Secretariat film screening and benefit
There hasn't been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, so the pressure is on for 3-year-old thoroughbred Orb, who won the 139th Kentucky Derby last weekend. In advance of next week's Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, the Secretariat Foundation and Maryland Jockey Club will honor the 40th anniversary of the legendary Secretariat's 1973 Triple Crown, which made him the first horse in 25 years to earn the trophy. On Tuesday evening, join Penny Chenery, Secretariat's owner, and Ron Turcotte, Secretariat's jockey, for an evening to benefit the Secretariat Foundation's work in equine research, rehabilitation and recognition. The evening kicks off with a roundtable discussion sponsored by ESPN on the 1973 Preakness Stakes and the controversy surrounding the official winning time. The discussion will be followed by a screening of "Secretariat's Jockey, Ron Turcotte," a new documentary following the jockey's 16-year career, which ended with the tragic 1978 fall that left him paralyzed. Tuesday at the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring 301/495-6700. Web: secretariat.com.
D.C. toasts the Black Mixology Club
It's no secret that Washington, D.C., wasn't very dry during Prohibition — and we have a plethora of bartenders serving up Prohibition-era cocktails created here to prove it. On Friday, join the area's best bartenders (and their fans) to celebrate World Cocktail Week and toast the black bartenders in particular who helped lubricate the city despite the restrictions. While enjoying some of the oldest-known cocktails, you'll hear the stories of cocktail legends like Dick Francis, a freed slave who mixed drinks for many members of Congress — and whose son would go on to earn a medical degree from Howard University. After you've loosened up a bit, dance to the city's signature go-go sound performed by another Washington legend, the Chuck Brown Band. Proceeds will benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail, a New Orleans-based organization devoted to preserving one of America's greatest culinary contributions to the world. Friday at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. 202/803-2899. Web: dctoasts.com.
World Bonsai Day
Saburo Kato, the third-generation owner of the renowned Mansei-en Bonsai Garden in Japan until his death a few years ago, believed that those iconic miniature trees could promote peace and friendship throughout the world. The art form dates back thousands of years and, according to the Kato family's philosophy, provided an outlet for contemplation and creativity for both grower and viewer, as bonsai are not grown for any reason other than pure enjoyment. On Saturday, the National Arboretum will celebrate World Bonsai Day with demonstrations by the Potomac Bonsai Association, curator-led arboretum tours, and an exhibit about Kato and the founding of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation. If you need some contemplation in your life, enter to win a bonsai of your own. While you're there, you won't want to miss the arboretum's other exhibits, including the azaleas that are in full bloom right now. Saturday at the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE. Web: usna.usd.gov.
Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival
Behind many of America's jazz greats, including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, was a great woman — Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), an American jazz pianist, composer and arranger. Williams wrote and arranged for Ellington and was a mentor to Davis and Gillespie, among others. She began playing jazz piano at parties when she was just 6 years old, and by the time she was 15, she had played with Ellington and been praised by Louis Armstrong for her talent. This week, the Kennedy Center will open the 18th Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival honoring the "first lady of jazz piano" and her influence on jazz artists over the decades. The festival opens Thursday with a concert featuring the Tineke Postma Quartet, the Amina Claudine Myers Trio and Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton, and continues through next weekend with headliner concerts as well as free performances on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. Opens Thursday at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. 800/444-1324. Web: kennedy-center.org.
The sun is shining (most days), the flowers are blooming, and the National Zoo's adorable endangered Andean bear cubs will be introduced to the public this weekend. It's definitely spring in Washington. And though it might be past bedtime for the cubs, who were born in December, the National Zoo will keep its doors open Thursday evening for ZooFari, the annual benefit featuring entertainment and serving bites by more than 100 local chefs. In addition to food tastings, enjoy wine tastings, pastry demonstrations, hands-on animal demonstrations and a silent auction with the opportunity to win a behind-the-scenes visit with the zoo's Asian elephants, including Bozie, who will join the herd this summer when she arrives from the Baton Rouge, La., zoo. VIP ticket holders will get the chance to try handcrafted cordials from Bloomery Plantation during a pre-event reception. Thursday at the National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202/633-2614. Web: nationalzoo.si.edu.