Tonight, Thursday, Feb. 15, is Lunar New Year Eve — chuxi in Chinese — with events leading up to Sunday’s Chinatown parade. This weekend is the big celebration of Frederick Douglass’s 200th birthday at Cedar Hill, his former home in Anacostia. Presidents Day is Monday, Feb. 19, and you can get ready — and take a selfie with one or both Obama portraits — on Saturday at the National Portrait Gallery’s Presidential Family Fun Day. For more February events, visit The Georgetowner’s online calendar.
Lunar New Year at the Kennedy Center
From Thursday, Feb. 15, through Saturday, Feb. 17, the Kennedy Center is celebrating the Lunar New Year with free Millennium Stage performances by Chendu Puppets (Thursday), Chengdu folk musicians (Friday) and Sichuan Opera (Saturday). On Thursday, there will be a concert by the Shenzen Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tan Dun; tickets are $19 to $39. On Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., a free KC Chinese New Year Family Day, “Panda Chengdu,” will take place in the atrium and foyers. For details, visit kennedy-center.org.
Lunar New Year at Studio Xfinity
Studio Xfinity, Comcast’s retail experience, hosts a free celebration of the Year of the Dog on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. The event will feature dragon dancers, Chinese calligraphy and a fortune cookie bar. Studio Xfinity is located at 715 7th St. NW. For details, visit lunarnewsyearatstudioxfinity.splashthat.com.
Chinese New Year’s Parade
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association invites D.C. area residents to ring in the 4716 Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dog, on Sunday, Feb. 18, in Chinatown. This year’s parade will feature traditional lion and dragon dances, Kung Fu demonstrations, firecrackers, marching bands and beauty-pageant winners. The parade steps off at 2 p.m. at 6th and I Streets NW. For details, visit dcparade.com.
Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Birthday Weekend
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1411 W St. SE, will host a free celebration of the 200th birthday of the orator, writer and abolitionist, who was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and became an advisor to President Abraham Lincoln. The opening ceremony, from 10:30 to noon on Saturday, will feature a performance by Washington Revels’ Jubilee Voices, remarks by Mayor Muriel Bowser, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and other dignitaries and a keynote by Kenneth B. Morris Jr., Douglass’s great-great-great-grandson. For the complete schedule, visit nps.gov.
‘4,380 Nights’ at Signature Theatre
As part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave. in Arlington, Virginia, presents the world premiere of “4,380 Nights.” Focusing on Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid, who has been held without charge for the last 12 years at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, D.C. playwright Annalisa Dias delivers a searing and timely critique of power, humanity and what it means to be American. Performances are Thursday, Feb. 15, and Friday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 17, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $63 to $92. For details, visit sigtheatre.org or call 703-820-9771
Patriot Printer Robert Aitken
On Friday, Feb. 16, at 12:30 p.m., Ellen McCallister Clark, library director at Anderson House, the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW, will give a free talk about Philadelphia printer, binder and bookseller Robert Aitken. The event will feature examples of works issued from Aitken’s Philadelphia shop during the American Revolution. For details, visit societyofthecincinnati.org or call 202-785-2040.
‘The Nation’s Capital Brewmaster’
Also on Friday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson House, 2340 S St. NW, will host a free talk and book signing by Mark Benbow, author of “The Nation’s Capital Brewmaster: Christian Heurich and His Brewery, 1842-1956.” Benbow will discuss Heurich’s career during the 1910s, the effect Wilson’s policies had upon this long-established D.C. business and the anti-spy panic when Heurich was accused of planning at assassinate Wilson. For details, visit woodrowwilsonhouse.org or call 202-387-4062.
Presidential Family Fun Day
This year’s free Presidential Family Fun Day at the National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW, on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., is giving extra attention to George Washington because Gilbert Stuart’s “Landsdowne” portrait of Washington is being taken down for conservation. There will be George-themed activities for all ages, including (because it’s the weekend after Valentine’s Day) a talk by Flora Fraser about her book “The Washingtons: George and Martha.” The Washington Nationals’ presidential mascots will also be on hand. For details, visit npg.si.edu.
‘Light Up Your heART’
On Saturday, Feb. 17, from 2 to 6 p.m., Zenith Gallery, 1429 Iris St. NW, will host a Meet the Artists Reception for “Light Up Your heART,” which runs through March 24. To celebrate its 40th anniversary year, Zenith — which regularly presented neon exhibitions from the 1970s through the 1990s — is bringing back the work of those artists and adding works by new artists using various forms of light technology. Featured artists include: F. Lennox Campello, Suzanne Codi, Chas Colburn, Lea Craigie-Marshall, Eric Ehlenberger, Connie Fleres, Margery E. Goldberg, Philip Hazard, Nancy Nesvet, Alison Sigethy, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Mary Voytek and Michael Young. For details, visit zenithgallery.com or call 202-783-2963.
Kandinsky in the Kreeger
Also on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m., there will be a free gallery tour, “Kandinsky in the Kreeger: Works by the Father of Abstraction,” at the Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Road NW, by Joanna Baker, head of collection management. The event will provide a closer look at works by Wassily Kandinsky in the permanent collection, including a rare sand painting from the artist’s Paris period. For details, visit kreegermuseum.org or call 202-337-3050.
Art League Patrons’ Show
The Patrons’ Show at the Art League, 105 North Union St. in Alexandria, Virginia, marks its 50th anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 4 p.m. The show provides seasoned art collectors and newcomers alike with an opportunity to acquire high quality, original fine art at a bargain price while supporting a nonprofit organization and community of artists. For each ticket drawn, ticket-holders go home with a work of art valued anywhere from $225 to thousands of dollars. Tickets are $225 ($150 each for couples). For details, visit eventbrite.com or call 703-683-1780.
Bridge Street Books Poetry Reading
On Monday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Bridge Street Books, 2814 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, there will be a rare opportunity to attend a reading by award-winning poet and noted translator Robert Mezey. Also reading will be poet Jodie Hollander, Mezey’s longtime student at Pomona College, whose full-length collection, “My Dark Horses,” was published last year by Oxford University Press. Admission is free. For details, visit the store’s Facebook page or call 202-965-5200.