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GET OUT: Civil War crossing of the Potomac
✔ Pick of the Pack
Tour: Strategic Civil War crossing
On Aug. 3, 1864, the New York Times reported that 35,000 Confederate troops led by Gen. Jubal Early had crossed the Potomac at Dam 4, clashed with federal troops in Hagerstown, then recrossed the Potomac back into Martinsburg, W. Va. That Early and his men had crossed and recrossed the river in a single day was considered by the Times “an absurdity too absurd to seriously entertain.” But as military historian Gregg Clemmer will demonstrate this weekend during an all-day tour, Civil War troops crossed the Potomac with the same frequency (if not ease) that most of us cross the street for Starbucks. Mr. Clemmer’s tour will visit Rowser’s Ford, used by Col. John Mosby and Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry in June 1863; Edwards Ferry, crossed by Gen. Joe Hooker's Army of the Potomac on the way to Gettysburg; Young’s Island Ford, where Gen. Julius Stahel’s Union cavalry entered Maryland the same day, and many others. The highlight of the trip will be an actual crossing — by foot! — of White’s Ford, where Confederate forces led by Early retreated after an 1864 raid on Washington.
Saturday at the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C St. SW
For children: Kite-building workshop
Washington, D.C., with its glut of open space, is the perfect place to, in the immortal words of Mary Poppins and many a disgruntled Hill critter, “go fly a kite.” But where does one come by a kite, in this age of mobile digital entertainment and Vitamin D deficiency? If you’re in a rush, your best bet is a suburban big-box store. But if you’re going to drive out of the District, why not make a day of it? The College Park Aviation Museum will host a kite-building workshop this weekend, and it only costs $8. That gets you admission to the museum, plus materials and a tutorial.
Saturday at the College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park, Md.
Festival: Dance DC Festival
The dances on display at the ninth annual Dance DC Festival aren’t your parents’ box step. While native moves will be on the schedule (the Hand Dance will be with us forever), there also will be more exotic fare: the flamenco, the capoeira and the grufolpawa (from Spain, Brazil and Honduras, respectively); an Asian Maskquerade dance; and the Irish-inspired Fiddle Puppet Dancers. Additionally, festivalgoers can participate in dance workshops (such as Let’s Get Physical), and a banging dance party at H Street’s 12 Lounge finishes the whole thing off.
Friday and Saturday at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 333 H St. NE
By Donald Lambro
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Let it snow