Insider’s Guide: Things To Do in May

Derby days, a funk parade, a wine festival and more. 

Wear your festive hats to The Preakness (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

Wear your festive hats to The Preakness (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

THE KENNEDY CENTER’S IRELAND 100
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
Join in the craic (i.e. fun) with this major Irish cultural festival curated by the Kennedy Center’s Alicia Adams. Dozens of performances from some of Ireland’s best contemporary musicians, dancers and theater companies will pay tribute to the Emerald Isle and highlight Ireland’s relationship with America. Don’t miss the literature series featuring panel discussions with more than 20 Irish and American writers and musicians, including Eavan Boland and Colum McCann.Theater productions include the Sean O’Casey classic “The Plough and the Stars” and on opening night artist- in-residence Fiona Shaw will be joined on stage by the National Symphony Orchestra. There’s even a Redhead Day celebration and special whiskey and beer tastings. The Kennedy Center, May 17-June 5, kennedy-center.org/festival.

A NIGHT AT THE THEATER
AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER Political scandal runs through this Wendy Wasserstein drama that is set in Georgetown and stars Susan Marie Rhea as a U.S. senator’s daughter whose personal life leads to a media frenzy when past indiscretions are revealed. USA Today called it a “brave and ambitious play that portrays with withering accuracy the damage wrought by the tart- tongued TV culture of Washington.” The Keegan Theatre, runs May 7-May 28, tickets range from $35-$45, keegantheatre.com.
HEDDA GABLER A housewife returns from her honeymoon and is disenchanted with her daily life, but a preoccupation with public perception holds her back.This Ibsen classic is rendered anew in a contemporary adaptation by Mark O’Rowe at Studio Theatre that looks at “power, control and self deception while offering a nuanced portrait of one of the most fascinating figures in modern drama.” Studio Theatre, runs May 11-June 19, studiotheatre.org.

DC FUNK PARADE
MARCH TO THE MUSIC
Join thousands of funk fans for this one-of-a-kind parade, day fair and music fest to celebrate funk music and the U Street neighborhood.This second annual funk parade and music fest will include free evening performances at venues like U Street Music Hall and DC9. During the day, you can find marching bands and beat-boxers, dragon and lion dancers, artist and vendors, drum corps and more. All events are walking distance from U Street Metro Station. Saturday, May 7, noon to 10 p.m., funkparade.com.

GREEN FESTIVAL EXPO
GREEN SCENE
It’s the ultimate marketplace for environmentally friendly goods and services. Take your mother along (since moms get in free to the 12th annual expo) and explore more than 250 exhibitors, listen to more than 50 inspirational speakers and indulge in delicious vegan and vegetarian food. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, May 6-8, tickets start from $12 for a single day at the festival, greenfestivals.org.

TIME FOR WINE
GOODSTONE INN WINE DINNER Treat yourself to a romantic evening in Middleburg at Goodstone Inn & Restaurant’s one-night-only Oregon Carabella Vineyard Wine Dinner. Canapes will be served at 5:30 p.m. in the carriage house followed by a 6:30 p.m. wine dinner with guest speaker Mike Hollok, winemaker for Carabella Vineyard, and a spectacular four-course meal with sommelier-selected wine pairings. The wine dinner is limited and the cost is $135 per person. For reservations, call the inn at (540) 687-3333.
VINOFEST Jon Batiste and The Wailers headline this all-day wine and music event on the Southwest Waterfront showcasing 25 vineyards including Justin Vineyards, One Hope Wine and Da Luca. Foodies will love the offerings from local favorites such as Milk Bar, Toki Underground and Maketto. You can also volunteer with Martha’s Table in exchange for free admission to the festival. The Yards Park, May 7, 5 to 10 p.m., general admission tickets are $55. VIP tickets are $99 and include early festival access at 3p.m.,a private VIP lounge with a sponsored bar,premium wine tastings,catering and exclusive VIP gifts from festival sponsors, VinoFest.com.

THE PREAKNESS
DERBY DAYS
It’s the time of year for big hats and equestrian revelry at one of the region’s most anticipated horse shows. Make a day of it at the 141st Preakness Stakes, where the crowd is ranked second only behind the Kentucky Derby. Sip Black Eyed Susans and mint juleps in dapper attire while rooting for your favorite Thoroughbred to make its way to the Triple Crown. Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md., May 21, preakness.com.

This article appeared in the May 2016 issue of Washington Life.

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