Paris on the Potomac at the Ven Embassy Row hotel: Some might dismiss comparisons between D.C. and Paris — it’s unlikely that D.C. will ever show up near the top of those “most romantic cities in the world” surveys — but there are similarities between the two world capitals. The Alliance Française, which spreads French culture in D.C., ran a “Paris on the Potomac” photo competition seeking a picture that “perfectly represents the connection between Washington and Paris.” The group unveils 20 finalists, and the winner, during a champagne celebration at the Ven Embassy Row hotel. Admire the entries, start dreaming about your next trip to the City of Light, then head up to the rooftop for a free screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s classic “Breathless,” in French with subtitles. 7 p.m. Free; registration required.
Baila Thursdays Salsa Social at La Cosecha: Union Market’s La Cosecha is a destination for tacos, cocktails or coffee. Starting this week, it’s a place for dancing, too. The new Baila Thursdays offer drop-in, no-partner-necessary beginner salsa lessons for the first hour, before turning the floor over to dancers, who can practice or socialize for the rest of the night while enjoying drinks from Serenata. Going forward, the event is held on the first and third Thursdays of the month. 7 to 11 p.m. $15 for lesson and dancing; $7 for dancing from 8 to 11.
Messthetics at Franklin Park: You may have heard the Messthetics’ jagged, propulsive post-punk at Fort Reno or Black Cat. This week, you can hear the trio on your lunch break. Guitarist Anthony Pirog, bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty — yes, that’s the rhythm section from Fugazi — perform during the Live! at Franklin Park concert series. Bring your lunch to the freshly renovated park, or pick something up at one of the carryouts around the square, such as the well-reviewed Immigrant Food Plus, or the aptly named Best Sandwich Place. 12:30 p.m. Free.
Where to find free outdoor concerts in the D.C. area
Summer Festival at the National Museum of Asian Art: The second in a series of after-hours parties at the National Museum of Asian Art brings extended hours in the galleries, a curator discussion of “Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain,” live music from Indonesia’s Tim Muhibah Angklung Youth Orchestra and tunes by Les the DJ, and an outdoor screening of Bruce Lee’s “The Way of the Dragon.” Local businesses, including Rice Culture, Ruby Scoops and Please Bring Chips, sell food and cocktails. 5 to 9 p.m. Free. Registration suggested, but not required.
Blerdcon at Hyatt Regency Crystal City: Blerdcon — a Comic-Con-style festival that celebrates Black nerd culture — fills the Hyatt Regency Crystal City’s event space with tabletop games, panel discussions, cosplay meetups, anime screenings, comedy shows and more geeky fun. The weekend-long event expects to draw up to 4,000 fans, and “Drumline” star Orlando Jones is the celebrity guest (which fits with this year’s “Homecomin’ ” theme). Friday through Sunday. $65 weekend passes, $200 VIP. Ages 12 and younger free.
‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ at the Union Market Drive-In: Before Ferris Bueller begins his memorable day out in Chicago, he laments his lack of wheels more than once. “I asked for a car, I got a computer,” he says. “How’s that for being born under a bad sign?” But at Union Market’s drive-in screening of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” carless people are the winners. All tickets for automobiles are sold out, and no more vehicles — even 1961 Ferrari GTs — can fit in the parking lot. But anyone who arrives on foot can watch the movie from Neal Place, the pedestrianized street in front of Union Market, with no tickets required. Grab food from inside the market and a frozen cocktail from the Suburbia beer garden before the film begins at 9 p.m. Arrive early to stake out the best spots. 8 p.m. Free.
Breezy Supreme at Songbyrd: Is pop-punk back, or did it never really go away? Whatever the case, the oft-maligned soundtrack of youths in revolt is enjoying another moment in the sun, largely driven by artists and audiences that are more diverse than the last mostly White, mostly male go-round. Breezy Supreme is a Black alternative artist from the D.C.-Maryland area who has dabbled in noisy, nihilistic trap-rap but seems more comfortable with the scream-till-you-cry sounds of emo, punk and post-hardcore. His latest album, “Bad Decisions” (which features production by Good Charlotte’s Billy Martin), is a half-hour of raucous rockers perfect for — as he sings on “Palm Pilot” — “sitting in the background, chilling in the back seat.” And watch out live, where he’s been known to add metalcore and go-go to the pop-punk mix. 7 p.m. $18-$22.
