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June 26, 2009

SCO's guide to beat the heat

by Katie Sint, Online Managing Editor and Rose Wynn, Online Sports Editor
With the sweltering summer heat quickly approaching, it's hard to fight the urge to spend most of July and August plopped in front of the TV with the air conditioning turned on high. But even with the humidity that annoys MoCo residents during the summer months, SCO has diSCOvered some hidden gems that will undoubtedly get you to peel yourself off that sofa and enjoy all that D.C. has to offer. From carnivals and festivals to concerts and educational exhibits, these funtivities will get you to whip out your sunscreen (and sun visor - play it safe) and forget about that crazy heat.

D.C. Caribbean Carnival
In a flash of brightly dressed masqueraders, jerk chicken, vibrant music and carefree dance, this lively festival allows representatives from every Caribbean country to share their distinctive cultural celebrations and traditions with local populations. A staple cultural celebration since 1993, parade-goers from all over D.C., Maryland and Virginia form a colorful procession along Georgia Avenue, beginning at Missouri Avenue N.W. and ending at Barry Place. Following the march, which will take place on Saturday, June 27 at 11 a.m., participants can gather to enjoy a rich cultural variety of food, entertainment, arts and crafts, dance and music. The celebration will continue on Sunday from 2 - 7 p.m. at the Banneker Recreation Park across from Howard University in N.W. Washington D.C. With appealing flourishes of color and fun activities, the annual carnival draws more than 300,000 people each year, and has become increasingly popular since its creation more than 15 years ago. The admission cost is $10. More information on the D.C. Caribbean Festival can be found at the event's web site.

National Barbeque Battle
The only thing better than a nice relaxing summer barbeque with some friends is an intense national barbeque competition in D.C. From June 27 - 28, Safeway's annual National Barbeque Battle encourages people to enjoy the activities surrounding the competition between barbeque teams and restaurants as they fight for the coveted title of National Pork BBQ Champion. Visitors can spend their time watching free cooking demonstrations, pigging (get it?) out on free food samples or participating in interactive exhibits like the NBA Nation Basketball Tour. The competition also offers music lovers live entertainment from more than 30 jazz and rock bands. The competition will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue between Ninth and 14th streets and benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington's Metropolitan Police Club House. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids and free for children five years old and younger.

Concerts in Downtown Silver Spring
As the scorching sun sinks behind the Majestic 20 movie theater, Silver Spring residents of all ages can gather downtown to hear the distinct sounds of local music artists as a part of the Silver Spring Swings summer concert series. With the plaza fountain as a backdrop, local bands will entertain with a diverse assortment of music, including styles such as rock and roll, R&B, swing, soul, Latin, folk and jazz, beginning at 7 p.m. every Thursday evening. A face painter and balloon clown will provide further amusement for younger spectators starting at 6:30 p.m. These concerts allow the community to come together and enjoy an evening of distinctive sounds and fun entertainment.

The concert schedule for this summer is as follows:
June 18: Jennifer Cutting & Ocean Orchestra (Folk-Rock, Celtic)
June 25: Second Wind (Rock and Roll covers)
July 2: The Fabulous Bel Airs (Oldies from the 1950s and 1960s)
July 9: The David Bach Consort (World Jazz)
July 16: The Knockout Kings vs. Bruce Ewan (Blues from Spain)
July 23: Eliot Levine (R&B, Funk)
July 30: Eddie Becker Band (Rock, Soul, R&B)
Aug. 6: Verny Varela (Salsa)
See the concert schedule and obtain more information at this web site.

Wings of Fancy exhibit
Nothing screams summer fun like standing in a hot tent full of butterflies. Nobody understands that concept more than the staff at Brookside Gardens which, from May 2 - Sept. 20, will bring visitors the Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit. With so many different species of butterflies fluttering through the air, this exhibit truly is the bee's knees. Guides offer lessons on the intricate life cycle of these winged beauties and then let visitors into the flight house, a tent full of butterflies of Costa Rican, North American and Asian origin. The Wings of Fancy exhibit will be housed at the Brookside Gardens South Conservatory at 1500 Glenallan Ave. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
From Chinese New Year pantomimes and double dutch jump roping to New Orleans jazz ensembles and Irish dance, the 43rd annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall offers presentations of traditional practices, rituals and folklore from cultures worldwide. Attendees can explore poetry, theater, food, dance, tradition, music, games, jewelry and clothing from a rich variety of cultures. Last year, American basket weavers, a tent theater group, Chinese dragon dancers and Italian American stone carvers graced the mall with their diverse talents. As long as you bring a hat and sunscreen to repel the oppressive heat, the festival is sure to offer numerous interesting exhibitions for visitors to explore. Admission is free for the festival, which will occur June 24 - 28 and July 1 - 5 from 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Evening concerts and other nighttime events begin at 5:30 p.m. The specific 2009 schedule of activities will be announced by the end of June and can be found at the event's web site.

"I Love the '80s" Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival
Weird fashion statements, strange plot lines and perhaps the best movies ever created will be on display at this throwback film festival. Paying tribute to the best films of the 80s, including fan favorites like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "E.T." along with enough Molly Ringwald to leave you feeling all fuzzy inside, this retro film fest is sure to entertain all those who grew up in the 90s idolizing these classics. The film festival will feature 19 movies throughout the summer, one every Friday until Sept. 4. Be sure to catch at least one of these flicks at Rosslyn's Gateway Park, which is located right off of the Rosslyn Metro station on the Blue and Orange lines.



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