Fair Opens in Frederick

The 143rd Great Frederick Fair kicks off Friday from 5 to 10 and continues Saturday through Sept. 24 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Frederick Fairground, 797 E. Patrick St. In addition to agricultural exhibits, children's activities, midway games and rides, tractor pulls and demolition derbies, the fair hosts ticketed evening concerts by Lonestar, Saturday; Charlie Daniels and Jamie O'Neal, Sunday; Tracy Lawrence and Ronnie Milsap, Thursday; Bill Engvall, Sept. 23; and Tracy Byrd and Joe Nichols, Sept. 24. Fair admission is $5, ages younger than 10 free. Most concert tickets are an additional $25 to $35. Parking is $5. Call 301-663-5895 or visit www.thegreatfrederickfair.com.

Diplomatic Delights

Visit the elegant official residences of the ambassadors of Austria, Iceland, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Cyprus, as well as several renovated private homes, Sunday from noon to 5 during the 21st annual Kalorama House and Embassy Tour in Washington's Kalorama neighborhood. Tickets cost $22 through noon Saturday, $25 on Sunday. Pick them up at Woodrow Wilson House, the tour sponsor, at 2340 S St. NW. Call 202-387-4062, Ext. 18.

Build It Yourself

Help build a log cabin, lay brick, construct a cardboard city and take a seat aboard heavy machinery Saturday from 10 to 4:30 at the annual Festival of the Building Arts at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW (Metro: Judiciary Square). About 25 bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and other master craftspeople will demonstrate their skills and share their secrets. Admission is free. Call 202-272-2448 or visit www.nbm.org.

A Congress of

Jazz Guitars

Herbie Hancock and Billy Dee Williams are the hosts of the 18th annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, named for the late great pianist and composer, Sunday and Monday at two Washington venues. On Sunday at 1, 10 guitarists will compete in the semifinal rounds at Baird Auditorium in the National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW (Metro: Federal Triangle). Free tickets will be released at the door 90 minutes before the concert. For information, call 202-357-3030. Three finalists will play on Monday at 7:30 in the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater (Metro: Foggy Bottom, with free shuttles). After selecting the winner, the judges, including Hancock, Thelonious Monk Jr., Terence Blanchard, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry and others, will perform, and guitarist George Benson will be honored in an awards ceremony. Tickets Monday cost $30 to $125. To order, call 202-467-4600. For information, call 202-364-7272.

Learn to plaster a wall during the Festival of the Buildings Arts Saturday at the National Building Museum.