Around Town: Beer Fest by Drink the District @ Storey Park, 7/30/16

Beer in DCBeer in DC (Photo Credit: Jeremy Bailey)

Oh sweltering and nasty heat, how do we defeat you?

Not possible. But you can knock it down a few pegs, at least for a few hours, by drinking lots of cold, refreshing beer.

Not soon enough, the 5th annual Beer Fest comes to NoMa’s Storey Park on July 30th.

Aside from having the ability to drink as many beers as you want (from over 100 choices) in a four hour window, there will be games and live music and food trucks.

(Note: Updated to reflect the new times.)

5th Annual Beer Fest by Drink the District
Storey Park in NoMa (195 L Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20002)
Saturday, July 30, 2016
4-8pm
$35 advance ($45 doors)
21+

Around Town: International Colombian Festival @ Gallaudet Pavilion, 7/17/16

Door Medellín, Colombia – come on in. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Bailey)

¡Viva Colombia!

DC will get the chance to indulge in the tastes and sounds of Colombia on Sunday, July 17th.

Come down to the DC (Gallaudet) Pavilion near Union Market for the International Colombian Festival. Colombian music, dancing, art and plenty of tasty food!

The festival will feature a series of bands from Colombia and a beauty pageant.

If it gets anything like Parque Lleras in Medellín, it should be a good time. If the food is anything like bandeja paisa, it should be amazing.

Bandeja paisa
Bandeja paisa

International Colombian Festival 2016
DC (Gallaudet) Pavilion near Union Market (1399 5th St NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20002)
Sunday, July 17
10am-7pm
$15 (VIP $35)
All ages (children under 10 free)

Music Park: The Struts @ Firefly Music Festival 2016 — 6/19/16

The StrutsThe Struts @ Firefly’s Treehouse Stage (6/19/16) (Photo by: Jeremy Bailey)

The Struts are showmen through and through.

This glam rock band from England is certainly channeling Queen, especially with Luke Spiller’s voice as pure and resonate as Freddy Mercury’s. After all, their name is The Struts and that is what they did.

Their music is classic, exuberant rock and roll. They mobilized the Firefly crowd at the Lawn Stage to great heights of excitement and sing-a-longs. Anyone that didn’t know them going in, certainly walked away with full intention of adding them to their playlist on repeat.

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Music Park: Stand With Me: A Song for Peace and Understanding

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT5OpShw_9g&w=640&h=360]

A group of DC-based artists and musicians recently gathered on the National Mall to create a song and video to promote peace, and they were joined by some volunteers they happened to encounter along the way. Watch their video above!

Multimedia journalist Winyan Soo Hoo wrote to us to explain their message of peace calls attention to the Syrian refugee crisis as well as the fight against Islamophobia.

“It’s a unique approach to a nuanced topic and a great way to call for compassion and decency for all communities,” she said.

In the spirit of brotherhood — and sisterhood — among all, we are compelled to share their video. Perhaps you will also!

Don’t Miss: Firefly Music Festival @ The Woodlands (Dover, Del.), 6/16-6/19/16

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Ellie Goulding performs at the 2013 Firefly Music Festival on June 21, 2013. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Red Frog Events today announced the lineup for the 2016 Firefly Music Festival, to be held at The Woodlands in Dover, Del., on Thursday, June 16, through Sunday, June 19, 2016.

Returning even bigger for its fifth year, Firefly headliners will include Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon, Florence & The Machine, and Deadmau5.

“We wanted the 2016 lineup to reach a wide audience while resonating with our core Firefly community,” said Christiane Pheil, Talent and Experience Director at Firefly Music Festival. “We’re confident this lineup does just that, and we look forward to celebrating our fifth year with music fans from around the world.”

Other prominent musicians performing at the four-day music festival include Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, Blink-182, Death Cab for Cutie, M83, Tame Impala, The 1975, A$AP Rocky, Of Monsters and Men, Major Lazer, and Chvrches (my personal favorite on this list).

Early bird general admission and VIP passes go on sale this Friday, Nov. 20.

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Around Town: Parktoberfest @ Yards Park, 9/26/15

I smell kryptonite!
Race your Dachshund! (Photo by Peter Jackson)

Oktoberfest — or rather Parktoberfest — comes to DC this Saturday, Sept. 26 from 1-5pm at Yards Park (355 Water St. SE, DC). (In case of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, Sept. 27.)

