United States

For Your Weekend: Bring on the Funk Parade

As a great poet once said, it's time to get funky. D.C.'s Funk Parade is in its fifth year, promising to get everyone on U Street dancing.

Saturday also brings open house day for European Union embassies (plus some hangers-ons... looking at you, United Kingdom!). Pro-tip: Hungary promises to serve wine.

Looking to enjoy your weekend cheaply? Here's our top free and cheap picks in D.C.:

Photos: Free and Cheap Things to Do in Washington, DC


Funk Parade
Saturday, 1 p.m., U Street Corridor

The funk will go on — despite nearly being cancelled due to financial reasons. 

Stage shows, vendors and food will take over the street from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Check out the lineup here.


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The actual parade kicks off from the Howard Theatre at 5 p.m., with a procession of musicians, roller skaters, dancers, drummers and more.

There will be a number of shows at area venues after the public festival ends at 7 p.m., including U Street Music Hall, the Velvet Lounge and Songbyrd. You can pay a cover or buy a pass online.

Plan ahead and check out our picks for upcoming concerts:

DC's Best Upcoming Concerts: Diana Ross, Beck u0026 More

6th Annual Takoma Porch Music Festival
Saturday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Takoma Park

Wander through Takoma Park's Old Town enjoying dozens of local musicians. Here's a full list of performers and map of the porches.

Great American Square Dance Revival
Saturday, 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Columbia Heights

Break out your cowboy boots. Admission costs $5, and you're encouraged to bring snacks and water.

Parties, Eats and Drinks

New Orleans Seafood Festival
Saturday, two sessions, National Harbor

Nosh on crabs, sides and sip unlimited beer and wine samples near The Carousel. Tickets start at $59 for adults.

Bleu & Brew Fest
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Vint Hill, Virginia

Sip endless brews, each paired with a cheese. Tickets start at about $50.

Taco Beer Tequila Festival
Saturday, various times, Yards Park

Join taco trucks and local breweries at Yards Park for a day of indulgence. Tickets start at $45 and come with taco tickets, beer samples and a margarita.

Hirshhorn Spring Gala
Saturday, 8:30 p.m. party, downtown

This defies the "free and cheap" designation, but you can moonwalk straight back to the '80s as the Hirshhorn honors Jeff Koons with an evening filled with Funfetti cake, neon macaroons, an open bar and evening access to the museum's "Brand New" exhibit. Party tickets cost $250. We've seen many apartments cheaper than a dinner ticket.

Supreme Core Cider Taproom Launch
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Langdon/Arboretum

Ivy City is launching a taproom that celebrates cider. Steamed crabs will be served and Green Leaf Society is scheduled to play.

Royal Wedding Pop Up Bar
All weekend in Shaw

Whether you want to toast to royal love or need to mourn that Prince Harry is off the market, this is your spot. Check out our preview here:

Want to Watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Exchange Vows? Head to This Pop-Up Bar

Cultural and Community Connections

EU Open House Day
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., various embassies

The United Kingdon, Romania, Croatia, Sweden, France, Poland, Spain and many other embassies are set to open their doors Saturday for a celebration of European culture. The organizers made a useful map and guide of everything you need to know.

Free Pick
Maryland's Government House 150th Anniversary
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Annapolis

The official home of Maryland's governors has been standing for 150 years, and the state is celebrating by opening doors. You can tour state rooms, check out the gardens, nom refreshments and enjoy entertainment.

Virginia Renaissance Faire
Opens May 12, Lake Anna Winery, 5621 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, Virginia

Starting this Saturday and running through June 10, the faire-with-an-e will offer music, dancing, crafts, food and beverages including ales, ciders and mead. Watch knights joust, weavers and spinners at work, and acrobats and magicians charm the crowds. You can probably also get one of those gigantic turkey legs. Admission is $10; kids age 5 and younger get in free.

Walk for the Animals
Saturday, 9 a.m., Arlington

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is getting out early on Saturday to raise money for pets who need a forever home. Go for the animals — and also food trucks, vendors, a photobooth and a doggy costume contest.

