Hop, Skip, Jump

Olympic all-around women's gymnastics gold medalist Carly Patterson, above, and her silver medal-winning teammates star in the 2004 T.J. Maxx Tour of Gymnastics Champions Thursday at 7:30 at MCI Center, 601 F St. NW (Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown). Men's silver medalists Jason Gatson, Brett McClure and Guard Young; Olympians Courtney Kupets, Mary Sanders and Jennifer Parilla; gymnasts Shenea Booth and Arthur Davis; and Cirque du Soleil veterans Russ Stark and Emilie Therrien are also on the bill. Tickets are $21 to $88 from Ticketmaster. To order, call 202-397-7328 (service charges added); for information, call 202-628-3200.

Build It, Paint It, Fix It Up

More than 300 exhibitors will offer their home remodeling and design products and services at the Capital Home Show Friday and Saturday from 11 to 9:30 and Sunday from 11 to 6 at Dulles Expo Center, on Willard Road off Route 28 in Chantilly. Cable TV personalities Kia Steave-Dickerson, Karl Lohnes and Dave Dettmen ("Dr. Gadget") will conduct workshops and offer their advice. Admission is $9, ages 6 to 12 $3, younger free. Call 703-378-0910.

This Week's Birthdays

* Celebrate the Washington National Cathedral's 97th birthday at its Open House Saturday from 10 to 4. Local bluegrass musicians will perform all day, and stone carvers, ironworkers, stained glass artisans and other master craftsmen will demonstrate their trades. Starting at 8:30, the Central Tower will be open to climbers who are able to walk up 333 steps in narrow stone staircases to the highest point in Washington. Admission and most activities are free. The tower climb costs $5. The cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. Call 202-537-3129.

* Rock Creek Park commemorates its 114th birthday Saturday from 10 to 4 with singing parrots, planetarium shows, live reptiles and amphibians from Reptiles Alive!, birds of prey from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and a chance to meet a white timber wolf at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, in the park at 5200 Glover Rd. NW. Admission is free. Call 202-895-6070. See story on Page 38.

Bill Pickett Rides

African American cowboys and cowgirls ride bucking broncos and bulls, rope calves and compete in other traditional events during the 21st anniversary tour of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Saturday at 1:30 and 7:30 at Show Place Arena, 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro. The rodeo is named for a legendary black cowpuncher who worked at ranches in Texas and Oklahoma in the late 1800s and later starred in Wild West shows. Tickets in advance cost $17, seniors and ages 2 through 12 $12; at the gate, they are $20 and $17. To order, call Ticketmaster, 202-397-7328 (service charges added); for information, call 301-952-7999.

Opening on Stage

* Actress-comedian Andrea Martin stars as scheming matrimonial consultant Dolly Levi in Thornton Wilder's romantic farce "The Matchmaker," opening the new season Friday at Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW (Metro: Metro Center). Set in late 1800s New York, the show portrays wealthy miser Horace Vandergelder's search for a bride who is good at housekeeping. The play was the inspiration for the musical "Hello, Dolly!" Performances continue through Oct. 24. Tickets cost $25 to $48 from Ticketmaster. To order, call 202-397-7328 (service charges added); for information, call 202-347-4833.

* James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams star in a new production of "On Golden Pond," opening Tuesday and continuing through Oct. 17 in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (Metro: Foggy Bottom-GWU, with free shuttles). In Ernest Thompson's family drama, a retired college professor and his wife vacationing at their lakeside cottage confront long-simmering conflicts with their estranged daughter. Tickets are $25 to $78. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

Singin' the Blues

Ruby Hayes, the J Street Jumpers, Little Milton, Cephas & Wiggins, the Jewels and other local stars headline the 12th annual free Bluebird Blues Festival Sunday from 1 to 6 outdoors at Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd., Largo. There will also be a "history of the blues" workshop by folklorist Barry Lee Pearson, craft and food vendors, and a children's corner with magicians, clowns and art activities. No tickets are needed. Call 301-322-0853.

Stars Shine With NSO

The National Symphony Orchestra launches its 74th season and celebrates Music Director Leonard Slatkin's 60th birthday with an all-star gala concert Sunday at 6 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Slatkin will share conducting duties with Peter Schickele and Murry Sidlin, and the orchestra will perform with violinists Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori and Elmar Oliveira; flutist Sir James Galway; violist Pinchas Zukerman; and pianists Emanuel Ax, Michel Camilo, Joseph Kalichstein, Katia and Marielle Labeque, Jeffrey Siegel and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Remaining concert tickets cost $65 to $72. (The concert is followed by a dinner and ball. Those tickets start at $1,000.) Call 202-467-4600.

Thai Time Downtown

The Royal Thai Embassy is hosting a Thai Festival Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 8 at Freedom Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW (Metro: Federal Triangle, Metro Center). The history and culture of Thailand will be celebrated with traditional music, dancing, crafts and foods. Admission is free. Call 202-298-4790.

-- Compiled by Barry Barriere

Stephanie Hayes competes in barrel racing at the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Upper Marlboro.