Laura Burhenn returns to D.C. with her band the Mynabirds. (Image courtesy of The Mynabirds)

It may have taken leaving D.C. for Laura Burnhenn to reach her artistic peak, but the former Georgie James member has earned a happy homecoming. Her latest album with the Mynabirds, the band she formed after leaving for Nebraska, features strong political messages in a dazzling pop landscape. It’s a powerhouse you’ll want to see performed live.

Now in its 20th year, the National Capital Barbecue Battle is not to be taken lightly. Past winners have opened their own restaurants or taken their barbecue sauces national. You can try the finger-lickin’ food for yourself and enjoy cooking demonstrations, a talent show and live performances by Soul Asylum, Cowboy Mouth and the Chuck Brown Tribute Band.

And when you need something to wash that barbecue down with, head to the Northern Virginia Summer Brewfest, where microbrews from across the country will have samples to taste. There will be plenty of food, entertainment and arts and crafts vendors.