Lotus and Water Lily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens can be a destination year-round, but the only national park dedicated to aquatic plants has its spotlight moment in July. This is peak season for brightly colored lotuses and water lilies, which are celebrated at the multiweek Lotus and Water Lily Festival throughout the park. Visitors wander dirt paths to look at gorgeous flowers in more than 40 human-made ponds, as well as turtles, dragonflies and butterflies. (Pro tip: Lotus petals open in the morning and close in the afternoon, so stop by before work or get up early on a weekend to enjoy the blossoms in their full glory.) Through the end of the month, the gardens stay open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays, instead of the usual 4 p.m. closing, and Wednesdays are also dedicated to children’s programs. Activities include live music and dance performances, tours led by park rangers, yoga, smartphone photography classes, and arts and crafts. A full calendar of events is available on the park’s website. Saturdays and Sundays through July 31. Free.
City of Alexandria Birthday Celebration at Oronoco Bay Park: On Monday, the United States celebrated its 246th birthday with music and fireworks. On Saturday, Alexandria celebrates its 273rd birthday with music, fireworks and free cupcakes. (Checkmate, U.S.A.) The return of Alexandria’s “big birthday experience” at Oronoco Bay Park includes the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performing “film scores and patriotic favorites,” a reading by Alexandria poet laureate Zeina Azzam, and City Council members handing out cupcakes before the explosive finale over the Potomac River at 9:30 p.m. Food trucks will be parked on-site, and picnics are encouraged. To ease crowding, the city’s website notes that the display can be seen from multiple locations, including Waterfront Park and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. 6 p.m. Free.
Port City Pub Crawl in Old Town Alexandria: Before Alexandria starts shooting off fireworks, the city’s oldest brewery encourages fans to explore bars in Old Town. Port City’s annual Pub Crawl, now in its ninth year, is “reverting to the original formula,” per the brewery. Participants carry a passport to eight bars, including Union Street Public House, Fish Market and Blackwall Hitch, collecting stamps at each location. (A purchase is not required at each bar — just find a Port City staffer to get a stamp.) Visit every bar before 6 p.m., possibly pausing to enjoy an Optimal Wit or Essential Pale Ale along the way, and collect a limited edition Pub Crawl pint glass. 1:30 to 6 p.m. Free.
Capital Fringe Festival Preview at Sandlot Georgetown: The Capital Fringe Festival is D.C.’s showcase for cutting-edge and underground theater. Sometimes that’s one-person shows, cabaret, interactive drama or site-specific performances — or none of the above. This year’s festival takes place in Georgetown, with 31 productions over two weekends. Get a preview of the festival at the Sandlot Georgetown beer garden with “rapid-fire teasers” of a majority of Fringe shows. If one of the snippets catches your eye, tickets to the full version of every production are $15. 7 p.m. Free.
Scythian at Arrowbrook Park: Arrowbrook Park hosted just two concerts during its first summer series in 2012. A decade later, the series has grown to host 90-minute sets by artists such as local Celtic/Americana mash-up Scythian — bands that are more likely to headline 9:30 Club or a major festival than perform at a free show in a Fairfax County park. Lawn chairs are welcome. The Winery at Bull Run and Paradise Springs Winery offer wine tastings and sales during events. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Free.
‘The Princess Bride’ with the NSO at the Anthem: If you watched “The Princess Bride” on repeat as a kid (or are doing so with your own kids now), this screening of the classic ’80s film at the Anthem needs to be on your radar. The National Symphony Orchestra performs Mark Knopfler’s score as the fairy tale plays on the big screen. Presumably, die-hard fans at the Anthem will shout along with the film’s most famous lines. (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”) 8 p.m. $40-$70.
Night of 1,000 Kylies at 9:30 Club: If there’s one night of guaranteed bangers this weekend, it’s the Night of 1,000 Kylies from DJs Ed Bailey and Lemz. (Admit it: You’ve got “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” running through your brain already.) Pussy Noir, Bumper and Scout are also set to perform at this event, presented by Trade and Bent. 10 p.m. $20.
MIA: Drake vs Bad Bunny at Songbyrd: We’ve featured DJ nights dedicated to Taylor vs. Olivia and Miley vs. Gaga vs. Madonna, but Drake vs. Bad Bunny is a new one. It’s an interesting concept using two superstars who seem to get along — after all, they collaborated on “Mia” in 2018. Then again, Bad Bunny did break Drake’s record for most Spotify streams in a single day, thanks to his most recent album, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” so maybe Drizzy is a little salty about that? In any case, DJs Mathias and Whitney AbstraKt play back-to-back hits to keep the dance floor moving all night. 10 p.m. $19.20.
Let’s Skate D.C. at the Wharf: Ice skating is a go-to activity in winter at the Wharf, but now it’s time to lace up your roller skates. During select weekends this summer, check out the new Wharf Roller Rink on the Transit Pier for alfresco skating with river views. Admission is free; just show up with skates and enjoy the soundtrack, with performances from pro skaters too. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m., Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. Free. Adults must bring their own skates; $10 skate rentals available for children.
