

REST OF THE BEST

Poetry Showcase

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa and performance poet Tracie Morris read from their works, Monday at 8 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE (Metro: Capitol South). Tickets are $10, with discounts for seniors and students. Call 202/544-7077.

Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, Rita Dove, Louise Gluck, W.S. Merwin and other poets will read from their works, Wednesday at 8 in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE (Metro: Capitol South). Tickets are not required and seating is on a first-come basis. Doors open at 7:30. Call 202/707-5394.

Poet Campbell McGrath, winner of a 1999 MacArthur Foundation award, will read from his works, including his newest collection, "Road Atlas: Prose and Other Poems," Thursday at 7 at the Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I St. NW (Metro: Farragut West). Admission is free and no reservations are required. Doors open at 6:30. Call 202/331-7282, Ext. 25.

Peirce Mill Open House

Tour a historic mill, see demonstrations of blacksmithing, woodworking and mill restoration and enjoy dulcimer, fiddle and flute music during the Peirce Mill Open House, Saturday from noon to 4 at the mill on Tilden Street at Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. Admission is free. Call 202/426-6829 or 202/426-6908.

Jewish Book Festival

More than 1,200 book titles, plus CDs, books on tape and children's videos are on sale at the 30th annual Jewish Book Festival, Sunday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Nov. 12 and Nov. 14 from 9:30 to 4 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. Admission is free. The festival also features talks by authors (call for schedule). Call 301/230-3770 (TDD: 301/881-0012).

Gizmo Guys Return

See the comic juggling of the Gizmo Guys when the duo performs Saturday at 11 and 1:30 at the Alden Theater in the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. Tickets are $7 ($5 for McLean residents) from Ticketmaster, 202/432-7328 (service charges); for information, call 703/790-9223.