- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Barbecue bonanza

Some people like their barbecue sweet, and others like it hot; you’ll find both this weekend at the National Capital Barbecue Battle. For two days, teams from all over the country will vie for $25,000 in prizes along with the title of national pork barbecue champion. The battle takes place Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Ninth and 14th streets. Admission is $4 to $8. For more information, call 202/828-3099.

Land ahoy

The Inner Harbor comes alive Wednesday for Baltimore’s July Fourth Sailabration, which this year marks the 150th anniversary of the launch of the USS Constellation. On hand: a fleet of international tall ships (all open for public tours), live entertainment and children’s activities, topped by a July Fourth fireworks finale. See www.bop.org, or call 410/752-8632.

A choral delight

On the heels of its newly released CD, “Anthems in Disguise,” the CenturyMen, a 100-voice men’s chorus, stops at DAR Constitution Hall Tuesday. Scheduled to perform with the chorus are the Broadway Inspirational Voices, the Nashville Children’s Choir and a full symphony orchestra. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $27 to $37. 18th and D streets NW. 202/432-SEAT.

Rock gods

Since its debut in 1978, Van Halen has set the standard for rock ‘n’ roll bands. Seventy-five million albums later and with some internal rifts healed, Sammy Hagar and the guys are back on the road playing more than 25 years’ worth of hard-rock hits. Van Halen plays the MCI Center tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $57 to $92. Seventh and F streets NW. 202/432-SEAT.

Whose talking, anyway?

Comic ventriloquist Jeff Dunham not only has to think about what jokes he wants to tell, he has to plan three other acts for his help — Walter, Peanut and Jose Jalapeno, all of which travel in a suitcase together. Mr. Dunham and his sidekicks, who do nearly 240 shows a year, stop by the DC Improv tonight through Sunday. Showtimes vary. Tickets are $20. 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202/296-7008.

Country at the pavilion

Tim McGraw might sing about “a barbecue stain on my white T-shirt” but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of country music’s biggest stars, with more than 25 million albums sold. Washingtonians can catch his Out Loud tour at Nissan Pavilion Sunday. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $31.25 to $63.25. 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va. 202/432-SEAT.

British soul

It’s not Detroit. It’s not Memphis. It’s London, and lately it has been exporting some of the best soul and R&B anywhere. One of the these exports, Hil St. Soul (pronounced Hill Street Soul) puts across smooth, velvety vocals and jazzy beats that get the toes tapping. Hil St. Soul plays the Birchmere tonight. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 703/549-7500.

Folklife on the Mall

With a duck- and goose-calling contest, Haitian food samples and chances to learn salsa dance steps, the 38th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival offers something for everyone. Even better, all events are free and centrally located on the Mall. The 10-day festival runs through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and then the activities pick up again Wednesday through July 4 at the same time. See www.folklife.si. edu/index.html, or call 202/633-1000.

Thomas Walter

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