Listen to live music by Sly 45, drink cold Sam Adams beer, grab food from DC’s best food trucks including DC Ballers, Federal City Brothers and DC Slices, compete in an official Sam Adams Stein Hoisting competition, and cheer on the Dachshunds as they race for glory and prizes in the 4th Annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash!

This is a family-friendly, free event — and all dogs are welcome! There will be best dressed and best trick contests at 2:30pm.

Want to race your Dachshund? Entry fees are just $25, all proceeds donated to Washington Humane Society. You must be 21+ to drink beer. No outside alcohol allowed.

Visit http://www.ontaponline.com for more info.

Parktoberfest
Yards Park
Saturday, Sept. 26
1-5pm
Free admission
All ages
21+ to drink

Excursion: Capital Hiking Club @ Dellinger Gap, WV — 6/20/15

Dellinger Gap to Trout Pond
Hiking with Capital Hiking Club

I’ve done many hikes over the years with Capital Hiking Club. With over 20 hikes since 2009 to choose from, none were more interesting than the one on June 20, 2015.

Capital Hiking Club has been organizing hikes for 77 years. Every Saturday, regardless of season or weather, they host a hike, most often in Virginia or Maryland. You catch the bus in DC (or designated Metro stops in VA or MD), ride to the hike location, trek one of the two trail options, drink beer and eat snacks at the end, and drive back. It’s a good way to meet people and a great option to explore the surrounding area if you don’t have a car.

Within the last couple years, they moved their sign-ups to Meetup.com, to make the process more efficient and easier to manage for the hike organizers.

I highly recommend checking it out if you like to hike.

Capital Hiking Club
Virginia, Maryland and DC
Saturday (Weekly)
8:00am (bus pick-up in DC)
$25 members ($28 non-members)

 

Trip Report – Dellinger Gap to Trout Pond Recreation Area, West Virginia — 6/20/15

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Music Park: The Tallest Man On Earth @ Lincoln Theatre — 6/1/15

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLRTleMY_mc]
NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

The Tallest Man on Earth, Kristian Matsson (at a mere 5′ 7″), told the packed Lincoln Theatre, “Thank you. Straight from my heart, I won’t take this for granted.”

Clearly he didn’t. Despite the themes of lost love and melancholy that permeates many of his songs, he is full of energy and charisma in front of the crowd. He stormed the stage and then ran out into the crowd like a rock star. On stage, he was motion and dancing, switching out guitars after almost every song.

Matsson’s favorite pastime involved throwing down his guitar pick after he finished a song, almost in triumph. The stage was littered with small victories.

Born in Sweden, Matsson began with The Tallest Man on Earth stage name as a solo singer-songwriter for his first three albums. His first album, Shallow Grave, released in 2008, has strong roots in America folk music.

As Matsson made clear, “We only have sad songs, except one song.” The Tallest Man on Earth set forth songs of loss, remembrance and restlessness, weaving through sounds inspired by folk and country music.

For the fourth album, Dark Bird is Home, and latest tour, Matsson has added a full band. There is a clear delineation and complexity between the new album’s songs and the stripped down nature of many of the previous songs.

That delineation is never more apparent than the first single, “Sangres”, which almost seems out-of-place, but yet is clearly part of his overarching theme of lost love. It is also a song that showcases his vocal range, which many have likened to Bob Dylan. This song is a good example of why. His voice seemed fuller and less Dylanesque when live, compared to listening to some of his earlier recorded work. I enjoyed both, but found a deeper appreciation when listening to the songs performed live.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0QIPpBV1D0&w=600&h=150]

For a change of pace, Matsson performed the quiet “Little Nowhere Towns” on an expanded keyboard. For many songs, he performed solo with just his guitar, while the band took a breather.

Just before the break before the encore, Matsson gave the crowd the wistful title track, “Dark Bird is Home”, with the sad but hopeful line, “and suddenly the day gets you down but this is not the end, no this is fine”. And it was.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199110534″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]

Matsson ended the night with “Like the Wheel”, a sad, soulful lament that I like to think is about the long journey to find your place on this Earth.

The Tallest Man on Earth proved to be a great live performer and worthy of the 1-1/2 hour, 21 song, musical journey he and his band lead us through.