Sports and Sporting

The Capitals

The Capitals will be in Tampa Bay facing the Lightning this weekend. It's been two decades since the Capitals last got this close to winning the Stanley Cup, though, so you gotta watch.

Find the Caps games on NBC Sports, 8 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Sunday.

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Art & Film

Free Pick
Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
Satuday and Sunday, 10 a.m., Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle

Artists exhibiting cermaics, photography, sculpture and more will head to Bethesda this weekend for a street fair. Live music is scheduled throughout the day.

Free Pick
Animezing!: Ocean Waves
Friday, 6:30 p.m., Dupont Circle

Register in advance for free tickets to see this Japanese film that's not often seen in the U.S.

Washington Jewish Film Festival
Through May 13, various theatres

Catch a huge range of films including the Ruth Bader Ginsberg documentary "RBG." Here's a calendar of the films.

Free Pick
"2001: A Space Odyssey" Immersive Exhibit
Through May 28 at the National Air and Space Museum

You'll need a timed ticket to transport yourself into Stanley Kubrick's futuristic world. Check out our story about the exhibit here.

Free Pick
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at The Renwick
Through January 2019, downtown

A slice of the fantastical and larger-than-life arts festival Burning Man has taken over the Renwick Gallery and even spilled out onto the surrounding streets. Expect a lot of buzz and selfie-takers, but between the virtual reality experience, the epic Grand Salon makeover and the larger-than-life displays, it'll be worth the inevitable lines and crowds.

Check out our first look here:

Out of the Desert, Into DC: Renwick Opens Burning Man Exhibit

p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Follow landscape architect Ron Henderson&rsquo;s journey following the cherry blossom trail from southern to northern Japan. His sketches exhibit not only looks at the trees themselves, but how they&rsquo;re cared for. This exhibit &mdash; and all the others! &mdash; is free.</span></p>

