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Posted at 4:31 PM ET, 03/22/2009

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

Kids of all ages can fly kites on the Washington Monument grounds on Saturday. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

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).

Wine Tasting at Bistrot Lepic
Every Tuesday night, sommerliers and wine reps guide you through the tasting of two French wines in the cozy upstairs bar and lounge. You get a free half-glass (or so) of each and the chance to sample wines from two producers you may never have heard of before. This week's featured pair is from the Labouré-Roi vineyard in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy. Try the 2007 Macon Village (white) and 2006 Les Sangliers Pinot Noir (red) from 6 to 8.

Local History Talk: Alexandria at the Lyceum
Historian Jim Bish discusses Old Town Alexandria in the 1700s, especially the multi-tasking West family, who ran a tobacco inspection station, a tavern, warehouses and a ferry.

A Conversation with Robert Frank
All 83 images from photographer Robert Frank's 1959 book "The Americans" are currently exhibited at the National Gallery, and on March 26, he joins curator Sarah Greenough to discuss his work.

The New Zealand String Quartet at the Library of Congress
This evening performance by the New Zealand String Quartet includes works by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Gillian Karawe Whitehead. The latter's "Puhake ki te rangi" ("Spouting to the Sky") uses traditional Maori instruments in addition to violins, viola and cello.

Smithsonian Kite Festival on the National Mall
Hundreds of kites soar around the Washington Monument at this festival, one of the opening events of the annual Cherry Blossom festival and a yearly reminder that spring has come.

Cherry Blossom Nature Tour at the National Arboretum
Let the tourists fight it out for views of the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin. For the next few weeks, the Arboretum is offering self-guided tours of its own flowering trees -- and you can get a little more Japanese culture from the bonsai garden.

The University of Maryland Brass Quintet at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
As part of Music in Our Schools Month, the University of Maryland Brass Quintet and the Saint James School Choir span the centuries to perform a selection of Renaissance songs as well as 20th-century compositions by Jerome Kern and Eric Ewazen.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | March 22, 2009; 4:31 PM ET
Categories:  Events  
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