The Tallest Man On Earth

Around Town: ALS Silent Auction Fete @ Vida Penthouse Pool Club, 5/29/15


VidaPool

VIDA Fitness’ Penthouse Pool & Lounge at The Yards

From a press release for an ALS benefit to be held at Vida Fitness Penthouse Pool and Lounge at The Yards (1212 4th St. SE, DC) on Friday, May 29:

Raise the rooftop for a great cause! Join VIDA Fitness’ Penthouse Pool & Lounge at The Yards for an upscale rooftop and poolside evening on Friday, May 29 to raise funds for ALS. The social and networking event will include a silent auction to benefit Augie’s Quest, a nonprofit research initiative dedicated to finding a cure for Amyotrophic Laterals Sclerosis (ALS). The silent auction benefit will run from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. and feature complimentary food from the Penthouse Pool Club’s new menu designed by DC Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn and other area restaurants.

DJ Alex Kouros will spin house tracks accompanied with live performances by the Wizard Girls and the Nationals Racing Presidents. The evening will feature numerous silent auction items from DC area retailers, theaters, sporting events and restaurants. Featured silent auction items include:

  • Canali Suits ($1000 gift voucher)
  • National Theatre: Two Opening Night Tickets to Smash-Hit Disney Musical Newsies
  • Washington Capitals: Two Autographed Jerseys ($500 each)
  • Capitol Event Stylists: $5,500 Wedding/Corporate/Social Event Planning Package
  • Dupont Circle Hotel: One Night Stay w/ Breakfast
  • Washington Nationals: Autographed Baseballs from Jordan Zimmerman, FP Santangelo and Game Tickets
  • Fabbioli Cellars: Four Wine Tastings
  • Shakespeare Theatre: Two Tickets to Tartuffe

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Excursion: The Sierra Club’s Annual One Day Hike — 4/25/15

2015 One Day Hike
Enjoying the 2015 One Day Hike

50 kilometers. Or 100 kilometers. Take your pick.

The 42nd One Day Hike (ODH) along the C&O Canal Towpath took place on Saturday, April 25th.

The 100K hikers start in Georgetown at 3am, while the 50K hikers start in White’s Ferry, Maryland at 10am. Both groups end in Bolivar, West Virginia (just up the hill from Harper’s Ferry) at the community center.

This was my 4th time participating in the 50K hike. By all accounts it was my fastest time yet, shaving 30+ minutes off of 2014’s time.

Yet the One Day Hike is not a race. It’s not meant to be competitive. Some people treat it that way, but many are happy to enjoy the scenery along the Potomac River and finish with minimal blisters and soreness.

I’ve found the ODH to be one of the most well-organized and well-supported walking or racing events in the DC area. In no small part to the volunteers that plan it, manage it and those volunteers that come out early and stay late to prepare food and drinks, give medical aid and patrol along the trail between support stations to help and give encouragement. ODH co-chair and volunteer coordinator, Mike Darzi, is at the forefront of this successfully run event, communicating with participants and sorting out the details each year.

ODH Sign

 

Diana Partridge, first-time hiking the 50K, “The hike was beautiful and very well-organized. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m excited to try the 100k next year.”

Each support station (four stations for the 50K; seven for the 100K) is a veritable feast of snacks, sandwiches, soup, coffee, Gatorade, fruit, candy and more. I like the popcorn and the trail mix with M&Ms. And blue Gatorade is possibly the most delicious liquid after 20 miles of walking. Then, for the finishers at the Bolivar Community Center, there is chili (turkey and veggie), salads, sodas and pizza. I probably eat better on this hike than on most days.

The support stations also feature a medical tent where volunteers give aid to the hikers, including foot care for any pesky blisters.

Mike O’Brien, first-time medical volunteer, “I was happy to volunteer and was encouraged to see the people who I had treated at the half-way mark of the 100K, finish. Next year I’m going to join the hike.”

Once you’ve finished the hike, some people take the shuttle bus back to the Shady Grove Metro stop. But you’re tired by then, and more travel is the last thing you need. The best option is to stay in Bolivar or Harper’s Ferry at a hostel or hotel and then catch the (only) train back to DC the next morning after breakfast.

A worthy event to consider for next year!

 

The Sierra Club’s One Day Hike
Registration is usually at the beginning of February and the hike takes place the last weekend in April.
$50 for either the 50K or 100K

 

Results and Tips

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