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Posted at 10:07 PM ET, 03/14/2009

Free and Easy Events

By Fritz Hahn

If you see elephants in the streets of D.C. on St. Patrick's Day, it's not because of the whiskey -- the circus is in town. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

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

Sunday, March 15
D.C. St. Patrick's Day Parade
"Irish Tradition in Word and Song" is the theme of this year's parade on Constitution Avenue, featuring marching bands, Irish step dancers and floats. 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.

Monday, March 16
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.

Tuesday, March 17
Elephant Walk Through Downtown Washington
You mean you've never seen a pack of pachyderms striding through D.C.? Well, here's your chance: The elephants of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are marching from Capitol Hill to the Verizon Center, accompanied by a St. Patrick's Day bagpiper.

Wednesday, March 18
Intro to Improv Workshops at the Children's Studio School
This week, the Washington Improv Theater offers free "intro to improv" classes with professional instructors to anyone interested in learning how to be more spontaneous.

Thursday, March 19
'Atmospheric Conditions' at Nevin Kelly Gallery
Drop by Nevin Kelly's new Columbia Heights space to see the opening of 'Atmospheric Conditions,' a show featuring cool, colorful abstract paintings by H. Wesley Wheeler.

Friday, March 20
Georgetown University Jazz Concert at Georgetown's McNeir Hall
Professor Joe McCarthy -- a Latin Grammy winner, founder of Afro Bop Alliance (listen) and drummer for the U.S. Naval Academy Band's jazz ensemble -- leads his band Threeology through a show of Afro-Cuban jazz and funk.

Saturday, March 21
Fez and Moustache Party at Looking Glass Lounge
DJs Jason Seymour and Rebelzero spin "Romani rock, twisted klezmer, Slavic soul and Balkan beats" at this annual throwdown. To help get guests in the mood, free (fake) moustaches will be available for a limited time at the door, and bartenders will be pouring samples of Sobieski vodka, a premium adult beverage from Poland.

Sunday, March 22
'Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson' at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
Tickets are free for this opera, based on the life of the famed African-American contralto Marian Anderson, but RSVPs are required.

Monday, March 23
24th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards at the Kennedy Center
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty hosts a night of performances by local artists, including the Washington Ballet, the Washington Improv Theater, chamber choir Coral Cantigas and go-go band Mambo Sauce (listen).

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | March 14, 2009; 10:07 PM ET
Categories:  Events  
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