Washington DC

The Weekend Scene: Oscar Nominee Screenings, St. Patrick's Parades & 20 More Things to Do Around DC

Alexandria and Annapolis St. Patrick's Day parades, film festivals and much more to do the first weekend of March in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

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Storm Team4 and the National Park Service both announced their peak bloom predictions (spoiler alert: it's early this year!) — so we’re calling it springtime.

Sunsets before 6 p.m., puffy coats and winter hibernation are out. Now, put on your SPF and enjoy the DMV before the mosquitos wake up.

Check out our Spring Bucket List: 40+ Festivals and Fresh Things to Do Around DC, and find more things to do this weekend below.

Grab your popcorn! It's a great weekend for film lovers — perfect for a rainy Friday night. Local theaters are screening Academy Award nominees, and there are two film festivals.

Academy Award Nominee Showcases Around D.C.

Things to Do in Washington DC

2023 DC Independent Film Festival (Through Sunday, passes range from $45 to $105): In addition to screenings of narrative, documentary, animated and short films, the festival will offer seminars and workshops with industry professionals. Some highlights include the Black Experiences short film program on Sunday, which will feature three short films with local ties ("East of the River," "Freetown," and "Amor"), plus "Millstone," featuring an all-Deaf cast including Daniel Durant from the Oscar-winning film "CODA." You can buy a festival pass or tickets to individual screenings at Landmark's E Street Cinema and The Miracle Theatre.

Free pick — "Philip Guston Now" (Through Aug. 27, National Gallery of Art): Phillip Gunston is considered one of the greatest modern painters, and this traveling exhibit includes 110 of his paintings and 114 of his drawings brought in from dozens of collections. More than 30 pieces will only be on display in D.C., and the National Gallery of Art will also host a special exhibit of drawings inspired by Richard Nixon. The exhibit’s arrival in D.C. has been postponed twice: Once due to the pandemic, and again so curators could “reframe” art concerning themes of racial violence, such as a piece depicting KKK members. NGA senior curator Harry Cooper will offer an introduction to the exhibit on Sunday at noon.

RIOT! Funny Women Stand Up (Thursday, 8 p.m., The Kennedy Center, $29-$69): Janelle James, Ali Kolbert, Sam Jay and Atsuko Okatsuka are on the lineup.

Bresca's Women in Wine dinner (Friday, 5-10 p.m. Northwest D.C., $148): Sommeliers Vanessa Cominsky and Kendrick Lindsey are choosing bottles made by female winemakers to pair with a six-course tasting menu at this Michelin-starred restaurant.

Max and Sonny Muscato of Rock Autism (Friday, Hard Rock Cafe, $10): Two brothers originally from Montgomery County are on a mission to break the stigma of autism and rock across the country while they do it. On Friday, Max and Sonny Muscato will bring their Rock For Autism concert to the Hard Rock Cafe in D.C.

Music Snob — Mikaela Davis (Friday, 7 p.m., Songbyrd, $18): Another psychedelic folk-rock option for your Friday night is this harpist who can appeal to jam fans and pop fans alike.

Music Snob — Os Mutantes (Friday, 8 p.m., Black Cat, $27 (advance)/$30 (day of show)): Tropicalia legends blend the psychedelic rock of the ‘60s with the traditional music of their native Brazil.

Free pick — FITDC HerStory 5K (Saturday, registration begins at 9 a.m., Freedom Plaza): Lace up your sneakers for a Women's History Month fun run. Mayor Muriel Bowser is set to headline the pre-race lineup of speakers before attendees sprint or stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue. A post-race festival will have music, giveaways and opportunities to shop from local women-owned businesses. You can register online and pick up your gear (including a free t-shirt!) in advance, or sign up right before the race.

Free pick — First Saturdays (Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., National Gallery of Art): New this year: The NGA will host some of the National Gallery Nights activities in a more relaxed setting — no registration required.

Free pick — Urban Gardening: Back to Basic (Saturday, 10 a.m., Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum): Learn about soil maintenance, compost options and more ways to grow healthy plants in the city. In-person slots are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot. You can also join online.

Georgetown Library Friends Book Sale (Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.): Pick up a new title to keep while supporting your local library.

DC Whiskey Walk 2023 (Saturday, noon to 10 p.m., $65+): Start your St. Patrick's Day festivities early at this bar crawl. Each ticket gets you a 1-ounce pour of a featured whisky at eight bars in the Dupont Circle area, including Exiles, The Commodore and Larry's Lounge, plus access to good and drink specials.

Mushrooms Experience (Northwest D.C.): Eastern European vegan restaurant sPACYcLOUd is celebrating everyone's favorite fungi with featured dishes, mushroom cocktails, workshops and more during the month of March. Follow their Instagram for more details.

Last chance — "Ride the Cyclone" (Through Sunday, Arena Stage, $51-$105): A freak roller coaster accident cuts short the lives of six teen chamber choir singers, but a mechanical fortune teller gives them another chance at life. This "quirky cult musical" is wrapping up its D.C. run.

Things to Do in Virginia

Free pick — St. Patricks Day Parade (Saturday, 12:15 p.m., Old Town Alexandria): The Ballyshaners 40th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade brings dancers, pipe bands, community groups and more. The parade is set to travel down King Street, starting at Alfred Street and ending on Lee St.

Fairfax City Restaurant Week (March 6 to 12): Make your reservations! Starting Monday, restaurants in Fairfax will offer dining deals at $10, $25 and $40. Snag your reservations early!

Chilly Days Chili Fundraiser (Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., Ashburn): Support the Ashburn Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department at Old Ox Brewery, where a dozen local restaurants will compete for your vote in a chili cookoff. Make a donation and you'll get to taste all the chili you want while kids check out a firetruck.

Things to Do in Maryland

Capital Irish Film Festival (Through Sunday, Silver Spring): Take a trip to the Emerald Isle by visiting The AFI Silver Theatre. Seventeen films are set to be screened; you can get a CIFF All-Access Pass for $130 or buy single tickets.

Annapolis St. Patrick's Day: Hit up Shamrock at the Dock, featuring local and global musicians plus Irish dancing and pipe bands on Saturday (tickets are $30) or the parade and concert on Sunday (which are free). Here's the schedule.

Black Wall Street Renaissance Pop-Up Shops (Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Capitol Heights): Shop from a collection of Black-owned businesses at the Elife restaurant on the first Saturday of every month (except January). Entry is free.

Free pick — Women's History Month: Riversdale Chamber Music Society (Sunday, 2 p.m., Riverdale Park): The Riverdale Woodwind Trio, including Robert DiLutis on clarinet, Emily Tsai on oboe and Jimmy Ren on bassoon, will perform at the Riversdale Historical Society.

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