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The Real History of St. Patrick’s Day

March 4th, 2019 | Comments Off on The Real History of St. Patrick’s Day | Posted in Lifestyle

When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you probably think of green beer, shot glass necklaces that say “Kiss Me I’m Irish,” and everybody talking about how Irish they suddenly are. That’s all well and good, but I bet you don’t know much about the holiday’s origins, or the saint it celebrates. Well, take off that stupid hat, stop talking like a leprechaun for a second, and educate yourself a smidge.

St. Patrick, considered the patron saint of Ireland, was actually born in Banna Venta Berniae, a town in Roman Britain, sometime in the late 300s AD. That’s right, Patrick wasn’t Irish. And his name wasn’t Patrick either—it was Maewyn Succat, but he didn’t care for that so he chose to be known as Patricius down the line. He actually had many monikers throughout his life: he was known by many as Magonus, by others as Succetus, and to some as Cothirthiacus. But we’ll just call him Patrick since everybody else does. Has a nice ring to it…

His father, Calpurnius, was a deacon in the early Christian church, but Patrick wasn’t much of a believer himself. It wasn’t until he was captured by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and enslaved for six years as a shepherd that he chose to convert to Christianity. While in northeastern Ireland, Patrick learned the Irish language and culture before attempting to escape back to Britain. But Patrick wasn’t very good at escaping apparently, because he was captured again. This time by the French. He was held in France where he learned all about monasticism before he was released and sent home to Britain where he continued to study Christianity well into his twenties. Eventually, Patrick claimed he had a vision that told him to bring Christianity to the Irish people, who were predominantly pagan and druidic at the time, so Patrick he made his way back to Ireland and brought a big ol’ bag of Christianity with him.

When Patrick arrived back in Ireland, however, he and his preaching ways were not welcomed, so he had to leave and land on some small islands off the coast. There he began to gain followers, and he eventually moved to the mainland to spread Christian ideologies across Ireland for many years to come. During this time, Patrick baptized thousands of people (some say 100,000), ordained new priests, guided women to nunhood, converted the sons of kings in the region, and aided in the formation of over 300 churches.

Folklore also tells of Patrick banishing all the snakes from Ireland, but as badass as that may sound, there were never actually any snakes on the island to begin with. Lame, I know. But Patrick may be the one responsible for popularizing the shamrock, or that three-leafed plant you’ll see plastered all over the place today. According to legend, Patrick used it to teach the Irish the concept of the Christian Holy Trinity. They already had triple deities and regarded the number three highly, so Patrick’s use of the shamrock may have helped him win a great deal of favor with the Irish.

These days, Patricius is known to most as Saint Patrick. Though he’s not technically a canonized saint by the Catholic Church, he’s well-regarded throughout the Christian world. But why the holiday? Why always March 17? What’s with the green? And why do we think of a non-Irish, non-snake charmer as a symbol of Ireland?

St. Paddy’s Day started as a religious celebration in the 17th century to commemorate the life of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. This “Feast Day” always took place on the anniversary of Patrick’s death, which was believed to be March 17, 461 AD. In the early 18th century, Irish immigrants brought the tradition over to the American colonies, and it was there that Saint Patrick started to become the symbol of Irish heritage and culture that he is today. As more Irish came across the Atlantic, the Feast Day celebration slowly grew in popularity. So much so, in fact, the first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston in 1737.

By the mid 19th century, the United States saw a massive influx of Irish immigrants hoping to escape the Great Famine. This transformed the relatively small-scale Feast Day observance into a full-blown celebration that people wanted to be a part of whether they were Irish or not. In 1903, Feast Day became a national holiday in Ireland, and over time it transformed into what is now called St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday has since been celebrated all over the world in countries like the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Russia, and even throughout Asia. As it happens, St. Paddy’s Day is so popular, it’s thought to be celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. What was once a fairly chill day of going to mass, watching a parade, and eating a hearty meal with family has transformed into the biggest party in the world.

