You can finally unpack your sweaters and break out your scarves: The autumn equinox is tomorrow, and the first indisputable weekend of fall is right behind it.
The mild weather will be great for sitting outside with a beer at an Oktoberfest celebration, taking a road trip to the Virginia State Fair (Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, Doswell) or catching the Flip Circus under the big top (Sept. 23 to Oct. 10, Westfield Montgomery mall).
What better way to start harvest season than with a farm-to-table meal? Deep Roots Farm, a Black-owned, sustainable farm in Prince George’s County, is hosting a Caribbean Feast (Saturday, Sept. 24, Upper Marlboro, $64). The woman behind it all, Ann Sutton aka Farmer Gale, is our Scene Setter this week. Check out our Q&A with her below.
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Have a great weekend!
- Tommy and Sophia
Oktoberfest in D.C., Maryland and Virginia
Prost! From Germany to the DMV, let's hoist a stein to Oktoberfest.
Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest festival — which always begins in mid-September and draws millions of visitors annually — dates back to a royal wedding in 1810.
So, how do you ensure you’re having an authentic German-style Oktoberfest? According to Jennifer Clardy Chalmers of the German Embassy, there are a few basic ingredients: A pair of all-leather lederhosen, a warm pretzel and of course the right beer — which, under German purity laws stretching back more than 500 years, can only include water, yeast, barley and hops.
Lovettsville, Virginia, says its Oktoberfest (pictured above) is one of the best in the world. The two-day celebration this Friday and Saturday will be packed with activities for the whole family, including a ceremonial keg tapping, wiener dog races and lots of live music. Here’s the full schedule.
A Munich-style outdoor Biergarten is the main attraction, hosting music, food, performances and quirky competitions — including a singalong to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” that will attempt to break a world record. The beer garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Saturday. Purchase drink tickets in advance for a discount.
There’s an Oktoberfest for everyone — celebrations come in as many varieties as beer does.
Traditional beer hall vibes — and stein-hoisting competitions — are on tap at Biergarten Haus, Dacha Beer Garden and Wunder Garten, plus The Bronson Bierhall’s Oktoberfest event (Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight, tasting and food packages cost $16-$48).
Family-friendly festivities are flowing freely, too. McLean’s Shipgarten will have special themed weekends plus costumed characters every weekend through Oct. 29. Also see the Oktoberfest Market at Crooked Run and Nectar (Sunday, Sept. 25, noon to 4 p.m., Sterling, Virginia) plus festivals in Vienna (Saturday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Gaithersburg (Sunday, Oct. 9, noon to 5 p.m.).
The German-American Heritage Museum of the USA will have polka and waltz lessons, history talks, plus German food and brews (Friday, Sept. 23, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., $69-$85), great for an on-theme date night.
If you’re looking for unlimited beer samples, The Great Oktoberfest 2022 (Saturday, Sept. 24, Southwest D.C., $50-$65) is a good option.
To fill up on gut German eats, check out the special dinner tour Trademark Hoptoberfest (Friday, Sept. 30, 6 p.m., Alexandria, $69) or D.C.’s Old Europe restaurant — the dining room basically will transport you to Bavaria.
More Things Happening This Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Authentic military tanks dating back to WWI, armored vehicles in action, flame thrower demos and first-hand history from veterans will awe kids and adults at the Americans in Wartime Experience in Nokesville, Virginia. News4’s Mark Segraves checked it out last year. Register in advance or at the gate; donations are requested.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic invites you to scale a climbing wall, test your orienteering skills and sample mountain cuisine. Enjoy a folk band, a German shepherd show and a falcon demonstration. It’s free and open to all ages, but bring cash for food purchases. An RSVP is required.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Head to the Robinson Landing waterfront for a day of face painting, crafts, games and artisan shops. The event is free. The site also has a cool Archaeology Along the Waterfront event coming up next month, on Oct. 15. Details on both are here.
Soulside and Verbal Assault, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Black Cat, $25
D.C. post-hardcore icons Soulside got back together in 2014, but their first full-length release since 1989 doesn’t drop until November. Get a glimpse live. They are supported by the reunited 1980s hardcore group Verbal Assault out of Newport, Rhode Island. Details.
Iceage and Earth, 8 p.m. Friday, Black Cat, $20
Danish punks Iceage have consistently evolved across their five full-lengths without losing their sneer. Enlisting Pete Kember (aka Spacemen 3 bassist Sonic Boom) for last year’s “Seek Shelter,” the band expanded its arrangements and finds itself in more melodic territory. Opener Earth’s mostly instrumental and minimalist drone metal has had its own evolution over three decades, relying less on distortion as they fold in more traditional styles. Details.
Amyl and the Sniffers, 10 p.m. Saturday, 9:30 Club, $25
These Australian rockers put on some of the most exciting live shows you’ll find. Steeped in various rock of the ‘70s – hard, pub and punk – they also proudly wear more recent hardcore. All with a great sense of humor (of which their name is proof). Details.
Girlpool, 8 p.m. Saturday, Black Cat, $20
This L.A. duo has expanded from bedroom-style pop and twee to a fuller, off-kilter pop rock sound. The music is often hopefully wistful, the lyrics always worn on their sleeves. Details.
Porridge Radio, 8 p.m. Sunday, DC9, $15-$18 (low-ticket warning)
There is a new wave of great post-punk bands emerging from the UK (though the previous wave seems like just yesterday), and they are taking the genre in various directions, expanding on what’s being played over that persistent, danceable beat. Like many of those bands, Porridge Radio is completely unique with their unpredictable song structure, honest and heartfelt lyrics, and surprising humor. After years perfecting their sound, they are rocketing in popularity. Details.
Just like a true German-style Oktoberfest beer, a proper Oktoberfest celebration requires just a few simple ingredients. Check out Tommy’s tips above!
Art All Night
Twenty-two different neighborhoods across D.C.’s eight wards are planning art activations, live music, photo ops, discussions and hands-on activities on Friday and Saturday.
Find an activation near you — or discover a new neighborhood — by using this map. Check out what your local library is doing here.
The options really seem endless, but some highlights and unique activities include:
- A drive-through art gallery, free pedicab rides and neon light art demo in Anacostia
Yoga, Zumba and belly dancing plus an outdoor music festival in Deanwood
A block party marking Banned Books Week at the MLK Library
A selfie studio and celebration of nail art at Pennsylvania Avenue downtown
Fresh flower arranging and a Kids Art Zone in Petworth
A pop-up market and interactive mural painting in Van Ness
Silent Discos, live music body painting and henna artists at many sites
Ann Sutton aka Deep Roots Farm's Farmer Gale
Deep Roots Farm is a woman-owned, organic farm in Upper Marlboro and Brandywine that aims to improve the health of its community — including the land and the people of Prince George’s County.
Sutton moved her farm operation to Prince George’s in 2018, meaning her produce is about as local as your can get.
In addition to selling at local farmer’s markets, the farm offers community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscription boxes filled with fresh produce in the summers and falls.
You can check out their Caribbean Feast on Saturday, or their regularly scheduled farm tours ($35 for adults, $15 for kids aged 2 to 15).
We caught up with Sutton about her mission and what it’s like to visit Deep Roots Farm.
How did Deep Roots Farm start and what’s your mission today?
Deep Roots Farm is the result of my desire to have a community space that grows food and soil for families in the DMV.
What exciting things are coming up this fall?
Reclaiming lost space by clearing overgrown areas, to create walking trails.
What are your farm tours like?
Our tours consist of a history of the land we are stewarding and the vision for the future.
What is the farm scene like in Prince George’s County, and what unique things does Deep Roots add to it?
Prince George’s County has a vibrant farming community, we are honored to be a food-producing farm that will support our community need for healthy, locally grown vegetables.
What’s your favorite farm animal?
Our Great Pyrenees guardian livestock dogs: Moon, Star and Jupiter.
About Tommy and Sophia
Tommy McFLY (@TommyMcFLY) brings you the best things to do around Washington as a News4 correspondent. A millennial Gemini husband and dog dad originally from Scranton, Tommy celebrates the things that bring our town together.
Sophia Barnes (@barnessophiag) started writing for NBC Washington and The Scene in 2016, covering everything from museum openings to protests to quirky animal stories. She’s an American University alum who loves good food and live music — say hi if you see her around the DMV.
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