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The best things to do in the D.C. area the week of May 5-11

Singer Ari Lennox, shown performing at Coachella last month, is one of the headliners of the Broccoli City Festival, which takes over the Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium on May 7 and 8. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
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Thursday, May 5

Live at the Library at the Library of Congress: “Dance parties” and “craft beer bar” aren’t phrases usually associated with the stately Library of Congress, but that could change with “Live at the Library,” the institution’s first foray into after-hours events. The debut includes a chance to tour the new photography exhibit “Not an Ostrich” as well as “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words,” which closes at the end of the month. In the Great Hall, the soundtrack is composed of music included in the National Recording Registry, which means it could be great tunes from Duke Ellington or the Wu-Tang Clan, or “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Because it’s Cinco de Mayo, “Selena,” a movie on the library’s National Film Registry, screens in the Coolidge Auditorium. Local craft beers, white and sparkling wine, and snacks such as sandwiches and charcuterie are available for purchase. The library requires timed tickets for entry, and that goes for Live at the Library, too: Guests must reserve a time slot in advance but can then stay as long as they want. (A new time slot opens every 15 minutes, and at press time, there were between 17 and 116 spaces available in the individual time slots after 5 p.m.) 5 to 8 p.m. Free; Reservations required.

National Harbor’s Movies on the Potomac: Warm summer evenings turn parks and squares into open-air cinemas. While the majority of weekly series get going in June and July, a few are underway in May, and be honest — you’d much rather spread out a blanket under the stars when there’s a chance of a chill than on a muggy August evening. National Harbor boasts one of the most attractive settings for outdoor films, with the Capital Wheel and the Potomac River serving as a backdrop for the 18-by-32-foot digital LED screen. There are two movie nights per week: Thursdays bring “date night movies” such as “Best in Show” (May 5) and “Must Love Dogs” (May 26), while Sundays are for family films, with “Babe” (May 8) and “The Lion King” (May 29) among the upcoming highlights. The selections follow a monthly theme: After May’s animal-focused movies, June highlights travel, and July features food. Through Sept. 29. Sundays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 7 p.m. nationalharbor.com. Free.

‘On Your Feet! La Historia de Emilio y Gloria Estefan ¡En Español!’ at Gala Hispanic Theatre: Cuban American pop power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan are slated to be in the sold-out house on May 7 at Gala Hispanic Theatre to see the world-premiere Spanish version of this hit toe-tapping jukebox musical about their lives. The musical’s run at the Columbia Heights theater is directed by Luis Salgado, featuring a cast of performers from around the world, and will include English surtitles and such songs as “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Conga” and, of course, “Get on Your Feet.” Through June 5. $35-$65.

Freedom Concert and Rededication of the Netherlands Carillon: May 5 is a day of celebration in the Netherlands, but it obviously has nothing to do with tequila shots: May 5 is Liberation Day, the 77th anniversary of the end of German occupation during World War II. The Netherlands Carillon next to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial was a gift from the Dutch people to America for help during and after the war. Over the last four years, the carillon has been refurbished, with 50 bells retuned and three new bells added. A special rededication ceremony and Freedom Concert features music played on the carillon, accompanied by Washington Symphonic Brass. Blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. 10 a.m. to noon. Free.

Friday, May 6

Flower Mart at Washington National Cathedral: The first Flower Mart at Washington National Cathedral was held on the Pilgrim Steps in May 1939. After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the two-day festival is back, with vendors selling plants, cut flowers, plant-related accessories and other merchandise. For those who’d rather look at plants than grow them, there’s the International Floral Display, with designs sponsored by embassies from around the world. Thirteen participated in 2019; Ukraine is among the entrants this year. Flower Mart’s appeal extends beyond gardeners, though: There’s the 1890s carousel, with music from a brass-piped Wurlitzer; live music and dance performances; carnival games; food vendors; white elephant and book tents; and a concert performed on the cathedral’s 53-bell carillon. May 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. allhallowsguild.org. Free; extra charges for carousel and other rides.

