Here are this weekend's best bets in nightlife, festivals, music and much more around the Washington area.
- Oktoberfest starts Saturday: Here are 12 ways to celebrate
- A tip from insiders: Do it, and be generous
- Lunch, piled high: Smoked and Stacked is a star
Friday through Sunday: Dave Attell, at the at D.C. Improv this weekend, has hinted at retirement over the last year, and if he’s serious, that would be a shame. His brand of humor is a bit of a throwback: It’s blue,often sex-obsessed and self-deprecating, and far from politically correct. So just in case he’s not kidding, you won’t want to miss his three-night visit to the nation’s capital. Shows start at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. and tickets are $35.
Friday: The next-to-last Truckeroo of the season returns to the Fairgrounds area near Nationals Park. If you love food trucks, you'll surely find something you like, as participating trucks include BBQ Buss, Arepa Zone, the Orange Cow, Capital Chicken & Waffles and many more. (There will be more than 25 trucks in all.) There's also live music and plenty to drink. Truckeroo runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and admission is free, with food and beverages priced individually at the trucks.
Friday: One of the best beer festivals in Washington is also one of the best-kept secrets. The annual Go West Beer Fest at Eastern Market is sponsored by state societies from the Great Plains and Pacific Northwest. While it provides a taste of home for expats, it has also offered D.C. residents the chance to try Deschutes and Alaskan beers before they were available on this coast. (This year, for example, Wyoming is bringing beers from the buzzworthy Melvin and Black Tooth breweries, which don't distribute here.) The party runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $35, and include unlimited beers. Purchase tickets directly from the Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming societies; Montana has already sold its allocation.
Friday: "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" isn't frightening, but it's one of the creepiest psychological thrillers in film. And what better place to watch a suspenseful story about two aging sisters than in a cemetery? The final Cinematery outdoor movie at Congressional Cemetery this summer begins around 7:30 p.m. among the headstones of the historic burial ground. (Gates open at 6:30 p.m.) Picnics are welcome, and there's a suggested donation of $10 per person.
Saturday: The next Heritage Family Day is Women in Aviation and Space at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the Mall. Visitors will have the chance to meet past and current astronauts, such as Mary Cleave and Anne McClain, while also learning about Sally Ride and Ruth Law, one of the first female aviators. Activities run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: This test of strength, which benefits Special Olympics Virginia, doubles in size this year, adding another full-size aircraft. At the Dulles Day Plane Pull at Dulles International Airport, teams of 25 people will take turns pulling the 82-ton airplanes 12 feet, seeking to beat the group from the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office, which has won 10 years in a row. In addition, there will be vintage aircraft on display, a classic-car show, a kids’ play area, and food and beverages for sale. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.
Saturday: Clarendon Day gathers vendors, restaurants, musicians and more around the Clarendon Metro station area in Arlington. There are stages for music and dance, as well as a chili cookoff. And Sehkraft Brewing will host a VIP tent ($30) with craft beer tastings paired with sliders from the restaurant. Clarendon Day runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: Young builders will find plenty of inspiration for their Lego creations at Lego Family Day at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which is hosting this Family Day in the Kogod Courtyard. There will be Lego building stations throughout the room, giving kids the chance to recreate a sculpture or scene from elsewhere in the building — or to build something new. And there’s more upstairs in the Luce Foundation Center: Check out the Lego sculpture of the museum, which served as the U.S. Patent Office in the nineteenth century. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: Farm Aid returns to Jiffy Lube Live with a familiar lineup of Americana all-stars: Founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, along with fellow Farm Aid board member Dave Matthews. New on this year's bill: rising alt-country star Sturgill Simpson, the Alabama Shakes and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. The show starts at noon and tickets are $49.50-$189.50.
Saturday: Expect thousands of visitors to flood the bustling H Street corridor for the 11th annual H Street Festival, featuring a variety of music and dance performances, karaoke, a fashion stage, a kids’ zone and a variety of food vendors, in addition to the restaurants and bars that line the busy street. There also will be sponsored beer and liquor gardens this year, from Modelo and Diageo, respectively. The H Street Festival runs from noon to 7 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: Snallygaster, the District’s best beer festival, curated by Greg Engert of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, brings in 350 craft beers from all over the world. (No Shock Top or Blue Moon at Yards Park.) It includes such rarities as Perennial’s barrel-aged Abraxas and Jester King’s Fen Táo, but also strong local offerings from Aslin, Bluejacket, Burley Oak, DC Brau and others. And there’s more than great beer: The music lineup is impressive, too, with performances by Spirit Animal and Speedy Ortiz. The event serves as a fundraiser for the food nonprofit Arcadia and its demonstration farm in Alexandria. Snallygaster runs from 1 to 6 p.m. and tickets are $35, which includes 30 food and drink tickets and a Snallygaster mug.
Saturday: There isn’t a more appropriate place to ring in the start of Oktoberfest than at the former mansion of Christian Heurich, the German immigrant whose company became Washington’s largest brewery in the 20th century. Oktoberfest at the Heurich House will feature unlimited tastings of nine seasonal beers from District breweries, as well as such biergarten staples (from local providers) as bratwurst, pretzels, sauerkraut and pickles. And, Der Gemutlichkeits will be providing the German music. Prost! Oktoberfest runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and admission is $60-$75.
Saturday: Maybe you already saw Axl Rose this year, when he came through with the reunited Guns N’ Roses. But did you hear him sing AC/DC songs? Didn’t think so. You'll get that chance Saturday night, as AC/DC plays Verizon Center with Rose filling in for AC/DC singer Brian Johnson, whose hearing problems have forced him to stop performing live. (It also led to the postponing of the original Verizon Center date.) The tour, still featuring longtime
original members Angus Young on guitar and Cliff Williams on bass, has drawn rave reviews, with the makeshift lineup delving deeper into the band’s 41-year catalog while playing marathon shows. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $75-$140.
Saturday-Sunday: The King Street Art Festival in Alexandria packs hundreds of artists onto the city's scenic main drag, between Washington Street and the Potomac River. Booths will feature a variety of works: sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting and more. There's also the Art League's Ice Cream Bowl fundraiser, with keepsake hand-made bowls — filled with ice cream — going for $15. The art festival runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday-Sunday: The Maryland Wine Festival at Carroll County Farm Museum, now in its 33rd year, brings in more than 30 wineries from around the state, including Elk Run, Olney and Boordy, whose Albariño won the Governor’s Cup best-in-show award last month. There also will be pavilions devoted to Maryland cheese and Maryland cider, the latter featuring Great Shoals Winery and Millstone Cellars. The festival runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and tickets are $30-$60.
Saturday-Sunday: Some of the Commonwealth’s most popular wineries — Barboursville, Jefferson, Chateau Morrisette and Rockbridge, among others — will be pouring more than 200 wines at the 41st annual Virginia Wine Festival at Bull Run Regional Park. New this year: the Virginia Oyster Pavilion, featuring thousands of the bivalves on the half-shell or prepared in dishes, along with a hearty lineup of food trucks and other vendors. The event runs each day from noon to 6 p.m. and tickets are $30-$60.
Sunday: What pairs better with a glass of cold beer than man's best friend? That's the idea behind Pups and Pilsners in Crystal City: It features a big beer garden and food from Crystal City restaurants, as well as your dogs. Bring them all! Enjoy beers from locals New District, Port City, 3 Stars and DC Brau, as well Virginia breweries Blue Mountain, Brothers, Hardywood and Chaos Mountain. The event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. and admission is free, although tasting tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. (The ticket includes a souvenir glass, 15 tasting tickets and one drink.)