County fair season: Summertime brings almost all the county-fair kitsch your heart could desire. Start the season in Prince William County with Virginia’s largest fair (Aug. 9-17), where the sprawling list of activities for all ages includes camel and pony rides, a petting zoo and a circus. Be sure to catch the more destructive standards, such as chain-saw art, monster trucks and a demolition derby. For those same nine days, Montgomery County hosts its fair, which features a similar slate of vehicles flinging themselves at each other, but ramps up the action to include ATV and truck drag racing. Don’t miss the Chesapeake DockDogs from Aug. 9-11, which showcases pups competing with each other in big air and speed retrieval competitions. If auto mayhem isn’t your speed, set your sights on the Arlington County fair (Aug. 14-18), a more charming affair that draws massive crowds every year. There will be carnival games and fried food galore. While a full schedule of programming will be announced closer to the day, one of this year’s marquee events will be the addition of goat yoga. Through Aug. 18. Prices vary by fair.
Loudoun United FC inaugural home game at Segra Field: Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with Loudoun United FC. The team was founded just over a year ago and played its first competitive match in March. Loudoun United is D.C. United’s affiliate in the United Soccer League, a professional league one rung below Major League Soccer. Loudoun’s roster is made up of a mix of D.C. United draft picks and academy players and USL veterans. Think of them as United’s minor league team: Defender Donovan Pines and forward Griffin Yow are now both with the senior side after beginning the season with Loudoun. For the first half of its inaugural season, Loudoun United FC has played far from its namesake suburb, drawing between 550 and 650 supporters per match to the spacious Audi Field. That all changes this weekend, when Segra Field opens inside Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park, a multisport facility in Leesburg. 7:30 p.m. $15-$100.
‘Mission Impossible: Party Protocol’ at the International Spy Museum: If you haven’t checked out the International Spy Museum’s new state-of-the-art home in L’Enfant Plaza, see it after-hours at a Brightest Young Things party, complete with an open bar featuring cocktails from mixologists at spots such as Columbia Room and Hank’s Cocktail Bar. Besides access to the exhibits, expect plenty of activities, including a pop-up casino, a handwriting analysis station and an immersive scavenger hunt. Real-life spies such as Jonna Mendez, a former chief of disguise at the CIA, will also give TED-style talks. 8:30 p.m. to midnight. $65-$80.
Bowie Ball at U Street Music Hall: David Bowie’s five-decade career was one of simultaneous reinvention and exploration. Over the course of his albums, he attracted wide varieties of fans: the glam “Ziggy Stardust” years, the grit of the Berlin Trilogy, the plastic soul of “Young Americans,” the funky disco of the early ’80s. Each of those eras, and more important, Bowie himself, are celebrated at the annual Bowie Ball, where fans who discovered the Thin White Duke through “Let’s Dance” groove under the disco ball alongside would-be Spiders from Mars. It’s an all-night affair that welcomes costumes, glitter, glam and drag. In addition to Bowie and Bowie-adjacent songs, there’s a performance by a Bowie impersonator and a costume contest with prizes. David Bowie wouldn’t show up looking like he just rolled out of bed, and you shouldn’t either. 9 p.m. $8-$10.
‘Cléo from 5 to 7’ at Suns Cinema: The world lost Agnès Varda, one of the most brilliant visionaries of the vaunted French New Wave cinematic movement, in March. The celebrated director will get a tribute from the Mount Pleasant theater with a screening of one of her defining films, “Cléo from 5 to 7.” The 1962 movie chronicles a pop star who is waiting on the results of a medical test and must confront her own mortality, but digs even deeper into a tale of femininity in French culture. 8 p.m. $10.
Saturday, Aug. 10
Washington Spirit vs. Chicago Red Stars at Maryland SoccerPlex: After the Women’s World Cup smashed viewership records and the team was feted at a ticker-tape parade in New York City’s Canyon of Heroes, soccer observers began to wonder what the U.S. victory would mean for the future of the National Women’s Soccer League. If you were at the Washington Spirit’s match against the Houston Dash on July 20, seeing young girls and boys alike wearing Mallory Pugh’s and Alex Morgan’s jerseys or chasing balls around the gently sloping grassy bank that serves as general admission seating behind one goal, you’d think the future was bright. The Spirit have played at Maureen Hendricks Field, the centerpiece of a sprawling multisport complex in Boyds, since 2013. The field has the intimacy of a college stadium, with metal bleachers so close to the touchlines that fans can hear players shouting directions at one another other. 7 p.m. $20-$90.
‘My Iran: Six Women Photographers’ at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Iranian photographer Newsha Tavakolian has recently been barred by Iranian authorities from working in her home country — along with her husband, New York Times correspondent Thomas Erdbrink — according to the Times. Tavakolian, an acclaimed artist who began as a photojournalist and whose work is exhibited in several major museum collections, is one of six artists showcased in a new group show at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery, along with Gohar Dashti, Shadi Ghadirian, Hengameh Golestan, Malekeh Nayiny and Mitra Tabrizian. (You may remember Tavakolian’s work from the 2016 show “She Who Tells a Story” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. That show also featured images by Dashti and Ghadirian.) From the political to the personal, the artists in “My Iran” look at the struggles of life inside their home country and in the Iranian diaspora. Through Feb. 9, 2020. Free.