‘Yemandja’ at the Kennedy Center: Eclectic singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo was born in 1960 on the cusp of a new era: Her homeland, now called Benin, was just two weeks away from becoming independent from France. But her ancestral village, Ouidah, remained haunted by its past. It was one of the most notorious centers for transport of enslaved people to the Americas. That history is the inspiration for “Yemandja,” a musical theater piece conceived by Kidjo; Jean Hébrail, her husband; and Naïma Hebrail Kidjo, their daughter. Angélique Kidjo leads a cast of 10 in the central role of a Yoruban orisha (or spirit). May 6-7 at 8 p.m. $25-$59.

‘Positive Fury’ opening exhibition at Homme Gallery: Charlie Visconage is a self-taught pop artist based in D.C. He’ll be displaying his latest show at the boutique Homme DC, featuring playful, trippy portraits of faces. Visconage worked with Baltimore musician Shining Seconds to create a soundtrack that will play as you immerse yourself in the psychedelic fun house. If you can’t make it to the opening, you’ll have to book an appointment through May 22 to view the exhibit, or wait until May 14 when both artists will chat and host a listening session. 7 to 9 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at Hook Hall: If you didn’t get enough Cinco de Mayo on Thursday, Hook Hall is getting into the spirit with lucha libre wrestling bouts, mariachis, margaritas, tacos and beer. Admission includes your own lucha libre mask; VIP tickets add early entry and ringside seats. May 6 at 7 p.m. May 7 at 2 and 7 p.m. $24.99-$39.99.

Saturday, May 7

Some previously scheduled events have been canceled or postponed because of the weather forecast. Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon has been canceled. The Running of the Chihuahuas at the Wharf has been postponed to May 15. Please check event websites before attending.

Around the World Embassy Tour: The annual Around the World Embassy Tour is at or near the top of any list of “only in Washington” events. Embassies from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America open their doors to the public to share their cultures. The experience at each embassy is different, but dance and music performances, tastes of traditional dishes, and cultural exchanges such as fashion shows and art exhibitions are common. After all, these countries are trying to make their best impression: If you have a good time tasting rum and learning bachata steps at the Embassy of the Dominican Republic, you might think about heading to the Caribbean island when planning your next vacation. The pandemic has lowered the number of participants — as of Wednesday, 31 embassies had signed on — but organizers still expect crowds, and lines, at the most popular destinations. Important tips: Make sure adults have a photo ID, just in case. When heading for a particular embassy, note what other embassies are nearby, in case lines are too long and you need a backup plan. Finally, bring cash. Some embassies charge for food and drinks, while others have markets with goods from their country. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though some embassy hours may vary. Free.

Broccoli City Festival and Black Change Weekend: Over the last decade, the homegrown Broccoli City Festival has showcased some of the biggest names in music — think Cardi B, Migos, Lil Wayne and Future — while also keeping a focus on health and mindful living. This year’s two-day event, back on the grounds of RFK Stadium after a brief visit to FedEx Field in 2019, has Summer Walker, Ari Lennox and 21 Savage atop the bill, but it’s about more than entertainment. The accompanying BroccoliCon features programs and panel discussions covering financial literacy and how to launch a small business, while the BC Fit Fest brings a 5K run, yoga sessions and other wellness activities to Anacostia Park before the festival begins. BroccoliCon: May 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free-$200. broccolicon.com. Festival: May 7-8 at 1 p.m. bcfestival.com. $109.50-$499.50.

D.C. Funk Parade: The D.C. Funk Parade started as an anything-goes parade and celebration of U Street, with marching bands and conga lines and costumed dancers banging pots and pans. Before and after the parade, there were performances on outdoor stages and late-night parties at neighborhood clubs. This year, though, the parade itself is on ice. (Organizers the MusicianShip have already announced that the event is changing its name to the D.C. Funk Festival in 2023.) The Day Festival on May 7 features 17 artists, topped by go-go bounce beat trailblazers Critical Condition Band (CCB) and the Naptown Brass Band. The focus is on three “activation areas” with music and dancing along the heart of U Street: the main stage at the African American Civil War Memorial at Vermont and U, an “R&B/Soul Corner” at Lee’s Flower Shop at 11th and U, and a Community Culture Center at the Reeves Center at 14th and U. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Kentucky Derby parties: The reason people care about the Kentucky Derby isn’t really the race — the “fastest two minutes in sports” takes up just a small fraction of the average Derby viewing party. It’s the mint juleps, the outfits and cheering for a long shot that make watching the Derby so much fun. Here’s what’s going on around D.C. Reminder: Post time is 6:57 p.m., so be in place well before then. Reservations are full for Jack Rose’s party in its downstairs saloon, though some tables will be available for walk-ins. Your best bet is the rooftop bar, which opens at 3 p.m. with tables and barstools on a first-come, first-served basis. The race will be on six TVs with sound, accompanied by a menu of bourbon cocktails. The Red Derby’s annual Best Big Hat Boozy Happy Hour kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with a special cocktail menu and the race on projection screens on two levels. Last Call opens at noon with $9 juleps all day, and prizes for the best Derby hat and best bow tie.