If you’re wondering why you’re wearing green right now, there’s more to it than protection from pinching fingers. It goes back to the Irish Rebellion, when Irish soldiers wore green as they fought off the British in their trademark red. Until then, the color associated with St. Patrick and Feast Day was actually blue. The song soldiers sang during the war in 1798, “The Wearing of the Green,” changed all of that and made green, the color of shamrocks, Ireland’s mainstay color. From then on, people wore green on St. Patrick’s Day in solidarity. And when Chicago dyed their river green for the first time in 1962, the practice of wearing and decorating in green became a part of pop culture. It’s now commonplace to bust out your best greens mid-March.

Okay, so why all the drinking then? It’s part historical subtext, part us succumbing to advertising, and part stereotyping. Originally, St. Patrick’s Day, or Feast Day, saw the lifting of Lent restrictions for the day, giving Christians a breather as they made their way to Easter. Basically, it was a day to eat and drink as much as you please in celebration, hence the traditional Irish meal of bacon and cabbage. But imbibing on whiskey and beer was not part of the equation. In fact, pubs in Ireland were forced by law to shut down for the holiday until later in the 20th century, and drinking alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day was greatly frowned upon until the late 1970s.

Then, a huge marketing push from Budweiser in the 80s convinced thirsty revelers that drinking beer and St. Patrick’s Day were one in the same. The rest is drunk history nobody seems to remember, as it’s all been replaced in our heads with quotes from Boondock SaintsMuch like Cinco de Mayo, many people now use the holiday as an excuse to binge drink, which fosters negative stereotypes by incorrectly associating the act of getting wasted with Irish culture. But, at least now you can take a swig of your Guinness in pride because you know the real story. Sláinte!

Update: This article originally linked Saint Patrick’s birthplace of Bannaventa with Banna Venta Berniae, in the Northamptonshire region of England. This is believed to be inaccurate, and the exact whereabouts of his birthplace are uncertain.

The Washington Monument

March 4th, 2019 | Comments Off on The Washington Monument | Posted in Lifestyle

15 Things You Might Not Know About the Washington Monument

It’s the tallest building in Washington, D.C. and it honors the first U.S. president, George Washington. Here are a few more Washington Monument facts to celebrate the anniversary of its dedication on February 21, 1885.

1. BUILDING A MONUMENT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS NOT A UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTED IDEA.

Today, trumpeting George Washington as a hero and a symbol of national pride isn’t going to start any arguments. In the 19th century, however, Washington’s approval rating was far from 100 percent. The very idea of constructing a monument to honor the former president felt like an affront to the Democratic-Republicans—the opposing party to the Washington-aligned Federalists—who both favored Thomas Jefferson over Washington and decried such tributes as unseemly and suspiciously royalist.

2. IT TOOK ALMOST 40 YEARS TO COMPLETE THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT’S CONSTRUCTION.

After decades of deliberation about where to build a monument to George Washington, what form it should take, and whether the whole thing was a good idea in the first place, the foundation for a great stone obelisk was laid at the center of Washington, D.C.’s National Mall on July 4, 1848. Although the design looks fairly simple, the structure would prove to be a difficult project for architect Robert Mills and the Washington National Monument Society. Due to ideological conflicts, lapses in funding, and disruptions during the Civil War, construction of the Washington Monument would not be completed until February 21, 1885. The site opened to the public three years later. 

3. A COUP WITHIN THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL MONUMENT SOCIETY DELAYED CONSTRUCTION.

In 1855, an anti-Catholic activist group nicknamed the Know-Nothings seized control of the 23-year-old Washington National Monument Society. Once in power, the Know-Nothings rejected and destroyed memorial stones donated by Pope Piux IX. The Know-Nothing affiliation cost the project financial support from the public and from Congress. In 1858, after adding only two layers of masonry to the monument, the Know-Nothings abdicated control of the society. 

4. EARLY IDEAS FOR THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT INCLUDED STATUES, GREEK COLUMNS, AND TOMBS.

Before the society settled on building an obelisk, several other ideas were suggested as the visual representation of George Washington’s grandeur. Among them were an equestrian statue of the first president (which was part of Pierre L’Enfant’s original plan for Washington, D.C.), a separate statue situated atop a classical Greek column, and a tomb constructed within the Capitol building. The last idea fell apart when Washington’s family was unwilling to move his body from its resting place in Mount Vernon.

