✔ Pick of the Pack
Party: Fifth Annual Repeal Day Ball
On Dec. 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing Prohibition and once again permitting the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcohol in the United States. If you missed celebrating Repeal Day, the DC Craft Bartenders Guild will be mixing superior classic cocktails Saturday at its annual Repeal Day Ball. Founded in 2008 to promote the history and practice of craft bartending in the District, the guild includes the creme de la creme of local mixologists, such as Derek and Tom Brown of the Passenger and the Columbia Room and Chantal Tseng of the Tabard Inn. Join them and other cocktail aficionados to learn more about classic American cocktails and enjoy tunes from the '20s and '30s. It's the perfect day to drink a gin rickey, the gin, lime and soda concoction named the city's official cocktail by the guild last year.
Saturday at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Holiday: Candlelight Tours
Admit it: You've always wondered about the Heurich House, the foreboding-looking mansion on New Hampshire Avenue near the Dupont Circle Metro station's south exit. While the building may look a little creepy, it's actually the former residence of Christian Heurich, a German immigrant whose brewery was one of the largest private employers in the city in the late 19th century. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it's one of the area's few Victorian-era mansions with original furnishings intact, likely due to the fact that the reinforced-steel-and-concrete building is completely fireproof and quite technologically advanced for its time. This weekend, get a peek at a moment in time as the Heurich House celebrates the holidays with candlelight tours accompanied by German carols and holiday treats. Friday and Saturday at the Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Art: Russian Winter Festival
Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Post cereal heiress and founder of General Foods, knew about much more than just breakfast. In fact, the stylish socialite born in Springfield, Ill., eventually would own the largest collection of Russian imperial art outside Russia. In 1955, Post purchased Hillwood, a 25-acre estate near Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington and would fill it with her art collections, including many Faberge eggs, for future generations to enjoy. It's only fitting, then, that her former home would celebrate the holidays with a Russian Winter Festival. This weekend, visit the opulent estate and mingle with Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden, while enjoying the museum's decorative collections and lush gardens. Throughout the day, the Washington-based Samovar Russian Folk Music Ensemble will play traditional tunes and actors will perform Russian holiday folk tales. If you haven't debuted your fur (real or faux) this season, this is the event to do so.
Saturday and Sunday at the Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW
Holiday concert: U.S. Air Force Band
It takes a lot to be in the U.S. Air Force: precision, commitment, drive, patriotism. These same skills make the celebrated U.S. Air Force Band one of the most skillful in the country. In 1941, the band was formed with just four musicians, but since then, it has expanded to more than 170 members in six unique ensembles with the capability to play everything from patriotic tunes to classical and jazz compositions to rock 'n' roll. This weekend, the band will salute the holidays with its annual holiday concert, featuring the concert band, the symphonic wind ensemble, and the Singing Sergeants, the 18-member chorus that surely will get you singing along to popular holiday tunes. Free tickets are available at various locations throughout the area and must be picked up in advance, though unclaimed seats will be made available 15 minutes before each performance.
Saturday and Sunday at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW
Theater: Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas'
The 1954 film "White Christmas," starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, remains one of the most beloved movie musicals, no matter what time of year you watch it. After saving his life in World War II, Phil Davis (played in the film by Danny Kaye) convinces his friend, Crosby's Bob Wallace, to join him in the entertainment industry, where they have good luck in business, but not in love. They happen to meet two beautiful sisters, played by Clooney and Vera-Ellen, who have a song-and-dance act, but of course, mix-ups ensue as they try to find their happily ever afters in time for Christmas. After showing on Broadway in 2008 and 2009, the stage adaptation of the film is touring the country for the holiday season. Opening Tuesday at the Kennedy Center and playing into the new year, the show features some of the most cherished of Crosby's 1,000-plus songs, such as "Blue Skies," "How Deep Is the Ocean," and the warm-and-fuzzy title track.
Through Jan. 6 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW