Fill your calendar with these August events and notable dates
Posted by Mary Fletcher Jones
Let me let you in on a little secret, my content-generating friend. No one, self included, wants to talk about anything remotely work-like this month. Not in DC, and not online. Nobody is working. You know it, and I know it.
So have a little fun with Twitter, Facebook, and your blog this month.
NOT TOO MUCH FUN. I said, a LITTLE fun.
Hey, it’s President Obama’s birthday! See: that’s fun. And the pig races at the Arlington County Fair. Free admission at the National Parks. And the Hard Crab Derby – friend, it does not get any more wholesomely fun than that.
You know what never gets old? Besides Elvis? Racing blue crabs, that’s what. Now if you can’t somehow link your brand to a crab derby, and make it sound almost relevant, then you’re not the social media genius I know you are.
I mean, you can do this. I have faith in you. Now get to work, slacker.
Aug 1 – Congress recesses until September 8. Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out.
Aug 1 – Through the weekend, shop tax-free in Virginia for back to school items — qualifying school items less than $20 each and qualifying footwear and clothing less than $100 each. This is kind of weird: you CAN buy wedding apparel and corset laces tax free during this weekend, but you CAN’T buy printer paper. Laws are strange.
Aug 1 – Catch the Motown sounds of The Winstons, free tonight at Royal Lake Park, Fairfax, VA 7:30 pm
Aug 1 – Or get funky with the new James Brown biopic “Get On Up” premiering tonight in cinemas
Aug 2 – Watch “Casablanca” under the stars (free drive in movie) Trinity Centre, Centreville, VA 6 pm
Aug 2 – Today is actually the day most of the members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, interesting factoid.
Aug 2 – Watch “The Great Gatsby” free at Tysons Corner Center (McLean, VA) Movies on the Green, Level 2, 8 p.m.
Aug 2 – National March on the White House to protest the massacre in Gaza, 1 p.m.
Aug 3 – Happy Sisters Day! I have the best sister in the world! Beverly Sill 🙂
Aug 4 – President Obama’s Birthday. He is our nation’s 44th president. Happy Birthday, Mr. President!!!! I guess my party invitation’s in the mail, right?
Aug 4 – Today is Louis Armstrong’s birthday (1901-1971).
Aug 4 – Today is US Coast Guard Day! The Coast Guard was founded today in 1790. Thanks for your service!
Aug 6 – Arlington County Fair WITH PIG RACES, PEOPLE. All weekend.
Aug 9 – It’s Tracy Brower’s birthday today! Say Happy Birthday to the sweetest man in the world!
Aug 8 – The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair kicks off today and runs through the 16th in Gaithersburg, MD
Aug 9 – On this date in 1945, the US dropped the first atomic bomb used as a weapon on Hiroshima, Japan
Aug 9 – Elvis Week starts today, and runs through August 17 at Graceland. I know, that is technically more than a week. Hey what do you expect from the King of Rock-n-Roll?
Aug 10 – Today is the 166th birthday of The Smithsonian Institution
Aug 10 – “Super” full moon — this will be the closest and largest full moon of the year!
Aug 10 – Gavin de Graw performs at Wolf Trap tonight
Aug 11 – Through the 17th, Restaurant Week in DC! Take your favorite blogger out to lunch!
Aug 11 – Boy band One Direction performs tonight at Nationals Park. That’s What Makes You Beautiful!
Aug 12 – Wow, absolutely nothing is really happening today. Beach day!
Aug 13 – Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday! Watch my favorite, Notorious, online (free). The kiss in this movie was considered quite scandalous.
Aug 13 – Luray Caverns was discovered on this date in 1878. Have you been yet? You should go, if you haven’t!
Aug 14 – Doc Scantlin and his big band orchestra play at the Fairfax County Government Center, 5:30 pm (free)
Aug 14 – President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act today in 1935, providing retirement pensions and financial aid
Aug 15 – Happy Birthday to actress Jennifer Lawrence, who is 24 today
Aug 15 – India is granted independence by Britain, the Partition of India takes place, and the country of Pakistan is formed in 1947
Aug 15 – Napoleon Bonaparte was born today (1769-1821). His magnificent portrait by Jacques-Louis David is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and shows him with his Napoleonic Code.
Aug 16 – Palio di Siena (2nd race), Italy. A bareback horserace that is a centuries-old tradition.
Aug 17 – Hakuna Matata with The Lion King at the Kennedy Center’s final performance
Aug 17 – It’s synchronized swimming…it’s performance art…it’s both! It’s the WPA’s SynchroSwim and it’s free at the Capitol Skyline Hotel pool at 5 pm.
Aug 18 – It’s hot outside so you should probably go see the “American Cool” exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in DC before it leaves in September. And for more coolness, check out their list of the 100 coolest people in history (no, I am not on this list, and neither are you). Free, open 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Aug 19 – Today is President Bill Clinton’s birthday. He is 68.
Aug 20 – Happy Birthday to actress Amy Adams, who is 40 and fabulous today!
Aug 21 – Hawaii became our 50th state on this date in 1959. Aloha!
Aug 22 – Actress and designer Sarah Jessica Parker will present her Fall SJP collection at Nordstrom’s in Tysons Corner 5 pm. Purchases may be signed.