5. LATER DESIGN PLANS INCLUDED AN ELABORATE COLONNADE …

Even after Mills’ obelisk model had been accepted, a few flashier design elements received consideration as possible additions to the final project. Mills had originally intended to surround the tower with a circular colonnade, featuring not only a statue of George Washington seated gallantly atop a chariot, but also 30 individual statues of renowned Revolutionary War heroes. 

6. … AND AN EGYPTIAN SUN.

Mills placed a winged sun—an Egyptian symbol representing divinity—above the doorframe of the Washington Monument’s principal entrance. The sun was removed in 1885. 

7. THE MONUMENT ORIGINALLY HAD A FLAT TOP.

It has become recognizable for its pointed apex, but the Washington Monument was originally designed to bear a flat top. The monument’s design was capped with a pyramid-shaped addition in 1879.

8. THE ENGINEER WHO COMPLETED THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT ASKED THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPLY HIS WORKERS WITH HOT COFFEE.

Several years after the 1855 death of Mills, Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey Sr., chief of engineers of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, assumed responsibility for completing the Washington Monument. Among his most memorable orders was an official request to the U.S. Treasury Department to supply his workers—specifically those assigned to the construction of the monument’s apex—with “hot coffee in moderate quantities.” The treasury complied. 

9. DOZENS OF MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS ARE BURIED BENEATH THE MONUMENT.

On the first day of construction, a zinc case containing a number of objects and documents was placed in the Washington Monument’s foundation. Alongside copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are a map of the city of Washington, publications of Census data, a book of poems, a collection of American coins, a list of Supreme Court justices, a Bible, daguerreotypes of George Washington and his mother Mary, Alfred Vail’s written description of the magnetic telegraph, a copy of Appleton’s Railroad and Steamboat Companion, and an issue of the arts and leisure magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, among many other items.

10. SOME OF THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT’S MEMORIAL STONES BEAR STRANGE INSCRIPTIONS.

The vast majority of the 194 memorial stones lining the Washington Monument are not likely to inspire confusion. Common inscriptions celebrate George Washington, the country, and the states they represent. However, a few of the monument’s stones bear engravings of a more curious variety. A stone donated by a Welsh-American community from New York reads (in Welsh), “My language, my land, my nation of Wales—Wales for ever.” Another stone from the Templars of Honor and Temperance articulates the organization’s rigid support of Prohibition: “We will not make, buy, sell, or use as a beverage any spirituous or malt liquors, wine, cider, or any other alcoholic liquor, and will discountenance their manufacture, traffic, and use, and this pledge we will maintain unto the end of life.” 

11. THE APEX WAS DISPLAYED AT TIFFANY’S BEFORE IT WAS ADDED TO THE STRUCTURE.

The men who created the Washington Monument, though reverent in their intentions, were hardly above a good publicity stunt. William Frishmuth, an architect and aluminum magnate connected to the project, arranged for the pointed aluminum top of the monument to enjoy an ornate two-day display at New York City’s luxury jewelry store Tiffany’s. The apex was placed on the floor of the storefront so that shoppers could claim to have walked “over the top of the Washington Monument.” 

12. OPENING CEREMONIES ATTRACTED SEVERAL BIG-NAME GUESTS.

Among the 20,000 Americans present for the beginning of construction in 1848 were then-President James K. Polk, three future presidents (James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Johnson), former first lady Dolley Madison, Alexander Hamilton’s widow Elizabeth Hamilton(John Quincy Adams’ widow was too sick to attend), and a bald eagle.

13. THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT WAS THE TALLEST STRUCTURE IN THE WORLD FOR ABOUT SIX MONTHS.

Upon its official opening on October 9, 1888, the Washington Monument—standing an impressive 555 feet high—boasted the superlative of tallest manmade structure on Earth. The honor was short-lived, however, as the following March saw the unveiling of the Eiffel Tower, which topped out at 986 feet. 

14. IT IS STILL THE TALLEST OF ITS KIND.

As of 2019, the Washington Monument still reigns supreme as both the world’s tallest all-stone structure and the tallest obelisk. (The stone San Jacinto Monument in Texas is taller, but it sits on a concrete plinth.)

