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Fair

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

Since 1949, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, the largest fair in Maryland, has taken over the expansive fairgrounds in Gaithersburg. The event celebrates the state's rich agricultural history and thriving farming industry with a full week of activities ranging from cattle shows and pig races to displays of some seriously impressive produce. The fair opens Friday with an all-you-can-ride deal on the midway featuring dozens of rides and games, from bumper cars and bingo to an old-fashioned fun house. Don't get swept away on the Tilt-A-Whirl, though, because you won't want to miss the newly revamped Old MacDonald's Barn, where as many as six calves are expected to be born this week. Other activities include monster trucks and a demolition derby, tractor pulls, musical performances, a dance competition and more. And if you get hungry, make your way to our favorite booth, the Big Cheese, for a gooey grilled cheddar sandwich. Through Aug. 17 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 596 N. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, Md. 301/963-FAIR. Web: mcagfair.com.

Exhibit

Souvenir Nation: Relics, Keepsakes & Curios

What do a chunk of Plymouth Rock, a chip from the wooden tie that completed the country's first transcontinental railroad, and a slice of cake from FDR's 52nd birthday party have in common? They are all objects saved from significant events in American history — and they will all be on display in the Smithsonian's newest exhibit devoted to America's obsession with souvenirs. Starting Friday, head to the Smithsonian Castle to view a collection of more than 50 personal objects taken, made or saved by Americans from the 1700s to the present day. The exhibit and corresponding book also explore the origins of object preservation and the modern museum. The exhibit includes items from all over the world — ranging from a brick from George Washington's childhood home to a piece of the Berlin Wall — and will make you think twice before you clean out your junk drawer. Through 2014 at the Smithsonian Castle, 1000 Jefferson Drive SW. 202/633-1000. Web: si.edu.

Art

American University summer exhibit closing party

Washingtonians are lucky to live a Metro ride away from some of the best museums in the country. In addition to the internationally renowned Smithsonian galleries, the city also has a thriving art scene — yet it's rare to see a major museum exhibit devoted to local artists. This is why American University has devoted much of its 30,000 square-foot museum to Washington-area contemporary artists. On Saturday, you have a final chance to explore six unique exhibits devoted to Washington art during a free closing party. "Washington Art Matters: 1940s-1980s" features 80 artists from five decades of the local art scene. Other exhibits highlight contemporary artists, including Tim Tate, whose video installations explore the dream state, and Kitty Klaidman, who uses vibrant acrylic paint on wood to create stunning mixed media works. Also on display are sculptures by Raya Bodnarchuk and oil paintings by Nan Montgomery and Chester Arnold. Saturday at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202/885-1300. Web: american.edu.

Concert

The Harlem Gospel Choir Sings Whitney Houston

This weekend marks what would have been the 50th birthday of Whitney Houston, arguably one of the greatest voices in pop music history. While the singer is sadly no longer with us, her legacy lives on in her music, which includes seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits and 10 albums. On Saturday, the world-renowned Harlem Gospel Choir will perform a tribute to her at Washington's Howard Theatre. The choir was founded on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in 1986 and today consists of 65 musicians from ages 17 to 70 from black churches in Harlem and throughout the Tri-State area. It's sure to be an uplifting evening, with opportunities to dance and sing along to some of Houston's greatest hits, like "The Greatest Love of All," "I Will Always Love You," "How Will I Know" and more. Saturday at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. 202/803-2899. Web: thehowardtheatre.com.

Concert

Huey Lewis & the News

In 1985, Marty McFly and Doc Brown made history when they traveled through time in a souped-up DeLorean to the sound of Huey Lewis and the News' hit song, "The Power of Love." This week, travel back in time with one of the 1980s' hottest blues rock bands when its tour stops at Wolf Trap on Tuesday. Though the lineup has changed significantly since the band's heyday, Mr. Lewis fronts a show that will feature many songs from "Sports," the 1983 album that earned the band a Grammy and had hits like "The Heart of Rock & Roll," "Heart & Soul" and "I Want a New Drug." Scott Kurt, a contemporary country artist often compared to Wilco, and Paul Westerberg and his band Memphis 59 will open the show. Tuesday at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Va. 877/WOLFTRAP. Web: wolftrap.org.

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