Veronneau at Lubber Run Amphitheater: Spending a summer evening under the stars at a free performance at Lubber Run’s low-key amphitheater is always a good time. One of the most anticipated artists in the Arlington park’s free summer concert series, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is bossa nova act Veronneau. The D.C.-based group’s music is transporting, blending genres from French chanson to samba with vocalist Lynn Veronneau switching effortlessly between English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. 8 p.m. Free.
The Veil Pop-Up at Dock 5: Few breweries on the East Coast have as much buzz as Richmond’s the Veil, which has been keeping interest high with fruited sours, smooth tropical IPAs and heavyweight stouts that sound more like desserts than beers. The Veil took over Union Market’s Dock 5 for a successful pop-up taproom back in March, and returns with 20 beers to try, as well as cider from Richmond neighbors Blue Bee. As before, some beers won’t be tapped until others have kicked, so it behooves you to hang out and take your time. Prices haven’t been announced, but in March, every beer was $6 for a six-ounce pour and $9 for 12 ounces. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free admission.
Claw and Trotter Anniversary Party at Little Miss Whiskey’s: Little Miss Whiskey’s marks a decade on H Street NE by doing what it does best: Throwing an all-you-can-eat-and-drink party. Whiskey’s has become famous for its pig roasts and crawfish boils, which are paired with bottomless local beers. But when you’re celebrating a decade, you amp it up. The menu features steamed blue crabs, a whole roasted pig and all the fixings, including sweet corn and pimento mac and cheese. Among the four free-flowing DC Brau beers on tap: Cha Cha Cha, a pale weizenbock that’s specially brewed just for this anniversary. 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. $68.
David Schulman and Sarah Marie Hughes at ‘Mirror Mirror’: As part of Old Town Alexandria’s summer effort to bring visitors to the scenic waterfront, the city has plopped down a pop-up art installation. “Mirror Mirror” is an eight-foot-tall semicircle that is marked by lush rainbow hues — it’s Instagram-ready — and is responsive to sounds. That last feature inspired the city to host various local musicians to perform at the exhibit. The constant is the violinist David Schulman, and joining him Saturday is the saxophonist Sarah Marie Hughes. 9 to 10 p.m. Free.
Sunday, Aug. 11
Seventh anniversary party at 3 Stars Brewing Company: The team at the District’s second-oldest production brewery knows how to brew hazy IPAs and bright, tart sour ales. They also know how to party. 3 Stars’ seventh anniversary bash, which fills the brewery’s taproom, brewhouse and expanded space next door, includes the unveiling of new collaborations with Virginia’s Ocelot and Maryland’s Burnish and RAR, and access to a wide variety of easy-drinking IPAs, barrel-aged stouts, and tropical fruited sours. DJs and live bands provide the entertainment, and food trucks are on hand if hunger strikes. All tickets include a souvenir glass and one beer; VIP tickets add exclusive samplings. 1 to 6 p.m. $15-$50.
The Social Power of Music at various Mount Pleasant locations: The government shutdown threw a wrench in many of the Smithsonian’s plans for the annual Folklife Festival and their big push for this year “The Social Power of Music.” The museum is making up for it piece-by-piece with this all-day tribute to local music nestled around the vibrant Mount Pleasant neighborhood. The day centers on Lost Origins Gallery, which is the starting point of a walking tour held throughout the day led by local experts. The art gallery will play host to local performer Janel Leppin at 1 p.m., but the bulk of the programming will be outdoors at Lamont Park where Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile will emcee the three-band bill of local rockers Bacchae, Park Snakes and the OSYX. Noon to 10 p.m. Free.
The Front Page closing party: The Front Page has been a fixture in Dupont Circle since 1987. Named for the vintage newspapers that adorn the walls, the bar is most famous for its Thursday night happy hour, where free tacos and cheap Mexican beers made it a staple for generations of interns, and lively weekend brunches with bottomless buffets and mimosas. But the new landlord is closing the building for extensive renovations, and when it reopens, the Front Page and neighbor Buffalo Billiards will be gone. To celebrate 32 years in business, the Front Page welcomes back a team of its best-known bartenders — some are “flying halfway across the country just to come back” says partner Eric Heidenberger — for a night of speeches, toasts and music by longtime resident DJ Smoky. 6 to 9 p.m. Free.
Chris Stapleton at Merriweather Post Pavilion: Nashville is a songwriter’s town — just ask Chris Stapleton. The Kentucky-born talent spent more than a decade in Music City studios, penning songs for the likes of stars Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, George Strait and Luke Bryan, before breaking through as a solo artist with 2015’s “Traveller.” That album — and 2017’s double-volumed “From a Room” — established him at the head of the class of country’s new classicist stars, thanks to his songwriting and his remarkable Southern soul howl. Catch Stapleton with two similarly minded acts — Margo Price and the Marcus King Band — as his All-American Road Show Tour rolls on. 7 p.m. $170.
D.C. VegFest at Nationals Park: Learn how to make vegan Bolognese and snack on treats such as chickpea puffs at D.C. VegFest, touted as the “East Coast’s largest vegan celebration.” Check it out this year at Nationals Park, with plant-based offerings to sample and to buy from more than 100 vendors. Entertainment includes chef demos, music, talks by dietitians and doctors, plus a little vegan humor from comedian Sean Savoy. All are welcome, including meat eaters, kids and dogs. When the festival opens at 11 a.m., the first 1,000 visitors will receive VegFest tote bags filled with samples. 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free.
— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Adele Chapin, Ann Hornaday, Chris Kelly and Michael O’Sullivan