15. A FEW DECADES AFTER CONSTRUCTION, THE MONUMENT CAUGHT “TUBERCULOSIS.”

Wear and tear had begun to get the best of the Washington Monument by the early 20th century, prompting an exodus of the cement and rubble filler through the structure’s external cracks. The sweating sensation prompted John S. Mosby Jr., author of a 1911 article in Popular Mechanics, to nickname the phenomenon “geological tuberculosis.”

5 Tricks to Make Spring Cleaning Fun

March 4th, 2019 | Comments Off on 5 Tricks to Make Spring Cleaning Fun | Posted in Lifestyle

Did you know that 54 percent of Americans are completely and utterly overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in their lives? I totally believe it. That’s why we’re so enamored by Pinterest-inspired cleaning hacks and new ways to make this daunting task seem more…well, not so daunting. And if you’ve ever had to wrangle your S.O. or family into seasonal cleaning then you know how much of a firestorm that can be.

The experts over at VarageSale, the virtual garage sale for your phone, have shared some tips on how to motivate your family to join your spring cleaning decluttering mission this year (without using food as bribery). Take a look!

Turn Clutter Into a Vacay Fund

Promise the family a fun trip funded only by the money made from selling your items online. The extravagance of their trip will be determined by how much they sell.

Show the Kids What Their Clutter is Worth

Ask your children to pick five to 10 toys in their room or play area that they’ve outgrown to sell. Once sold, show them the money they’ve made, and divide the loot into streams of spending and saving.

Do a Decluttering Scavenger Hunt

Give each family member a mission to find items in their room within a list of categories (i.e. one pair of shoes, two shirts, three books, etc). The family member to finish first is the winner.

Let’s Make a Deal: Clutter-Free Edition 

If you buy your child something new, s/he has to find two to five items to part with in exchange. They might start with smaller items, like an old coloring book or just one toy car, and that’s okay. Once the game is established, push them to part with bigger items.

Take the Cake

Start a friendly competition between family members (you can make teams for the little ones) where all sales from their sales go into a communal pot. Whichever team sells the most takes the pot for that contest! Winners get to choose a fun family activity using money from the pot, like going to the movies or getting dinner at their favorite restaurant. The pot starts over the next day or the next time you want to tackle more spring cleaning so kids stay motivated to win.

Dance the Clutter Away

Be realistic and make time for a dance party. Removing the dust and cobwebs of winter can be an overwhelming task. Tackle the job in digestible blocks of time by creating a playlist of four to five of your favorite high-energy songs. Add a sixth song at the end that will inspire you to enjoy a mini dance party break. (Taylor Swift, FTW!)

Source: hgtv.com


Liabilities of Renting Your Home

March 4th, 2019 | Comments Off on Liabilities of Renting Your Home | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Protecting Your Personal Property

You may be considering renting out your home for extra income while you’re away for an extended period of time. Though this seems like an ideal solution for families with extra room to spare, it can pose liabilities. Take the following considerations to heart in order to protect your home.

Don’t let Allergies Bring You Down

March 1st, 2019 | Comments Off on Don’t let Allergies Bring You Down | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. In particular, springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. As plants begin to bloom and neighbors start to cut their grass more frequently, allergy sufferers nationwide start sniffling and sneezing. What’s more, mold growth blooms both indoors and outdoors, making it almost impossible to escape allergy triggers. 

Spring Allergy Alleviation Tips

To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
     
  • Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
     
  • Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
     
  • Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit skin exposure and dust and chemical inhalation.
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  • Vacuum twice a week.
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  • Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
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  • Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.

Treating Allergies

Treatment for most allergies is available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Talk to your doctor to find out what treatment method is right for you. If your allergy symptoms are severe or chronic, you may need a series of allergy shots. Contact your physician or allergist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Home Fire Escape Plans

March 1st, 2019 | Comments Off on Home Fire Escape Plans | Posted in inSIGHTS

Many people wrongly assume that they’ll have plenty of time to escape from their home if they notice fire. The reality is that the modern, synthetic materials that are commonly found in most homes mean that fires burn faster than ever. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a small flame can turn into an uncontrollable fire in less than 30 seconds.

fire escape

Planning ahead for a fire can be the difference between being trapped in your home and escaping safely. Make sure to incorporate these elements into your escape plan:

  • Go over how to escape each room in your home. Ideally, every room will have at least two ways to get out through a door or window.
     
