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From Ghosts to Antique Cars, D.C. Festivals Offer Fun

No Need to Travel Far for Weekend Events With Something For Everyone

From drag queen races to cooking shows, upcoming events in the D.C. metro area are anything but dull. For those who will be sticking around for the next few weekends, here are some of the highlights:

Through Oct. 25, the District will host the 18th annual LGBT film festival Reel Affirmations at five venues around the D.C. metropolitan area. Coordinated by a nonprofit LGBT arts organization called One in 10, the volunteer-run festival features films and documentaries from around the world. Tickets to individual screenings are $10 each, while the festival pass costs $150 but excludes admission to the opening and closing night films and special events. For a complete festival schedule and to order tickets online, visit

Outside the District, more than 400 antique and classic automobiles will fill Rockville Civic Center Park on Saturday for the Rockville Antique and Classic Car Show. The event features more than 20 car clubs, from Packard to Ferrari, as well as performances by the Rockville Swing Band and a

People’s Choice Award presented at the end of the show. The field officially opens to spectators at 11 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for Oct. 25. Participants can call 240-314-5022 for inclement weather updates.

On Saturday and Sunday, craft enthusiasts should head to the 11th annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival, open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The free, outdoor event features the work of 180 leading artists and craftsmen from the Mid-Atlantic and around the country, including ceramics, drawings, jewelry, fabrics, photography, sculpture and metalwork. The event is held rain or shine on Bethesda Row, which is located on Woodmont and Bethesda avenues and Elm Street, east of Arlington Road.

Attracting top horses and riders from across the globe, the 50th Washington International Horse Show will be held Oct. 21-26 at the Verizon Center. The show brings approximately 500 horses to the nation’s capital to compete for championship titles and more than $400,000 in prize money. The event also includes 55 shopping boutiques, special exhibitions and a “pony pavilion” with free pony rides on Saturday. General admission is $15 and tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling 202-397-SEAT.

Next, it’s time to get out your favorite Halloween disguises and face paint — the National Zoo will host its 10th annual Boo at the Zoo celebration Oct. 23-26 for families with children ages 2 to 12. The costumed event features candy and snacks from more than 40 treat stations, as well as animal encounters and keeper talks throughout the festively decorated zoo grounds. The event runs rain or shine from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each night, and tickets are required for those aged 2 and above. Tickets are $15 for Friends of the Zoo members and $25 for nonmembers and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 202-397-7328 or at the zoo’s visitor center front desk between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Note: Oct. 25 is already sold out.)

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, the National Building Museum will host lantern-lit tours of the museum led by the ghost of Mary Surratt (who was executed for allegedly taking part in the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln). Participants will help Surratt solve a mystery while she gives them a behind-the-scenes tour of a museum that many ghosts call home. Tours are offered from 8 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17, 19, 24 and 28 and Nov. 3, 16 and 23 and are recommended for ages 10 and up. Tickets cost $12 for members and $18 for nonmembers and should be purchased in advance. For more information, call 202-272-2448.

On Oct. 28, Dupont Circle will host its annual High Heel Drag Queen Race on 17th Street between P and S streets. Attracting thousands of spectators each year, the race features costumed drag queens that show off their elaborate outfits and race down 17th Street in high heels. The race begins at 9 p.m. and usually lasts less than 15 minutes, although participants gather as early as 6 p.m. to start the celebration.

For those anxious to get a head start on holiday shopping, the Shops at Strathmore will host the 2008 Museum Shop Around Nov. 6-9, featuring selections from D.C.-area museum gift shops. The 16 participating shops include the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Archives Shop, and the event is sponsored by Restaurant Associates. Admission is $8 at the door, and proceeds from admission benefit Strathmore’s artistic and educational programs. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and no strollers are allowed. The Shops at Strathmore are located at 10701 Rockville Pike near the Grosvenor/Strathmore Metro stop.

The Washington D.C. Green Festival on Nov. 8 and 9 features more than 350 green business and 125 speakers, how-to workshops, yoga classes, green films, organic beer, a fair-trade pavilion, live music and organic cuisine and gives participants the opportunity to learn about D.C. environmental initiatives. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday in the Washington Convention Center.

And if you’re still hungry after your organic meal, head to the other side of the convention center for the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show. The Nov. 8-9 event includes a chocolate tasting, hands-on cooking sessions with top national chefs, knife skills classes, hands-on classes for children and live performances by Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Deen and Bobby Flay in the Celebrity Theater. The show will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children in advance and $25 and $13 at the door, respectively, with additional admission required for certain events. To purchase tickets, visit or call 888-695-0888.

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