Emancipation Day Weekend Roundup, April 13 – 16

Emancipation Day weekend is upon us, with a District holiday on Monday (putting off those taxes just a bit). We’re in full-on spring events and activities mode now. Here’s your weekly roundup of all the exciting things to do around town this weekend.

Emancipation Day Parade and Festivities 

Celebrate Emancipation Day all weekend long with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Friday is the Sixth Annual Full Democracy Champions Luncheon with the theme “Defending D.C. Values.” Saturday will be the D.C. Emancipation Day Parade and Concert. Don’t miss food trucks selling Mexican food, gourmet hot dogs and more. Sunday marks a Family Fun Day at Black Lives Matter Plaza. More information on the weekend’s festivities can be found here.

Visit the Emancipation Day Mini Market 

The Heurich House Museum and Black Brew Movement are hosting an Emancipation Day Mini Market Saturday from 2-6 p.m. The market will feature tastings from eight local Black-owned beer brands and products available from five local Black-owned artisan businesses. Guests are welcome to RSVP and pre-purchase beer tasting flights here.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is Saturday 

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade presented by Events DC will bring Mickey and Minnie Mouse all the way from Disney World to D.C. to serve as grand marshals. Honorary marshal and host is D.C. native (and current star of Abbott Elementary as the wisecracking longtime teacher Melissa Schimenti) Lisa Ann Walter. The parade will also feature Ballou High School’s marching band, themed floats and helium balloons. More information on the parade can be found here.

A previous National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. Courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Hear an Author Lecture with Flora Fraser Tonight 

This evening, visit the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium (in the Mount Vernon Inn complex) for a lecture with master historian Flora Fraser. Fraser will be discussing her book “Pretty Young Rebel,” about Flora Macdonald, a young Scotswoman who helped Prince Charlie evade capture. A book signing and complimentary beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. More information on how to attend can be found here.

Author Flora Fraser will be hosting a lecture at Mount Vernon this evening.

Also Tonight: Attend the Opening of “Ukraine: A Celebration of Beauty and Resilience” 

This evening at The Ven at Embassy Row Hotel, attend a reception celebrating work from Ukraine’s finest contemporary artists. Kyiv Gallery Sofia-Art is offering paintings from their collection to raise money for OhMatDit Children’s hospital in Kyiv, tactical medicine training for those on the front lines and for a program offering mental health support for Ukrainian orphans suffering war-related trauma. The evening celebrating Ukrainian art and culture will begin with welcome remarks at 6:15 p.m. More information can be found here. The exhibit will run through June 1.







“Our Planet Live in Concert” Saturday at The National Theatre 

A live concert based on the Emmy Award winning Netflix documentary series is coming to The National Theatre Saturday. “Our Planet Live in Concert” includes a live orchestra that will perform Oscar winner Steven Price’s music and is accompanied by an on-screen narration by Sir David Attenborough. More information on tickets can be found here.

Our Planet Live in Concert will be at The National Theatre this weekend. Courtesy National Theatre.

Emanuel Ax at The Strathmore 

It’s been over a dozen years since American pianist Emanuel Ax has had a solo concert at The Strathmore (his last solo concert was supposed to be in the spring of 2020, but we all know how that year turned out!) His recital repertoire includes compositions from Schubert and Liszt. More information on tickets to the event presented by Washington Performing Arts can be found here.

Ax in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2014. Wikipedia.

Spring Dog Day at Oak Hill Cemetery 

Dog lovers will be excited to know that this Saturday is Spring Dog Day at Oak Hill Cemetery. The free event is for dogs and their owners to enjoy the beauty of Oak Hill. Pups are only permitted inside the gates two days a year, so take advantage while you can. Water and potty bags will be provided, and donations will be accepted to go toward Oak Hill’s ongoing Bigelow Iron Fence Restoration. More information can be found here.

Courtesy Oak Hill Cemetery.

The Blues Alley Jazz Festival Has Begun 

Blues Alley is once again presenting their annual Blues Alley Jazz Festival during Jazz Appreciation. Running through the end of the month, the festival includes a guitar symposium this weekend and next weekend Jane Monheit will appear, along with the annual Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition Day and much more. More on the festival can be found here.

Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit will be appearing at the Blues Alley Jazz Festival this month. Courtesy Blues Alley.

 “Living Earth Festival 2023: Native Nations Confronting Climate Change” 

This Saturday and Sunday, visitors can attend the National Museum of the American Indian’s “Living Earth Festival,” where they can hear directly from Indigenous climate and agriculture experts as they discuss how their communities have always demonstrated respect for the planet. Working artists will also be on hand for communal artmaking using found materials once destined for landfills. More information on the event can be found here.

The Living Earth Festival will be this weekend at the National Museum of the American Indian. Courtesy NMAI.

Le Diplomate Celebrates 10 Years 

The French restaurant Le Diplomate is celebrating a feat not had by many restaurants these days—10 years in business. Saturday afternoon, the restaurant will surprise diners with complimentary floral bouquets from She Loves Me, while supplies last. Sunday, the restaurant will bring out their signature ice cream cart to 14th Street.

The D.C. French restaurant Le Diplomate is celebrating a decade in business.  Photo by Jim Graham.

Also Celebrating this Weekend: DC Brau Brewing 

The first production brewery in D.C. since the 1950s, DC Brau Brewing, is celebrating 12 years this weekend. As part of the celebration, DC Brau will have its first ever package refresh launch in May. The toast of the new packaging will be part of the anniversary bash on Saturday. More information about the event can be found here. 


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