Looking for something to do before the race? Michele’s at the Eaton Hotel offers a $65 prix fixe three-course Derby Day Brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., featuring Kentucky hot browns, fried chicken and poached eggs with grilled oysters, among other dishes. McClellan’s Retreat opens at 3 p.m. not for the real Derby but for the Kentucky Turtle Derby, an Old Forester-sponsored gimmick with “racing” turtles. A $65 ticket includes all-you-can-drink Old Forester drinks until 5 p.m., plus prizes for the best hat, bow tie and couple’s outfits. Email info@mcclellansretreat.com to reserve a spot.

Kinetic Sculpture Race at American Visionary Art Museum: The most mesmerizing race on the East Coast features “human-powered, all-terrain, artful contraptions” rolling through downtown Baltimore, taking a dip in the harbor and slogging through mud and sand in Patterson Park. More than two dozen sculptures on wheels competed in 2019, including a giant pink poodle, a 35-foot-long crocodile and a hand-pump rail car with a giant tree erupting from its platform. The 15-mile race begins and ends at the American Visionary Art Museum, but there are viewpoints throughout the city, including Canton Waterfront Park, where colorfully dressed spectators watch the sculptures splash not so gracefully into the drink. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m., and the race starts at 10. A rough schedule with viewing tips is available on the race’s website. Free.

Big G’s Birthday Bash at the Bullpen: Happy birthday to Anwan “Big G” Glover, known as the lead rapper of Backyard Band, an actor on “The Wire” and “Treme,” and an all-around ambassador for D.C. He’s celebrating his “G-Day” at the Bullpen with a special day party featuring performances by Backyard, fellow go-go legends Northeast Groovers, DJ Amp C and Billy Da Kid. 2 to 7 p.m. $70.

Pinkshift at the Fillmore Silver Spring: While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the shortcut sometimes works for a record. Take the artwork of “Saccharine,” the debut EP by Baltimore trio Pinkshift: A switchblade cuts through a lollipop, and a red liquid — syrup? blood? — splashes out. In kind, the music behind the evocative cover spikes pleasure with pain, adding sharp edges to songs that make sing- and scream-alongs cathartic. Inspired by, among other things, ’90s alt-rock radio heavyweights like Nirvana and No Doubt and turn-of-the-millennium punk acts like My Chemical Romance and Pierce the Veil, Pinkshift’s music could easily be described as pop punk. Singer Ashrita Kumar bristles a bit at the descriptor, even if she recognizes most bands branded with that scarlet genre tag share the same knee-jerk reaction. “Punk with pop sensibilities is cool, and pop with punk sensibilities is also cool,” she says. “It’s cool to find a middle ground where we feel comfortable.” 8 p.m. $30.

Pyramid Atlantic HyBall: Avast! Hyattsville’s Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is transforming into the mysterious Pyramid Atlantis during its annual HyBall fundraiser. Hands-on activities for guests include marbling paper with ocean-style waves, making prints in the Japanese gyotaku style and using a clamshell press to create custom coasters. Explore the “Life Aquatic”-themed current exhibition of local artists, including a Sea-Monkeys-inspired installation, before listening to sea shanties and maritime songs from the Natterjacks and dancing to songs by DJ P.Vo. Tickets include beer and wine from neighborhood brewpub Franklins, as well as snacks. Need stronger grog? Cocktails are available for purchase. 8 to 11 p.m. $40.

