That rumbling in the background you hear isn’t the latest cicada brood looking for action. It’s the 2013 Rolling Thunder Run, the annual Harley-Davidson ride around the nation’s capital over the Memorial Day holiday that seeks to raise awareness of those left behind in the Vietnam War.
But before the loudest cycles on earth make their way into town, there’s a pre-recess week to get through.
D.C., on the Lamb
Start it off right on the evening of May 20 with the 3rd Annual DC Lamb Jam at Eastern Market. For $60, one may sample a variety of lamb and lamb-inspired quaff and nosh, courtesy of 20 local Washington chefs. The VIP pre-party is sold out, but the Lamb Jam proper, from 6 to 9 p.m., awaits. Some of the proceeds will go to DC Central Kitchen.
Just because the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is in the rearview mirror for 2013 doesn’t mean “nerd prom” season is over. One of the most fun events to come, the Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner, isn’t until June 5. But in the meantime, there are a couple on the docket this week that come from different ends of the spectrum.
The Earth Day Network is hosting its 4th Annual Climate Leadership Gala on May 22 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel. Starting at 6 p.m. for cocktails and going until 9:30 p.m., green celebs such as Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, billionaire adventure-seeker Richard Branson and Ed Begley Jr. will party for the cause of a post-carbon future.
If you’re not into the green thing and are pro-carbon all the way, head on over to the Republic Day of Azerbaijan at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Azerbaijan is a country that has blossomed in the post-Soviet Union days thanks to a booming oil economy right there in the Caspian Sea.
It’s worth noting when Azeris throw a big party in Washington. The Azerbaijan America Alliance threw a real hootenanny back in November at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, “A Night in Washington With Friends From Baku,” which featured Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio. One of the party favors was a small vial of oil. Sui Generis.
Finally, on May 24, just as members of Congress start filing out of town to head back to the hustings, Rolling Thunder will get under way with a candlelight vigil at 9 p.m. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Rolling Thunder events continue through the weekend, with participants from all over the country gathering around the National Mall. On May 26, riders will gather at 7 a.m. at the Pentagon’s North and South parking lots in anticipation of their noon First Amendment Demonstration Run to West Potomac Park.
On May 27, Memorial Day, there’s an 11 a.m. candlelight vigil and wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. At 2 p.m. that day, the Memorial Day observance starts at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with the Memorial Day Parade.
At 3 p.m., there will be a minute of silence, a poignant ending to a remarkably loud weekend.