For those who have chosen to avoid the pain of holiday traffic and will be in town for Labor Day weekend, here are a few close-to-home “staycation” ideas.
A wealth of activity will be going on throughout the three-day weekend at Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. The Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture’s 48th Annual Labor Day Art Show, featuring more than 600 works in sculpture, painting and drawing, ceramics, glass, jewelry, photography, textiles, furniture and works on paper by 200-plus artists, is set for Saturday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 3 to 3, noon to 5 p.m., in the park’s Spanish Ballroom. A reception will be held Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Judge Adah Rose Bitterbaum, owner of Kensington’s Adah Rose Gallery, will award $250 cash prizes for top works in the two- and three-dimensional categories. The Park View Artist Award winner will receive a solo art exhibition in January at the park’s Park View Gallery.
The Friends of the Yellow Barn Labor Day Drawing Show will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, with a reception on Sept. 3, 4 to 5 p.m., in the park’s Yellow Barn Studio. This exhibit celebrates works in pencil, pastel, pen and ink, and charcoal by Yellow Barn instructors and artists. Although the studio is known for classes in oil, watercolor and acrylic painting, artists were asked to draw in recognition of the art and importance of drawing and of the fact that exceptional drawing skills lead to exceptional paintings. This year, Plaza Artist Materials will sponsor two “people’s choice” awards of $250, one for Yellow Barn instructors and one for Friends of the Yellow Barn members.
Dances galore will take place in the park as well, starting with the Friday Night Dancers’ Contra Dance featuring Dugan Murphy calling to Audrey & Clayton on Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. in the Bumper Car Pavilion (BCP) ($10 admission, $5 17 and younger). The Partnership’s Swing Dance on Saturday, Sept. 1, 8 p.m. to midnight in the BCP, will feature live music by Joker’s Wild ($20, $15 students).
On Sunday, Sept. 2, Tango Brillante DC will present Argentine Tango lessons (6:30 p.m. $15-$20) and an 8:30 p.m. dance with live music by Emmanuel Trifilio and Ramón González ($15 in the Ballroom Back Room (BBR).
Free admission is offered on Sunday, Sept. 2, to Waltz Time’s Waltz Dance, with live music by Devine Comedy, 2:45 to 6 p.m., in the Spanish Ballroom, and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington’s (FSGW) Family Dance, with Penelope Pineapple calling to Hammer and String, 3 to 5 p.m., in the BBR. The FSGW also will hold a Contra and Square Dance, with the same called and band, on Sept. 2, 7 to 10:30 p.m. in the BCP; admission is $13, $10 for members, $5 for ages 17 and younger.
Irish eyes – and everyone else’s – will be smiling on Monday, Sept. 3, from 1 to 6 p.m., for live performances by Shannon Dunne Dance, The Bog Band and the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance, at the Irish Music & Dance Showcase in the BCP.
Parade lovers will have a choice of two on Monday, Sept. 3, one in the morning in Kensington, the other during the afternoon in Gaithersburg.
The 51st annual Kensington Labor Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. at St. Paul Park (St. Paul Street and Plyers Mill Road) and travels south down Connecticut Avenue toward Warner Street before turning back through the heart of Kensington. Participants will include marching bands from area schools; equestrian show groups; dance groups; floats and ambassadors from local churches, schools, non-profits and businesses; and elected officials. Look out for the Washington Revels dressed in white with multicolored sashes and arm ribbons along with the Hobby Horse, Snap the Dragon and a Smiling Sun.
As the parade moves toward Town Hall, Armory Avenue will host a festival featuring food, games and activities. And students from Silver Spring’s Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s Professional Training Program will perform in front of the grandstand.
The 80th Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade returns to the streets of Olde Towne at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3, following East Diamond Avenue and through Russell Avenue, ending at the intersection of Odend’hal Avenue. The rain or shine event includes dance groups, antique cars and firetrucks, clowns, high school marching bands, community groups, equestrian units. Uncle Sam on stilts and a variety of movie characters and business mascots. And make sure to get an annual Labor Day Parade coin, handed out by the Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council from their festive trolley.
At Rio Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg, free music will be in the air, beginning Friday, Aug. 31, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with 8 Ohms’ R&B, soul and funk on the Lakefront Plaza Stage. On the patio near the paddleboats from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 31 will be Sideways’ classic rock and 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 1 Quiet Fire’s R&B and Motown tunes.