  • Don’t waste time trying to save your personal belongings. Take any important medications if they’re within arm’s reach, then immediately take the closest exit.
     
  • Before opening a door, use the back of your hand to feel its temperature at the top, the doorknob and the crack between the frame and the door. If any of those areas feel hot, take a different route. If the door is cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
     
  • If you can’t avoid moving through smoke, crawl as low to the ground as you can and cover your mouth.
     
  • Set a meeting place outside of your home that your family knows to gather around when they’re safe. Then, have one person go to the nearest neighbor’s house to call 911.
     
  • Never go back into a burning building for any reason.
View more InSights here.

50+ Things To Do In DC

March 1st, 2019 | Comments Off on 50+ Things To Do In DC | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

The Cherry Blossom PUB (Pop-Up Bar) – Through April 21
For the third consecutive year, the Cherry Blossom PUB returns to DC to spice up spring in Shaw. The 2019 edition features a room designed like a bowl of ramen, with sculptures of noodles and chopsticks and actual ramen from Ramen by UZU served. There’s also a garden room inspired by the Palace of Versailles’ Fontaine de L’Encelade. The drink menu offers the Honeydew, Honey See (sake, vermouth, fermented sake syrup, cucumber, honeydew, absinthe) as well as the Once and Floral (gin, peach, lemon, orange flower water, egg white, matcha). The PUB will host a spring party on March 20, during which a timed $20 ticket can help you avoid the line.
5 p.m. – 12:30 a.m., Sunday – Thursday; 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., Friday – Saturday | 1843 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

HopFest 2019 – March 9
HopFest is the only beer festival in the city hosted by local brewers for local brewers. The DC Brewers’ Guild has one heck of a day planned for the fifth installment of this beloved event. Dozens of breweries will be on hand at the DC Brau Brewing Company to showcase hoppy goodness, from one-off specials to old favorites to rare brews you can’t find anywhere else.
1-5 p.m. |  Tickets
DC Brau Brewing Company, 3178 Bladensburg Road NE, Washington, DC 20018

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & ½ Marathon – March 9
Choose from three different race formats and run and rock through DC during this annual extravaganza. The two days prior to race day feature a health and fitness expo at DC Armory, where participants can pick up their race packets and try out new running apparel and technology. Then, on the big day, conquer the marathon, half-marathon or 5K. Each sport scenic routes that allow you to marvel at DC’s monuments.
Register


Demetri Martin – March 9
Demetri Martin’s unique brand of comedy, which can feature sing-alongs, drawings and costumes, has taken him from self-described “relative obscurity” in New York City to superstardom. Along the way, he wrote for Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He’s released successful comedy albums and starred in his own television series on Comedy Central, where his acclaimed Demetri MartinPerson. stand-up special aired. His first book, This Is a Book by Demetri Martin, was a New York Timesbestseller. Witness his idiosyncrasies at Warner Theatre on the second Saturday in March.
10 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Evenings at the Edge: Wonder Women – March 14
The National Gallery of Art’s Evenings at the Edge series returns to the East Building for spring with this night entirely dedicated to women. The all-female tap sensation Syncopated Ladies, which features two sisters from DC, will be on-hand to showcase their jaw-dropping talent. Attendees will also be able to view legendary art by women and hear their stories via pop-up talks, as well as craft their own female superhero.
6-9 p.m. |  Register (free admission)
National Gallery of Art, 4th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital – March 14-24
The longest-running and largest environmental film festival in the U.S. enlightens viewers on the state of our environment and what we can do to maintain its health. More than 100 movies will be screened at venues all over the District. The festival will also include informative discussions and social events that will inspire dialogue surrounding these wonderful films and their important themes. Many of the events are free and all are open to the public. Check the website for a full schedule.
Donate

National Cherry Blossom Festival – March 20 – April 14
The nation’s greatest springtime celebration returns to fill four weeks with free family events, many with Japanese influences, a nod to the gift of the trees in 1912 from the Mayor of Tokyo to the citizens of Washington, DC. Among the signature events: the Pink Tie Party (March 22); the Opening Ceremony (March 23); the Blossom Kite Festival (March 30); Petalpalooza (April 6) at The Wharf and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (April 13).


Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild – March 22
March is an action-packed month for the Capitals, with the defending Stanley Cup champions playing six games at Capital One Arena. Alex Ovechkin and the Caps are in dogged pursuit of prime playoff position in the hopes of bringing another championship to the nation’s capital. This Friday night tilt will see the boys square off against the Minnesota Wild, who are fighting for their own playoff lives under head coach (and former Caps bench boss) Bruce Boudreau.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Pink Tie Party – March 22
This springtime affair in Washington signifies the beginning of blossom season. The Pink Tie Party raises funds for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the elaborate cocktail party brings on the fun with lots of features: spring-inspired cuisine, a silent auction, live music, dancing and other distinctive entertainment. Guests must be 21 and over to attend.
7-11 p.m. |  Tickets
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004


National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony – March 23
Diehard blossom-goers make a point to be official about their visit by reserving tickets to this free event. Experience the festival on stage through traditional and contemporary performances at the Warner Theatre, with a lineup that features the cast members of “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” The Super Live making their North American debut and an original interpretation from violinist Ikuko Kawai. Note that there will be a $5 registration fee when tickets are claimed.
5-6:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


ShamrockFest – March 23
America’s largest St. Paddy’s Day festival will green out RFK Stadium again this year. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Mahones and Andrew W.K. highlight this year’s lineup of performers. Plan on plenty of brews, Irish dancers and bagpipes, DJs and contests. General admission and VIP tickets are available to this Irish-themed extravaganza.
12 – 8 p.m. | Tickets
RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, 2400 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003


Washington Nationals Opening Day vs. New York Mets at Nationals Park – March 28
Yes, it’s officially that time of year. Baseball is back! The Washington Nationals will open their 2019 season with this matchup against the rival New York Mets. Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and the rest of the Nats will look to erase the disappointment of last season’s 82-80 record and re-claim their throne as kings of the National League East. The Mets may have something to say about that, and they’ll get to showcase their offseason additions, including Robinson Cano and former Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos. Prepare for plenty of Opening Day excitement at Nationals Park.
1:35 p.m. |  Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003


J.B. Smoove – March 29
J.B. Smoove is everywhere. From television commercials to TV specials to major films to his role as Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Smoove’s blend of cool and comedy has made him a household name. However, the dynamic performer’s roots are in stand-up, and you can see him in his ultimate element at Warner Theatre at the end of March.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional – March 29 & 31
Capital One Arena hosts March Madness on two separate days this March. America’s favorite postseason tournament annually features jaw-dropping upsets and breathtaking buzzer beaters. DC is fortunate to host the Sweet Sixteen this year, when the tournament’s true juggernauts and Cinderellas begin to emerge. Expect plenty of spellbinding action during this set of games.
Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Blossom Kite Festival – March 30
Head to the Washington Monument grounds for this free kite-flying extravaganza, one of the most highly anticipated events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival . The entire family can watch expert kite fliers from all over the world participate in the Hot Tricks Showdown, a stunt kite-flying event. Make sure you bring your camera and a kite of your own!
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Washington Monument Grounds, 17th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW


Zilia Sánchez: ‘Soy Isla (I Am an Island)’ – Through May 19
Head to The Phillips Collection to check out the first museum retrospective of Cuban artist Zilia Sànchez. You’ll encounter more than 60 works from the artist’s nearly 70-year career, from paintings to shaped canvases to sculptures to illustrations. Her work incorporates mythological heroes, lunar shapes, geometry and topologies. Sánchez’s travels have taken her to Europe, New York and Puerto Rico, leading to an incredibly diverse tapestry of art.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009


‘The REDress Project’ – March 1-31
In honor of Women’s History Month, the National Museum of the American Indian will host this outdoor art installation from Jaime Black. Empty red dresses situated outside on the north side of the building will symbolize missing or murdered Indigenous women. Black’s work serves as an alarming reminder of the gendered and racialized violence frequently dealt with by Native women. On March 21, the artist will participate in Safety for Our Sisters: Ending Violence Against Native Women, a symposium that will feature harrowing stories and ignite important conversations about the issue at-hand.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560