There's no excuse to be inside this weekend, as Saturday's weather predictions call for a sunny, clear 60 degrees. Maybe the warmth will encourage the cherry blossoms to finally peek out. Either way, it will be a perfect day to head down to the National Mall for what we consider the marquee event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival -- the Blossom Kite Festival from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Washington Monument (west of 15th Street between Constitution Avenue and 17th Street NW).

Kite-makers and expert kite fliers from around the region and even around the world come out this one day a year with the most exquisite string-guided flying objects. There are several competitions and demonstrations throughout the day, including the popular Hot Tricks Showdown and the Rokkaku Battle. But even amateur fliers can partake in the high-flying festival.

And now we will make the pun everyone is expecting: Spring is in the air, literally.


You won't hear an echo in this newly revamped concert venue with one of the best sound systems money can buy, so the name Echostage is a bit ironic. In the space on Queens Chapel Road Northeast near New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, where the old DC Star used to be, new owners started remodeling last September, and after months of renovations, the 30,000-square-foot club with a capacity of 4,000 is truly one of the best concert venues out there.

One of the first to truly utilize the new space is superstar French DJ David Guetta, performing Friday and Saturday nights. Though the website indicates the shows are sold out -- and they were months ago -- the club managers are saying they will release a limited number of tickets at the door each night, beginning at 9 p.m. (get there way earlier if you have any hopes, though). For more information, visit echostage.com.


When it's karaoke at the Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW), you would never expect it to be a night of Journey standards. Never. To benefit the DC Books to Prisons Project, the gruff bar/music venue is hosting a punk rock karaoke night when the book of selections will include belt-out favorites from the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Minor Threat and more, and probably some Clash and Ramones for those light of heart.

So, come Friday night -- doors at 9 p.m. -- pull out the suggested donation of $8 and hit up the backstage for a crazy night where the hair will be as spiked as the collars. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com.