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Barracks Row to Host Music Festival

The insouciant sounds of the second annual Fête de la Musique will fill the air around Barracks Row on Saturday as a slate of more than a dozen jazz, Latin, hip-hop, bluegrass and other musical groups take to the streets.

Hosted by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Barracks Row Main Street, the festivities will kick off at 11 a.m. at the Eastern Market Metro Plaza with a performance by the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra. A Chinese dragon with dancers will then wend its way down Eighth Street Southeast to take in the myriad musical offerings lining the corridor. The event wraps up at 6 p.m.

For more information and a complete schedule of performances, go to or

Soap Box Derby Ready to Roll This Weekend

With just days to go before scores of local children rumble down Capitol Hill in homemade racing machines, organizers of the 63rd annual Greater Washington Soap Box Derby are putting the final touches on race day preparations.

This year’s race, which has drawn about 50 area racers and home-built cars, is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning along a stretch of Constitution Avenue between Delaware Avenue Northeast and Third Street Northwest. The derby will take place rain or shine with racers competing in three divisions, running head-to-head matchups in a double-elimination tournament. The final heat of the day will be run at approximately 5:30 p.m.

One champion each from the Stock Division, the Super stock Division and the Masters Division will win a one-week trip to Akron, Ohio, to compete in the All American Soap Box Derby World Championship on July 31 — an event which usually draws about 450 to 500 racers each year.

And once again the competition looks to be fierce on the local level, with Greater Washington Soap Box Derby organizers hoping that this year will finally be the year a Washington racer wins the national championship.

“There are a few pre-race favorites, but there’s also some who could sneak in if the door is left open to them,” George Weissgerber, the derby director, said about Saturday’s race. “The kids are excited to go.”

Spectators at this year’s race can look forward not only to an intense completion but also to seeing a few local celebrities including City Council Member Sandy Allen (D-Ward 8), who is rumored to be looking to take a run down the track herself in a derby celebrity car.

— Bree Hocking and John McArdle

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