- - Thursday, August 23, 2012

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

Phone: 202/633-3030

Web: smithsonianassociates.org

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.

Phone: 301/-864-6029

Web: www.collegeparkaviationmuseum.com

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

Phone: 202/724-5613

Web: dcarts.dc.gov/DC/DCARTS

Concert: Rock & Roll Relics

The Rock & Roll Relics try not to take themselves too seriously. The fun starts with their names: “Golden Girl” Gail Chiappone and “Couch Potato” Chip Chiappone, “Pension” Pete Storm, Bill “Broadway Willie” Miskell. But don’t let their tongue-in-cheek demeanor, goofy getups and hokey self-branding (“Music from Another Millennium”) fool you. The Rock & Roll Relics play rock ‘n’ roll the way it was meant to be played: no auto-tune, lots of greasy guitar solos and just enough distortion. And their set list? It’s only gotten better with age — lots of Elvis, Chuck Berry, CCR, Sam Cooke and even some Doobie Brothers. But no fluff.

Sunday at Baker Park, Second and Bentz streets, Frederick, Md.

Phone: 301/600-2844

Web: www.celebratefrederick.com

Exhibit: ‘The Shape of Things’

The highlight of the Art League’s exhibit “The Shape of Things” is a piece by D.C. sculptor Katrina Roeckelein. Titled “Giraffe Boy,” the sculpture features a human face with pleasingly long lashes, an orangish complexion, and the horns and neck of a giraffe. Ms. Roeckelein has sculpted many a head, but none is so compelling as “Giraffe Boy,” which was inspired by the artist’s recent trip to Botswana and is part of a collection titled “Safari in Clay.” “Giraffe Boy” isn’t the sole piece of Ms. Roeckelein’s at the Art League. The equally pleasing “Lady Tau” also will be on display.

Through Sept. 3 at the Art League, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, Va.

Phone: 703/683-1780

Web: www.theartleague.org

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