Aug 23 – On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed and assaulted the U.S. for several days, resulting in the costliest ($108B+) natural disaster in U.S. history, as well as one of the five deadliest natural disasters (1,800+ fatalities). More than 1 million people from the Gulf Coast region were displaced from their homes.
Aug 23 – The Louisa County, Virginia earthquake occurred on this date in 2011, measuring 5.8 and basically freaking everybody out, including in DC where it was also felt. Second strongest earthquake in Virginia since the 5.9’er in 1897. There were so many panicked cell phone calls that service became disrupted for many. Although it was 84 miles away, it still shook the Washington monument, causing damage that closed the site to visitors until May 12, 2014. The White House, Capitol and parts of the Pentagon were evacuated. 50 jars of preserved specimens fell off the shelves at the Natural History Museum – yuck, I’m glad I didn’t have to clean THAT up. What a day! — and I missed it ALL because I was out of town on vacation!
Aug 23 – The Renaissance Festival starts today in Crownsville, MD and runs weekends through October 19. We go for the steak-on-a-stake, comedy performances, and busty wenches. Soooo much fun.
Aug 23 – Watch “Frozen” under the stars (free drive in movie) Trinity Centre, Centreville, VA 6 pm
Aug 23 – Sound of Music Sing-a-Long at Wolf Trap tonight at 7:15 – make like a lonely goatherd and yodel-lay-hee-hoo! (or not, okay, please not). You know I was in the Sound of Music at a dinner theater in Richmond when I was nine and I had to sing that song every weekend. Not fun. The others are okay, though.
Aug 24 – It was a VERY bad day in Pompeii on this date in 79 AD. Hey, what did the boy volcano say to the girl volcano? I “lava” you.
Aug 24 – President Madison becomes the first and only President/Commander in Chief to actually engage in battle while in office — during the War of 1812.
Aug 24 – The British invaded Washington, DC in 1814 and burned the Capitol, the White House, U.S. Navy Yard, the Treasury, and several other buildings and homes. Before they burned down the White House, the British soldiers and officers ate a large dinner that had been prepared for guests that evening. President Madison and Congress hightailed it out of there to Montgomery County, MD. If things weren’t bad enough, there was a hurricane, torrential down pour, and tornado the NEXT DAY. Mama mia!
Aug 25 – The US Open Tennis Championships begin today in Queens, NY. It’s a punishing venue and the heat doesn’t help — let’s see who comes out on top this year. I mean, let’s watch that inside, where it’s air-conditioned.
Aug 25 – Today is the 96th birthday of the National Park Service. Did you know there are 23 National Parks in DC? And 22 in Virginia.
Aug 25 – I am going on vacation. I love you but don’t bother me until after Labor Day.
Aug 25 – Today is American composer Leonard Bernstein’s (West Side Story) birthday (1918-1990).
Aug 26 – Have you read your 8 books this summer? If you have, take that list to Thomas Jefferson Library in Falls Church, VA, and you will get a coupon for a free used book. I am halfway through “Revolutionary Summer.”
Aug 27 – I can’t think of anything that is really happening today. Let’s just go to the movies. You can go for $4 at University Mall Theater in Fairfax, VA.
Aug 28 – Bluegrass favorites Seldom Scene play tonight at Nottoway Park in Vienna, VA (free) 7:30
Aug 28 – The civil rights March on Washington took place in Washington, DC on this date in 1963 and Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an audience of a quarter million supporters.
Aug 29 – Rock out to the Gypsy fusion sounds of Black Masala tonight at Royal Lakes Park, Fairfax, VA (free) 7:30 pm
Aug 30 – National Book Festival, Washington, DC. Among the many notable authors there signing books will be Peter Baker (my old college newspaper editor, and now the New York Times Chief Correspondent for the White House), investigative journalist and author Amanda Ripley, children’s and YA author Kate DiCamillo, Poet Laureate Billy Collins, DC pundit and new children’s author and Washington Cokie Roberts, and many more.
And that’s cooool…but…just between you and me, don’t you think book signings are kind of bogus? I mean, not like they used to be, when you’d go to a book store, and the author would read from his or her book, and you could ask questions, and then get a book signed and they would actually write something nice, and your name, inside. But the ones now, you are lucky if they even look up at you and then it’s “Next!” You see them for a millisecond after waiting in a long line. So, thanks but no thanks. I have quite a few signed books, and I love them, but I think I will pass on the book signings and just check out the Pavilion of the States, instead.
Aug 30 – The 67th National Hard Crab Derby (Crisfield, MD) takes place at 2:30 pm (a race of Chesapeake blue crabs), with events celebrating all things Chesapeake all weekend, including a carnival, crab picking contests (for the losers, ha ha), and a Miss Crustacean pageant.
Do you know why it is a Hard Crab Derby? Because it is no fun racing soft shell crabs, that’s why.
Aug 30 – Free drive in movie “The Lego Movie” Trinity Centre, Centreville, VA 6 pm
Aug 31 – Plinky, the blog idea generating website, will shut down tomorrow. So copy down those amazing blog ideas today, before they’re gone http://www.Plinky.com
Aug 31 – Princess Diana, the UK’s beloved “People’s Princess” died on this day in 1997.