The Chicks at Jiffy Lube Live: The Chicks have always spoken their truth on their terms, whether singing a domestic-violence revenge fantasy (“Goodbye Earl”), kissing off small-minded small towns (“Lubbock or Leave It”) or — perhaps most famously — calling out George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq, a move that derailed the trio’s careers. So it should have come as no surprise when the band dropped “Dixie” from their moniker, as protests against racist violence erupted in the summer of 2020, and returned soon after for their first album of new music in 14 years. “Gaslighter” is informed by the betrayal, heartbreak and eventual freedom of singer Natalie Maines’s divorce, and the poppy, decidedly contemporary country album finds the band unraveled and more traveled but still ready for a fight. That’s especially true on “March March,” a slow-boiling protest song that feels particularly potent during this moment in American history. 7:30 p.m. $35-$211.
Prince George’s Shakespeare in the Parks at Fairwood Community Park Amphitheater: The Prince George’s Shakespeare in the Parks series returns this summer with outdoor, in-person performances of “Macbeth.” The rollicking, 90-minute adaptation riffs on Martin Scorsese’s film “Gangs of New York,” with stage combat scenes to keep little ones intrigued. Watch Lord and Lady Macbeth from your picnic blanket as the Scottish play bounces around parks in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties throughout July. The first performance is Sunday at 3 p.m. in Bowie; the second is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton. Various times and locations through July 24. Free.
Romanian Weekend at the Wharf: The Embassy of Romania and New York’s Romanian Cultural Institute team up for a two-day celebration of Romanian arts, food and drink at the Wharf, with a particular focus on Maramures County, which borders Ukraine. The packed agenda features concerts by the rap group Tehno-Vrajitoarele (“Techno-Witches”) and more traditional artists, folk dances performed by Romania’s Transylvania ensemble and the local Carpathia Folk Dance Ensemble, spoken word performances, free dance lessons, pottery and craft demonstrations, Romanian wine tastings, food stalls, and displays of traditional folk costumes. Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. Free.
Txakfest at Maxwell Park Navy Yard: Maxwell Park’s Basque-inspired party features pours of the dry, semi-sparkling wine known as Txakolina; wines served in the glass pitchers called gas; Spanish ciders; and pinchos, the bite-size drinking snacks. Tickets include food and drink for three hours, as well as discounts on wine to take home. Pro tip: If you’re going to drink out of the porron, wear a dark-colored shirt. This event is at the Navy Yard location only; the Maxwell Park in Shaw has its own Txakfest on July 24. Noon to 3 p.m. $60.
Nicole Atkins at the Hamilton Live: Unable to tour in support of 2020’s “Italian Ice,” Nicole Atkins did what many performers tried to stave off boredom and stagnation: live-streaming her performances on the internet, first from her attic and then from the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, N.J. The shows inspired her to strip down the album’s songs, which she reworked and recorded as “Memphis Ice.” No matter the version, the New Jersey-bred, Nashville-based talent’s songwriting evokes both the warm nostalgia of the Brill Building era and the youthful adventures on Jersey Shore boardwalks that continue to inspire her. As she pondered about the new album’s creation, “Why can’t there be new songs that feel like the old standards?” 7:30 p.m. $20-$40.
War of the Rosés: Through the end of July, 20 restaurants and bars are turning pink summer wines into a force for good. During the War of the Rosés, businesses pledge to donate 5 percent of their rosé sales to a specific charity and earmark another 5 percent to be donated to the designated charity of the restaurant that sold the most rosé throughout the month. Some have fun with the idea: Defending champion La Jambe crafted a special rosé shot that includes rum and strawberries as part of its fundraiser for Mamatoto Village, while Etto pours a Negroni Rosato cocktail in support of SMYAL. All Purpose Shaw offers a rosé on draft for the National Organization for Women. Check out the full list of participants on the War of the Rosés website, pick a cause or favorite restaurant to support, and get your friends together for a glass of light, refreshing wine. It’s really that simple. Through July 31.
D.C. Punk Archive Library Rooftop Shows at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library: “What’s more punk than the public library?” is more than a clever T-shirt slogan — it’s a way of life at the D.C. Public Library. The D.C. Punk Archive, established in 2014, is a public collection of records, fliers, zines, set lists and artifacts dating back to 1976 that tell the story of the city’s dynamic punk and indie music scene. But the library also works to make sure punk isn’t relegated to the dusty shelf of history: This summer, it’s hosting monthly concerts on the rooftop of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library downtown, with artists including Cinema Hearts (July 13) and Prude (Aug. 10). Shows are free, all-ages and open to anyone who shows up. What’s more punk than that? 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/07/07/best-things-do-dc-area-week-july-7-13/ Outdoor movies, festivals, concerts, fireworks and other things to do in the Washington, D.C., area