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Posted at 7:02 PM ET, 03/ 9/2009

Free and Easy Events

By Fritz Hahn

Every week, the Going Out Gurus suggest ways to enjoy Washington's cultural scene without spending any money. Have an idea for us? Send it to

Looking for more ideas? See the Weekend Section's guide to free events in the month of March.

Nine on the Ninth at Busboys and Poets
At 9 p.m. on the ninth day of the month, Busboys and Poets's poet-in-residence Derrick Weston Brown invites everyone to share their stories at the restaurant's open mike.

Army Blues Concert at Fort Myer
The Army Blues Band has a repertoire larger than the name would have you expect: The varied program at tonight's concert includes a Rossini duet for violoncello and contrabass as well as swingin' numbers by jazz greats Duke Ellington and Oscar Pettiford.

Environmental Film Festival
The 12-day Environmental Film Festival, now in its 17th year, begins on Wednesday. Opening night draws include "The Big Blue," about Australia's southern ocean, at the Embassy of Australia; "The River Tiber," about Rome's neglected riverbanks, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and the animated pair of "Diary of a Fly" and "Diary of a Spider" at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. These three films are free, but RSVPs may be required.

Going Out Guide Happy Hour at Rocket Bar
Our monthly happy hours keep getting better and better. This time, we're offering free pizza and mini-burgers from Matchbox, a shuffleboard tournament with (what else?) iPod Shuffles for the winners, drink specials and a chance to win two pairs of VIP tickets to Taste of the Nation.

'Guantanamo Bay: Photographs by Christopher Sims' at Civilian Art Projects
This weekend is your final chance to see more than two dozen photographs depicting everyday life at the detention facility, including shots of a grocery store, parks and conference rooms. The only thing missing from the shots: people.

Patuxent Research Refuge Birthday Bash at the National Wildlife Visitor Center
The 12,000-acre Patuxent Research Refuge celebrates its 73rd birthday with tours of the facility (aboard an open-air tram), animal demonstrations, exhibits, and music and activities for children.

D.C. St. Patrick's Day Parade
"Irish Tradition in Word and Song" is the theme of this year's parade on Constitution Avenue, which features marching bands, Irish step dancers, floats hosted by Irish societies and businesses. MSNBC Washington correspondent Norah O'Donnell is this year's Grand Marshall. Once the parade ends, the party moves to nearby pubs. Some, like Fado, have live music.

A Musical Tribute to Abraham Lincoln at the National Portrait Gallery
Be there for the premiere of a new piano concerto, which the Portrait Gallery commissioned to mark Abraham Lincoln's birthday bicentennial. Seating is limited; see the link for info on making reservations.
Djamel Laroussi at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
The Algerian-born, Paris-based guitarist and his band mix traditional desert music from the Sahara region with influences from the worlds of funk, reggae and rock. (Listen to tracks on his MySpace page.)

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | March 9, 2009; 7:02 PM ET
Categories:  Events  
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