Frühlingsfest at Aslin Beer Co: Think of Frühlingsfest as the sunnier, slightly warmer cousin of your favorite Oktoberfest celebration. Because it comes in May, the beers of choice are lighter and crisper than the malty brews that predominate in fall. The Aslin brewery in Alexandria marks Frühlingsfest with a lager festival, bringing together crispy offerings from 20 craft breweries, including Richmond’s Ardent, Pittsburgh’s Dancing Gnome, New Hampshire’s Schilling and Massachusetts’s Jack’s Abby. Tickets include four eight-ounce samples — more beer is available for purchase — as well as a tasting glass, and there will be food and bottles for sale. Noon to 5 p.m. $25.

Half Street Hefeweizen Release Party at Atlas Brew Works: Speaking of seasonal beers, Atlas Brew Works is making it easier for anyone to enjoy its easy-drinking Half Street Hefeweizen this summer: The popular seasonal is now available in cans. Get a taste at the namesake Navy Yard taproom’s release party, with unlimited drafts, Half Street cans and mixed drinks during a two-hour window. 3 to 5 p.m. $30.

Sunday, May 8

Opera Outside at Meridian Hill Park: Keep your fingers crossed for good weather on Sunday, because you’ll be rewarded with a chance to see local soprano Melissa Wimbish and tenor Jonathan Pierce Rhodes belt out opera tunes while you lounge in a park. The Washington Concert Opera takes to the upper field of Meridian Hill to present a family-friendly concert without any of the stuffiness of a concert hall — kids and pets are welcome to hang out. 11 a.m. Free.

Fruhlingsfest at 3 Stars Brewing: German-inspired spring beer festivals are in the air this weekend. Sunday is 3 Stars’ turn, with live music from Oktoberfest favorites the Edelweiss Band from 2 to 5:45 p.m., German dishes by D.C. sausage kings Meats and Foods, and the debut of 3 Stars’ Maibock beer. Tickets include a commemorative pilsner glass and one beer. 1 to 8 p.m. $20.

Monday, May 9

Arav Goswami, Shredderghost and Xena Ni at Rhizome: If you’re well-versed enough in the D.C. arts scene, you know about the anything-goes approach at Rhizome in Takoma. The venue is hosting an ad hoc series on Mondays with an unprintable name and the goal of bringing together artists from different media. One artist invites another artist, who then invites another, and so on and so forth, and then we see what happens. This Monday brings music from Arav Goswami, who’s crafting a concept album and stage show, and sound artist Shredderghost, along with visuals from local designer/artist Xena Ni. Take a chance on what goes down. 7 p.m. $5-$20.

Tuesday, May 10

Food for the Body and Soul: Advocating for Community through Culinary Traditions: Few local restaurateurs have needed the communal power of food through the past couple of years more than Janet Yu. The chef and owner of Hollywood East Cafe in Wheaton, Md., lost her husband and partner of 44 years, Alan, in the pandemic. Yu and her husband had established their Cantonese/Hong Kong-style restaurant as one of the finest in the area for its exemplary dim sum menu. In this free streaming event, Yu will discuss her family’s heritage from Taishan, China, and how she’s preserving the spirit of her family, town and region’s food stateside. 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. Free; registration required.

The pandemic has shuttered family restaurants. Hollywood East Cafe is struggling to survive.

Interpol at the Anthem: Interpol’s forthcoming album, “The Other Side of Make-Believe,” written during the pandemic, marked the first time the band produced music remotely. But you wouldn’t be able to tell from listening to its latest releases from the record. Lead single “Toni” begins with the band’s hallmark opening: A slow, cinematic sound of an instrument (here a soft piano) gives way to a pounding kick drum and layered harmonies that are distinctively Interpol. It’s one of the more upbeat offerings in the group’s pensive catalogue of music, with its music video featuring a dance-off and cheeky visuals. The pandemic forced the band to change its usual writing process, but the end result still feels wholly on brand. 7 p.m. $50.

Wednesday, May 11

CiNoMatic outdoor movies in Alethia Tanner Park: Last year’s outdoor movies in NoMa ran from August to October. This year, however, the series has been moved to the start of the summer. “Wednesday Night Nostalgia” is the theme, which is why CiNoMatic starts with “Mrs. Doubtfire” and ends June 8 with “The Princess Bride.” Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Picnics are welcome, and food trucks will be on-site. Through June 8. Films begin at sunset, and times vary; see the schedule for details. Free; registration is recommended but not required.

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