National Cherry Blossom Festival events are popping up everywhere, just like the blossoms themselves. The big day is this Saturday, when the parade steps off on Constitution Avenue at 10 a.m. and the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival takes over Pennsylvania Avenue. Also this weekend: the Emancipation Day parade, concert and fireworks at Freedom Plaza and a William Shakespeare birthday bash at the Folger. For more April events, visit The Georgetowner’s online calendar.
Cherokee Days Festival
The three federally recognized Cherokee tribes — Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — will participate in the free Cherokee Days Festival at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW. The festival will include exhibits, performances and demonstrations of storytelling, traditional flute playing, weaponry, wood carving, beadwork, traditional games, basket weaving and pottery making. Hours are: Friday, April 12, Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For details, visit americanindian.si.edu.
Irish Whiskey Launch
On Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m., the Georgetown Whiskey Room, upstairs at Rí Rá Georgetown, 3125 M St. NW, will launch its own 12-year Knappogue Blend. There will be light bites, signature Knappogue cocktails, a history of Irish whiskey with Knappogue’s Jon Dubin and tastings of Knappogue 12-year, 14-year and 16-year, along with the Whiskey Room’s exclusive blend. For details, visit rira.com or call 202-751-2111.
‘The Mighty Five and Friends’
On Friday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road NW, the Russian Chamber Art Society will present a concert of art songs and arias by the composers known as the Mighty Five — including Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose 175th birthday will be celebrated — and Saint Petersburg Conservatory founder Anton Rubinstein. Tickets are $55, which includes a post-concert reception. For details, visit thercas.com.
‘Space Oddity’ at National Air and Space Museum
Also on Friday, April 12, from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, Bright Young Things and Yuri’s Night are taking over the National Air and Space Museum, 600 Independence Ave. SW. Yuri’s Night commemorates Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human in space on April 12, 1961 and the launch of the first Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981. 2019 is also the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the release of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” This 21+ event will include space-themed performances, food and activities, an open bar, a podcast taping, screenings of “To Plant a Flag,” laser light shows in the planetarium, TED-style space talks in the Imax theater and a keynote by Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor. Advance tickets are $65. For details, visit eventbrite.com or brightestyoungthings.com.
Artist Studio Tour to Shaw
In conjunction with the exhibition “A Right to the City,” the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum takes participants to visit neighborhood artists in their homes and studios. This month’s tour, on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include a visit to artist and Howard University professor James Phillips and printmaker Percy Martin. Tickets are $15. Please note: the shuttle will be parked in front of the Fort Stanton Recreation Center, 1812 Erie St. SE. For details, visit anacostia.si.edu or call 202-633-4820.
DC Emancipation Day Celebration
On Saturday, April 13, the Emancipation Day Parade at 2 p.m. will be followed by a free concert by national and local recording artists at 3 p.m. at Freedom Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The program will conclude with evening fireworks. Other events are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to commemorate the signing, on April 16, 1862, of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which abolished slavery in the District of Columbia. Over 3,000 enslaved persons were freed eight months before the Emancipation Proclamation liberated slaves in the South. For details, visit emancipationday.dc.gov/events.
Dumbarton Concerts: Camerata RCO
Six members of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will perform works by Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler and Ernő Dohnányi on Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m. at Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 3133 Dumbarton St. NW. Tickets are $42, $39 for seniors. For details, visit dumbartonconcerts.org or call 202-965-2000.
‘One Giant Meditation’
As part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, will welcome Take Five Meditation for “One Giant Meditation” on Sunday, April 14, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Participants, who should bring their own mats, will lie back and let go as the sound vibrations of singing bowls, bells, ocean drum and gong wash over them. Tickets are $15 ($20 at the door). For details, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
Bonsai Tour at Meadowlark Botanical Garden
On Sunday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, members of the Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will lead a tour of the new Bonsai Pavilion and give a bonsai care demonstration at Meadowlark Botanical Garden, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court in Vienna, Virginia. There will also be light refreshments and music. Tickets are $6. For details, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
Shakespeare’s Birthday at the Folger
The Immortal Bard’s birthday will be celebrated on Sunday, April 14, with an afternoon of free festivities starting at noon at Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. The party and open house will include Shakespeare performances, stage-combat demonstrations, Elizabethan crafts and a splendid “Happy Birthday, Will” cake. For details, visit folger.edu or call 202-544-7077.
Washington Printmakers Workshop
Washington Printmakers, 1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW, will hold its next free monthly workshop, “Printing from Nature with Nina Muys,” on Sunday, April 14, from 2 to 3 p.m. Participants age 5 and up will explore the beauty of the natural form and create prints using gel plates, Styrofoam and stamps. A $5 contribution toward materials is appreciated. To register in advance (required), email email@example.com.
‘Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration’
Also on Sunday, April 14, at 8 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, Jason and Alicia Hall Moran’s compelling new concert experience examines the major demographic shift known as the Great Migration, in which millions of African Americans left the American South after emancipation for points north, west and beyond. “Two Wings” also features vocalist Smokie Norful and the Imani Winds quintet. Tickets are $19 to $59. For details, visit kennedy-center.org or call 202-467-4600.