<p><a href="https://www.thewatergatehotel.com/the-next-whisky-bar/dc-cherry-blossom-garden-globes"><strong>The Watergate Hotel&rsquo;s Cherry Blossom Domes</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday and Sunday in Foggy Bottom</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enjoy afternoon tea in one of the Cherry Blossom Domes (previous known as the Igloos). Rentals for two to eight people start at $100. They&rsquo;re also offering a </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/135945050556034/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">flower crown making class</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (times vary).</span></p>
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<p><strong>Bring the Craic on Saint Patrick&rsquo;s Day</strong></p>
<p><a href="https://shamrockfest.com/lineup"><strong>National Shamrock Fest</strong> </a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (12 p.m. to 8 p.m.) at RFK Stadium</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sum 41, Shaggy and Less Than Jake headline this one day festival of beer, music and of course, Irishness.</span></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ballyshaners.org/parade/"><strong>Alexandria St. Patrick's Day Parade</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (11:30 a.m.) in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Looking for some chill, Irish-themed fun? Alexandria&rsquo;s St. Patrick&rsquo;s Day parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m. from King Street and St. Asaph Street. The fun continues afterwards with a car show. Go early for the Fun Dog Show.</span></p>
<p><a href="http://lindypromo.com/washington-dc/barcrawl_dc-st-patricks-day-bar-crawl-in-washington-dc-3-17"><strong>St. Patrick's Day Irish Stroll Bar Crawl</strong> </a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (1 p.m.) in Dupont Circle, Northwest Washington DC</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A </span><a href="http://lindypromo.com/washington-dc/barcrawl_dc-st-patricks-day-bar-crawl-in-washington-dc-3-17"><span style="font-weight: 400;">bar crawl entry ticket</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will get you cover-free entry to 10 participating bars, including Decades, Dirty Bar, Living Room and Barcode. Drink specials include $3 beers, $4 specialty beers and $5 mixed drinks. Tickets cost $20, but </span><a href="http://lindypromo.com/washington-dc/parties_washington-dc-st-patricks-happy-hour"><span style="font-weight: 400;">combo tickets to the Friday night party and Saturday bar crawl cost $15.</span></a></p>
<p><a href="https://tickets.theshamrockcrawl.com/event/washington-dc"><strong>The Shamrock Crawl</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (2 p.m.) Dupont Circle, Northwest Washington D.C.</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Participants have access to more than 16 bars, including Public Bar, Eden, Kabin and Heist. </span><a href="https://tickets.theshamrockcrawl.com/event/washington-dc"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anyone with a ticket</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> gets a refillable shamrock mug, party favors, $2 beers, $4 shamrock shots and $5 Irish Car Bombs. $35 in advance; $40 day of.</span></p>
<p><a href="https://dupontunderground.ticketfly.com/listing"><strong>Sights &amp; Sounds: Ireland Today</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></a><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) and Sunday (4 p.m.) in Dupont Circle</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dupont Underground is hosting artist Solas Nua to discuss her project exploring video art in Ireland. </span><strong>Friday</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Nua will discuss her work ($10). On </span><strong>Saturday</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">, you can stop in and enjoy the exhibit. From 10 a.m. to noon, the exhibit is free and offers activities geared towards kids. After noon, it costs $15. On </span><strong>Sunday</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">, you can catch short films at the Irish Short Film festival ($8).</span></p>
<p><a href="https://www.nbcwashington.com/entertainment/the-scene/St-Patricks-Day-Washington-DC-Maryland-Virginia-Bar-Crawl-Parade-Specials-476983663.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">We have a roundup of the best brunch specials and drink deals right here.</span></a></p>
<p><strong>Rage&hellip; against injustice, with music or by smashing a printer</strong></p>
<p><a href="http://www.thearcdc.org/events/breathe-musical-0"><strong>Breathe: The Musical</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday, Saturday and Sunday (8 p.m.) at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.)</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Howard University alum Cleavon Meabon IV wrote and directed this play, which follows a family of sharecroppers in the early 20th century as they struggle under Jim Crow injustice, KKK attacks and police brutality. </span></p>
<p><a href="https://rageroommd.com/"><strong>Rage Room of Maryland</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></a><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m. to 8 p.m.) in Glen Burnie, Maryland</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grab your friends and vent some frustrations! Full-service packages start at $25. You can BYOB (bring your own breakables) starting at $10.</span></p>
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<p><a href="https://www.unionstage.com/event/1648411-r-bumppp-free-dance-party-washington/"><strong>R&amp;BUMPPP! Dance Party</strong></a></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (10:30 p.m.) at The Wharf)</span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Union Stage hosts an R&amp;B night featuring The Good Guys. No covers, just dancing.</span></p>
<p><a href="https://www.930.com/#upcoming-shows-container"><strong>The Floozies at 9:30 Club</strong></a><strong>; G-Eazy; Judas Priest; Justin Timberlake</strong></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">All weekend, various locations</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even if fiddles aren&rsquo;t your thing, there&rsquo;s a lot of music to be heard this weekend:</span></p>
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<p><strong>Celebrate makers and creators</strong></p>
<p><a href="http://invention.si.edu/about/events/innovative-lives-how-women-shaped-alcohol-industry"><strong>Innovative Lives: How Women Shaped the Alcohol Industry</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday (6:30 p.m.)</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enjoy craft beer and custom cocktail tastings while learning about the history of booze from four women whose life work is to brew and distill. Tickets are $40 and include appetizers and drinks.</span></p>
<p><a href="https://africa.si.edu/events/"><strong>The &ldquo;Real Life&rdquo; Warriors of Wakanda Tour</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on the National Mall</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Discover the true inspiration behind the afrofuturist world of Wakanda by exploring historic African art. This awesome, free tour fills up fast, so RSVP soon.</span></p>
<p><a href="http://nova.makerfaire.com/about/"><strong>NoVa Maker Faire</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sunday (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) George Mason University campus, Fairfax, Virginia</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether you&rsquo;re interesting in older crafts like spinning yarn and woodworking, or are looking ahead to robotics and auto hacking, the Maker Faire promises something for you. This all-ages event costs $15 for an adult, $5 for kids or $36 for a family of five.</span></p>
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